Makati woman finishes 20 online courses from top universities during lockdown

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Photo courtesy of Paula Mendoza

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 24) — A woman from Makati City made the most out of her time during lockdown by finishing 20 online courses from top global universities.

28-year-old Paula Mendoza spent nearly a month completing all the online courses, with the goal to finish at least one course every day.

“Straight aral from tanghali to madaling araw, kasi parang ‘di ako nakakatulog maigi ‘pag di ko natatapos yung course and gusto ko talaga, hangga’t maaari natatapos ko na agad,” Mendoza told CNN Philippines. “Longest course I’ve taken took me two days to finish. Mostly ‘yung iba kaya ng one day lang pero dire-diretso ka dapat.”

[Translation: I would study straight from noon to dawn, because I felt like I could not sleep well if I didn’t finish the course, and I really want to finish right away if I can. The longest course I've ever taken took me two days to finish. Mostly it's just one day but you should go straight through.]

Mendoza, an online shopping platform manager, said she just wanted to be more productive by learning new skills that she could use for work once the quarantine is over.

She enrolled in leadership, sales, and marketing courses from the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, University of California, and 12 more universities.

"The most amazing course I was enrolled in was ‘Achieving Personal and Professional Success’ from the Wharton School," Mendoza said. "It was actually my favorite! The course was designed to help you define what success means to you, and to develop a plan for achieving it."

She took the courses from online learning platform coursera.org. The site features over 1,000 subjects, many for free, across different categories.

Most courses have quizzes, final exams, case studies, peer assignments, and recorded video lectures by professors.

"It was quite exciting! You can feel you’re in a real class," Mendoza said. "You just have to pass every exam and submit all the needed requirements for you to complete the course and gain a certificate afterwards."

Mendoza suggested that future participants check the course syllabus before enrolling to see what to expect in the program.

She also advised everyone to never stop learning, despite all the stress and anxiety that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing.

“Kesa mabwisit ka sa mga nangyayari sa paligid, hanap ka na lang ng paraan at mga gawaing nakaka-uplift sa mind and spirit,” Mendoza said.

[Translation: If you get caught up in what's happening around you, just look for uplifting activities for your mind and spirit.]