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Maggie’s Toolkit for Success: From Layoff to New Recruiting Career


Maggie, a young professional with a degree in social work, was laid off in the early weeks of the pandemic and became a courier for the delivery service platform Postmates to make ends meet. After exploring a course on edX, Maggie enrolled in a Professional Certificate program that helped transform her life.

How She Did It

Maggie was able to take advantage of learning on edX as a benefit of being a Postmates courier. First she enrolled in HarvardX’s Justice course, which gave her the mental space to broaden her horizons and think about opportunities she hadn’t considered before.

Since then, she was hired for a role in recruiting at Amazon. To further boost her resume with valuable skills, she went on to earn a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certificate from TUMx. She leveraged her new skills and certification to get promoted from a contractor to a permanent employee after six months. Maggie credits the confidence and knowledge she gained on edX as a big part of making that step. The process improvement techniques she learned put her on the fast-track for contribution and professional growth, as Amazon is a hugely data-driven company.

Read more of Maggie’s story

Maggie’s Toolkit for Success

Explore Maggie’s must-have skills, tips, and recommendations to guide your own journey.

Maggie’s Must-Have Skill

Confidence in yourself: “As I was building out my resume, I started to realize what ultimately was the transferable skill was myself and the person I was. A lot of the things I was able to learn through the Justice course challenged my way of thinking and way of seeing the world to where it built in me this confidence, being able to actualize myself in achieving my goals.”

Maggie’s Top Online Learning Tip

Finish the course: “The start of things is very exciting, but what’s more exciting is to finish and truly be able to put it on your resume. It says ‘I chose to do something challenging and I finished.’ That is what sets people apart. It really speaks volumes.”

Maggie’s Top Time Management Tips

Know when you learn best: “True learning is challenging in nature. Instead of trying to make learning easier, I make the process of learning easier. For example, I have never been a night person. Rather than trying to become one to tackle coursework, I wake up earlier and save learning for the mornings.”

Set a schedule: “Staying honest about the time you have to dedicate to learning is also important. When I was experiencing unemployment in 2020, I had the margin to spend 4-6 hours each day on coursework. Now that I’m employed, I dedicate 2 hours every Tuesday to coursework.”

Maggie’s Recommended Courses & Programs

Justice from HarvardX

  • Why she recommends it: “This course helped me think about who the person I want to be is. The mental space that it afforded me allowed me to broaden my horizons and think about opportunities I hadn’t considered before.”

Professional Certificate Program in Lean Six Sigma from TUMx

  • Why she recommends it: “By taking these courses I gained confidence and credibility I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I felt like I could contribute in a tactical sense to a company, but didn’t have that to show by way of education. Being able to have access to this gap-filler made all the difference. It felt great to be able to tell my managers and my colleagues that I’m certified in Six Sigma. The process improvement techniques I learned have put me on the fast-track for contribution and professional growth at Amazon, as it’s a hugely data-driven company.”

Explore more: See what courses and programs other learners have taken to achieve their career goals.

Last updated: April 2021