Every month we will showcase a student from one of our Nanodegree programs to show how their Udacity experience has impacted their life.
This month, we talked with Bastien, a Product Manager who has been working for 3 years in the industry and decided to upskill during Covid. He had recently moved to another country and with family obligations he knew the Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree was the perfect choice to expand his current skill set.
Aside from his career in product management, Bastien helps people move to Germany with his knowledge base settle-in-berlin.com, which he started in 2011. He was featured on Expat.com, FT, Vice and more. He makes silly YouTube videos about the hidden gems of Berlin. He also created Berlin Flat Quest, pixel art recreating the horrors of finding a place to live in the German capital.
I chose Udacity because I was tired of working remotely without a community. The Udacity community was good because we networked and motivated each other to finish.
I have taken other online courses for management and business courses, but I felt Udacity had the best educational material and enjoyed learning through hands-on projects with student support through the Knowledge Center. I was so impressed with the mentor support that I signed up to become a mentor so I could help other students.
What made you become a Udacity Mentor?
I became a mentor because I was impressed by the mentors when I went through the program. A good mentor can motivate you to keep going when you are stuck or unmotivated. I enjoy learning from the students when they share different ways to solve a problem.
How did you balance your day-to-day demands with your Nanodegree program?
I’m a dad of 3 young children and we’ve recently moved to a new country. Udacity makes it easy to work at your own pace. Yes, I’m intellectually drained at the end of the day after work and family obligations, but I was motivated because I knew this would get me closer to my dream job.
What was the most challenging part of your program?
The most challenging part of my program was finding the time to do my projects and stay motivated. The design sprint methodologies were challenging but it was great to have real projects that I’d do on the job. There is no right or wrong way to do your projects; you are getting practice of concepts in the field. That helped to build my confidence as I learned the materials.
Do you think the concepts learned can be applied to your current role?
Absolutely, I have applied many of the concepts into my current projects at work. It’s easy to have Imposter Syndrome when you are on the job, but practicing the concepts helps you build confidence. Your projects can also be used in your portfolio as you grow in your field.
Did the Udacity experience change how you are advancing in your path?
I enjoyed being a student and I take pride in being a mentor to other students. It keeps me engaged in the field and I always learn something new from the students too. I tell the students to be open to new ways of methodologies as they are always changing.
Would you recommend Udacity to others and why?
Yes, without a doubt, I recommend Udacity. Udacity offers students the flexibility to progress at their own pace. You have mentors who give you feedback on your projects and you can keep submitting your projects until you pass.
The Knowledge Center and Community is great for getting help and feeling like you are part of something. You don’t have to go through the program alone, but you also are required to participate if you don’t want to engage.
Did you ever consider giving up and why didn’t you?
Yes, my family and work comes first and there would be days I was exhausted and didn’t want to do any more studies. I would try to just do a bit of work and then I would find some motivation because I knew it was for my family’s future. When you pass your project it makes you proud and you get a boost of motivation to keep going.
What advice would you give to prospective learners?
I’d say the biggest piece of advice is keep an open mind to learning new things. There are no right or wrong ways. Find your motivation and keep that in mind when things get tough. Appreciate the experience as it helps build your confidence in future projects.
Explore a Product Management career path
Bastin looks forward to continuing to learn all he can about his career field of Product Management to get him closer to his dream job. If you are interested in this growing field consider exploring Udacity’s Product Management Nanodegree.