July 19, 2018

Opportunity Favors the Prepared Mind

Libby Unger | CEO & Co-Founder, GreenFig
Written by:

Libby Unger | CEO & Co-Founder, GreenFig

Opportunity favors the prepared mind. I am a firm believer in this. Lifelong learning is critical to individual growth and independence. 

We are at a unique point in our history. Everyone feels it. The pace of change is accelerating - exponentially – in every aspect of our lives. It is driven by the prevalence of technology and data enabling our daily interactions with life. 

Our global economy is rapidly transitioning from an industrial economy to a digital economy. To foster innovation, accelerate revenue growth, and increase profitability, companies are digitizing nearly every business function. This means job skills are rapidly changing. Yet, the ability to keep pace with this challenge is encumbered by educational systems too slow to adapt or limited in focus. 

In my high school yearbook, I quoted a character from a Russian novel, stating “I am an eternal student.” I did not understand the gravity of that statement at the time. Yet, I believe this sentiment is the key to my success. I am insatiably curious. I want to understand how things work, what makes people tick, and how to fix things that are broken – BIG and small. I also want to make an impact and make a difference in people’s lives by helping them to make a difference. 

Lifelong learning for me combined an invaluable liberal arts education with real-life experience under great – and not so great – apprentices, leaders, and mentors. I constantly augmented my work experience with targeted coursework at local universities and professional training. And, I did it while working. I understood the value of the real-time application of conceptual learning to make it effective and to make it stick. And, I hate taking on debt. So, this model worked exceptionally well for me. 

The one thing that I know for sure is that context + experience + apprenticeship is a recipe for success. And, in this rapidly changing, digital world, that learning needs to happen faster. 

Are you prepared for your career? Do you have the skills needed to traverse the divide? Do you know how to develop them? 

GreenFig, A Micro Education Company – A New Way to Learn

I am honored, and deeply humbled, to be part of the founding team at GreenFig - a Micro Education company, offering microdegrees in applied business science, such as customer success, finance, marketing, product, sales, service, and support. 

Our mission is simple: To help our students become job-ready, and to help them achieve their professional goals. Our program will prepare you for high demand jobs in business science in less than 200 hours. 

In the coming weeks and months, you will hear more about our inaugural course in Digital Marketing Science. We will have industry leaders sharing their knowledge and teaching our students marketing skills in content strategy, persona development, pay-per-click advertising, website optimization and much, much more. 

Over a semester, our students will benefit from accelerated experiential learning and go from zero to proficient in less than 200 hours. Our hybrid training delivery model combines live, interactive online, and offline team-based learning. Students receive hands-on, real-time business application software instruction from industry experts, including Marketo and Google, and obtain resume building work experience gained through real-world projects mentored by industry experts. 

We couldn’t be prouder, or more excited, to bring this opportunity to our students. College students can augment their liberal arts education and move their resume to the top of the list for high demand business science jobs. Professionals can prepare for a career shift into a new field, return to the workforce with relevant business science skills, or simply upskill to stay relevant. And, a veteran can accelerate his or her transition into the civilian workforce. 

It is All About Getting Jobs

US politicians, academia, and industry leaders are currently placing a tremendous emphasis on technical training, coding, and other STEM programs. The headlines have declared a new war for talent - the software engineers and developers required to build the digital economy. 

It is true that there are 300,000 job postings on indeed.com for software engineers and developers - but there are 2.6 million job postings for marketing, sales, and support positions. That is nearly nine (9) times the number of job postings for engineers and developers – nine times! 

These are the roles for “business scientists”. A business scientist possesses the digital literacy to use a company’s “soft machinery” – enterprise software applications and digital platforms - to capture, analyze and utilize customer, financial, market and product data to acquire, retain, and grow its customer base. 

Re-skilling the world for the digital economy was a topic among everyone at the World Economic Forum in Davos this past year. We share the common goal of helping vets transition back to civilian life, helping parents return to the workforce after raising children or taking sabbaticals, and helping liberal arts students get great jobs. We are creating something special here. 

Prepare Your Mind for Opportunity

I am so excited to be launching GreenFig today with Marketo as the enterprise platform anchor for our Digital Marketing Science program. 

While the pace of change is rapidly accelerating, skating to the metaphorical “job career puck” just got easier with GreenFig. Opportunities are presented to you daily. Are you prepared to see them? Are you prepared to seize them? Are you prepared to meet the challenge they present? 

We are here to help you prepare for those opportunities in the world of business science. It will take hard work, curiosity, and commitment from you, but we promise to give it back, and more! Sign up now for our course starting August 16, 2017!  

To lifelong learning, 

Libby Unger

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bridging The Skills Gap For Veterans

Our Student Stories blog series highlights the experiences of GreenFig students currently enrolled in our Digital Marketing Science course. Here, we'll introduce you to several current students, find out what drove them to GreenFig, what skills they're developing right now, and what they aim to achieve with their microdegree from GreenFig. Bridging the skills gap for veterans As Renée Hamilton-McNealy began preparing for a career change after nearly two decades in and out of active military service, she knew she didn’t need another college degree. After all, she already holds a bachelor’s in financial services and an MBA in finance, not to mention loads of management and leadership experience as a Master Sergeant in the Army Reserve. Rather, she was looking for a targeted, focused program that could help her develop the up-to-date technology skills she needed to land a marketing position now, but was discouraged by other programs she researched. “I was looking for more specialized education than what a general degree could offer,” explains Renée. “I wanted to prepare myself for life after I completely retire from the military, and to feed my passion for marketing.” Renée discovered GreenFig through The Paradigm Switch, a nonprofit that helps link military veterans and their spouses to prestigious skill-based training programs. “I’m not afraid to start over,” she says. “I wanted to challenge myself.” Renée explains that she wanted to gain skills in marketing analytics, and become proficient with tools that measure the impact of a campaign’s effectiveness. Renée enrolled in GreenFig’s Digital Marketing Science course remotely from the Bay Area, and says that the program offered a healthy, collaborative learning environment where she felt supported. “I learn best in my own environment and in my own space,” she says. “I liked not having to physically commute someplace. With GreenFig, the communications options are endless, and there were always ways to connect inside and out of the classroom.” Looking back, Renée says it was her instructors’ enthusiasm and ability to teach their craft that confirmed she had found the right program. “I just love the fact that the instructors, who are accomplished and experienced, were just as passionate to share their knowledge with us as we were to learn it,” she says. “And they had more than just experience, they also know how to teach. Just because you are a subject matter expert, doesn’t mean that you know how to transfer that knowledge so that someone else can comprehend it.” Renée believes GreenFig’s training courses are ideal for veterans, who are accustomed to targeted, hyper-focused skill development and who thrive in hands-on, real-world environments where those skills can be quickly applied. Applying the digital marketing skills she’s developed over the past 16 weeks to a real-world marketing campaign for a real-world company is an ideal application exercise for veterans like her, says Renée. “In graduate school, I did case studies,” she recalls. “What we’re doing now is benefitting a real company.” Armed with a unique set of skills -- digital marketing, finance and management -- upon graduation, Renée is hoping to join a marketing team where she can specialize in marketing analytics and social media management. “What GreenFig offers is what I needed,” she says. “To challenge me, allow me to get certifications, provide relevant and modern information, and give me the opportunity to immediately apply and exercise this knowledge in the marketplace.” Advance your skills and set your next big challenge at GreenFig. Check us out at www.greenfig.net.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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