04-Jan-2019

2018 Recap: Stories of Audacious Decisions!

2018 Recap: Stories of Audacious Decisions!

It is often said that success is the child of Audacity. The audacity to take bold decisions, to swim against the tide and persevering on that path are the only ways to make ones dreams come true. Make no mistake, audacity without perseverance and hard work is not enough. But the first step to achieve something meaningful is always taking a bold decision!

This mini-digest is our attempt to highlight stories of some of our students who had audacity to take charge of their lives in pursuit of their dreams! Over 65,000 students from across 160 countries took a step towards making a dent into the world by graduating from Udacity Nanodegree Programs in 2018. Udacity is only a platform for these achievers to learn new skills and and enter the corporate world boldy; nothing more. The rest is more often than not, what you make of your own lives.

These students are our heroes and the ones who inspire us to strive towards our mission of democratizing education!

Let’s Meet a Few of These Udacians...

Rachit’s Saga of Taking Charge

Rachit's quest for lifelong learning helped him make a career transition to the emerging field of Machine Learning despite multiple challenges in personal and professional life.

Srikanth’s Tale of Overcoming Odds

Srikanth made a career switch into Self-Driving Car Engineering field after 18 years of work experience in various fields. Srikant did not let life come in the way of his dreams. He overcame all the biases and entered into his dream career at the age of 40!

Sonali’s Calling to the Field of Her Choice

This is how Sonali took a resolution to transform her career with Udacity Data Analyst Nanodegree Program, and transitioned from a marketing background.

Shilpaj’s Story of Making a Difference

Meet Shilpaj, who wanted to make a difference by working on autonomous cars that make the world a safer place. And he is on his way to achieve his dreams with Udacity Self Driving Car Nanodegree Program.

Swapnil’s Fight Against the Odds

Swapnil

Swapnil Bangrela, living in Gadchiroli, a small city in Maharashtra, a naxalite affected area, had an extraordinary journey when he enrolled for Android basics course with Udacity. Starting his self-paced learning and then eventually being chosen to be a part of Google Udacity Scholarships, he proved us that anything can be achieved with grit and hard work.

Swapnil saw a computer for the first time when he was in fourth standard. It was “love at first sight” for him, he says. Being so fascinated with technology, the web world, but having very limited resources to fulfill his dreams, he knew that achieving it would require determination like nothing else. He first started typing on a typewriter, which he got from his uncle.

Swapnil had to make a hard choice and move away from his hometown, as it wouldn’t have been possible to complete it there. In his words, “There was practically no internet connection in my town since Naxalites used to burn all the towers. I was eager to change my life and improve the conditions I was living in. It was my driving force.” His story is one of sheer determination and resilience, which continues to inspire thousands more.

[Read full story here]

M.P. Rajani’s Pursuit of LifeLong Learning

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Rajani was the pillar of strength for her family after her father's death. After several changes around her career, she decided to restart her career in 2016.

When Rajani started out, she had very little programming knowledge and no development experience. Her adolescent son with the confidence he had gathered during all these years, wholeheartedly supported her when she told him about wanting to restart her career. And she did! She learned Android Development, which brought about a perceptible change in her vision and attitude towards life. Her grit tells us that nothing is impossible, if you have faith in yourself.

In her own words, she says, “Udacity is the best learning platform to learn new skills, or brush your existing skills. It opens up an array of opportunities for you. When I started with Android Basics Developer Nanodegree, I had very little programming knowledge, but the way course is presented, and the flexibility to do it at my own pace, that really impressed me. I was once a beginner and now an Android expert, Nanodegree gave me smooth resurgence after a long career gap.”

Read more on those who came back from Sabbatical!

Inderjeet’s Story of Overcoming Language Barriers

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Inderjeet comes from a middle-class family background. Facing hardships is one thing, but emerging out on the other end to be more polished, and ready to grab opportunities, is the mark of a dreamer. When he got selected in Google India Scholarships Program, he knew he could give meaning to what his father taught him all along, that opportunities don’t come to you, you have to make them as you go! During his course tenure, he says that his experience was "fantastic". “The way our mentors taught us was outstanding, really my English is very poor but I didn't face any problems in understanding the lessons and quizzes. The explanation is conceptual, not just theoretical. Also, the Slack is like your life’s saviour, which helps you connect with the large community of students. Whenever I faced an issues, I directly asked for help on one of the channels there, and got replies in just a few seconds.”

The discussion forum also helped me to show my project work directly to the forum mentors and believe me, they really give you personalized feedback, and appreciation me for your work. Udacity really made my parents feel so proud of me.” He also says, “I truly believe that one must grab opportunities, opportunities come to those who have take bold decisions, and are ready to work hard, no matter how hard the going gets.”

Shivanand’s Perseverance for a Dream Job

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While we all want to get in to our dream jobs, Shivanand went all out and made that happen for himself. Starting with Business Analyst Nanodegree, and getting in Wipro, he then enrolled in to Machine Learning Engineer program, and now in Blockchain Developer Nanodegree program. He’s had a phenomenal career path, with more than 30% salary hike, doing things he always wanted to. In his words, “It’s the skills that I have acquired, and the value I bring to the table, which makes me really excited. Udacity has helped me achieve cutting-edge technology skills, and I completely love that role I am playing in my current organization.”

Chris’s Story of a New Beginning

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It is tough to move out of your comfort zone and start something you have no clue about. But anything that’s difficult, is even more worth trying for. This is exactly what Chris did, when he enrolled in Udacity Data Scientist Nanodegree program. And, to light things up for him, he got a standing job offer, 2 months into the course. This career journey has been really inspiring, with 30% hike, when he moved from a sales role to being a Data Scientist. In his words, he says that the projects really helped him move his career ahead, and he got the job mainly because of the immersive nature of al the 6 projects he completed during his course tenure.

Aman’s Tale of Standing Out

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Aman enrolled himself in Udacity Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program, which was a huge transition from his area of expertise of being a RoR developer. Eventually, he also took up Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree, which completely changed his career trajectory, with doubling his salary! He is currently working with an Ireland based company, wherein he has the leeway to work from anywhere, at his leisure. He says that Udacity experience is one of the most pivotal moments of his life, which helped him go a long way to upgrade his skills!