Meet Noor - 20 - Learning Experience Design Intern - The Campaigner
Hi everyone! Are you ready for some female power? We would like to introduce you to Noor! 😍
Noor joined our team as a Learning Experience Design Intern a couple of weeks ago. While we initially planned for her to join our team in Berlin, Covid-19 got in the way and she is currently supporting us while being based in the United States.
You would love to know what a Learning Experience Designer at edyoucated actually does, how working remotely across oceans is working out for us so far and what tips Noor has for those of you, who are thinking about interning or working at a company in another country?
All you have to do is keep on reading!
Hi Noor 👋
We are more than excited for you to join our team! Could you start by briefly introducing yourself? What should people know about you?
Hi, excited to be here! Nice to meet you all :) I’m Noor, born and raised in Long Island, New York. I’m a rising junior at Harvard College. At Harvard, I major in Social Studies.
My road to edyoucated is quite interesting. In my freshman year of Harvard I planned on majoring in Mathematics and only experimented in the humanities courses. But, whenever I was doing math, in my head, I was always applying those mathematical concepts to society and people. Over time I realized that while I do love big ideas about math, I love big ideas even more about people. So in my first semester of sophomore year (2nd year of university), I pivoted and took a Social Studies class — I loved it! It “fit like a glove” according to my interests and way of thinking. I got to read and apply fascinating social theory of great thinkers like Rousseau, Marx, Weber, etc. Now, at college within my major, I study the theory behind how we interact with each other and ourselves virtually and in real life, since my academic focus is Society, Technology, and Social Media. I came across edyoucated and saw that I can apply these same ideas to an actual business platform!
Besides my studies, I’m interested in a lot! I’m a bit of a cinephile. I took a film class last semester at college and was absolutely fascinated by everything about it. Good movies always make me feel good. I also paint a decent amount — just for fun. It is so meditative. I love running, too, and I hope to run a marathon one day.
Additionally, I can’t turn down a good book. Right now I’m finishing listening to the audiobook of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (would highly recommend!) and starting A Secret History by Donna Tartt. And because I’m from Long Island, I love the beach. So you can catch me there much of the time. 😉
And I’m going to mimic David here and talk about my MBTI personality type, which is the “Campaigner.” So yeah, you could describe me as the “Campaigner” here at edyoucated. Much of my work involves campaigning for the user and ensuring that they have a meaningful, virtual learning experience. I’m always pondering how to make the user feel best in every aspect of the platform — from personalization to the actual design. I want them to walk away feeling like they genuinely learned something great.
While we initially had planned for you to join our team in Berlin, we needed to change things up a little (thanks Corona!) … so you are currently supporting our team while being based in New York.
Given that all went a bit different than initially planned, how would you describe your first three weeks at edyoucated?
When Coronavirus appeared more and more in the news, I kept thinking, “Oh gosh, this is going to affect my summer in Berlin!” I was so excited to come to Germany. But, hahah, yes, things of course went very different from what expected. But despite this deviation from expectations, my first three weeks have been genuinely so fun. If I had to use one word, it would be “open.”
I am in direct contact with other team members who are doing completely different things from me, like development or sales. So, I’m exposed to fields I have only ever read about before, which makes for a huge learning curve and more of my curiosity being piqued. This is unlike other companies where everyone is separated from each other in their own tasks and divisions. Instead, here at edyoucated, the “barriers” are down and everything is open — knowledge is open. Everyone is encouraged to ask any question and offer any feedback, regardless of what your responsibilities are. I am given rein to follow my curiosity and execute any projects that are meaningful to me — another example of openness. There’s an entrepreneurial mindset that is cultivated very well by everyone; every single person has so much autonomy to solve critical problems.
I’ve learned an incredible amount already from my work and from my fellow team-members virtually “around” me. It’s phenomenal.
Could you give us a little sneak peak into your responsibilities? Are there any tasks that you will regularly take care of? Any insights into first projects, that you could share? 🥳
So, I focus on the learning experience of the user. A question I ask myself constantly about every feature or process I ponder is, “How will this make learning truly meaningful for the user?” I obsess about “meaning” because on our platform, the user is learning virtually. Whatever is on the screen — our platform, their virtual interactions — should be bringing out the best in the user. The user should be having an authentic relationship with it — with learning, in edyoucated’s case, because learning betters people. This is the crux of everything I do at edyoucated.
To give you a sneak peak into one of my current projects: I am working on bringing more “light” to the platform in the design aspect. Our logo is a lightning bolt, so I’m figuring out how to make that more suggestive in the learning process. And, I’m working on how to personalize the tracks even more for the user, beyond their current skill set.
Why did you decide to join an early stage startup from Germany? Do you have any tips for someone that is about to start a job at a company that is based in another country?
I’ve always wanted to go to Germany. I briefly tried learning the language in high school on my own, but my studies got in the way (and, my high school did not offer German as a language 😞). But, I loved the language and decided early in college that I was going to spend some time working in Germany. And, before the coronavirus outbreak happened, I wanted to spend this summer in a different country. It would have been a huge step outside my comfort zone. The only other country I’ve gone to is China — last summer, where I taught Chinese high school students. The experience was so radical and rewarding because I was immersed in a culture completely different from the one I lived in my whole life. I wanted to have experiences like these again.
edyoucated excited me for those reasons above but especially because it was an early stage startup. I knew that the learning curve would be steep and that it would be a step outside my comfort zone in a different way — the only “work” experiences I’ve had before this were doing topology research. And, I would be given a lot of autonomy in all my projects. Additionally, I knew that the work I would be doing would be very meaningful and impactful. It’s specifically aligned with my interests of analyzing real-life-virtual-life relationships, too 😃.
In terms of tips: show up to work (even virtually!) with a smile. Relish in the impact that you’re making — that’ll motivate you more than anything — and relish in how you much you’re learning! Further, ask questions. No question is ever a dumb question — ask about anything and everything because it’ll allow you to immerse yourself in the company even more, especially if you are a remote worker. Go in to each day, task, conversation with an open mind and absorb everything. Starting a job at a company that’s based in another country is an experience like no other in the best way, and if it’s uncomfortable in the beginning, great! That means you’re learning a lot.
Since we are a company focusing on the personalization of learning - what are your individual learning preferences? Do you have some learning habits? And are you currently learning a new skill?
I’m learning Arabic (because I think it’s a beautiful language) and Latin (The Secret History influenced me. Also, I love searching a word on Google and seeing the Latin roots of it. There seems to be many benefits of it, too) on Duolingo!
Additionally, because of my work here at the company, my interest in UI/UX design has been piqued. So, I’ve been reading up a lot on it and even started the “Design Thinking Expert” course on our platform. I can’t learn in a 9-5 schedule. Rather, I learn and work sporadically — huge spurts of focus and productivity (much like a sprint over a marathon) and lengthy rest breaks. Additionally, I have to move to different spots when I’m learning or working. Sitting in one location for a long time frustrates me, so I’ll move to another room in my house or go to the local library. I also realized quite recently that my best ideas come up when I’m moving, so if there’s a lot to think about for a project or to reflect on post-learning, I’ll go on a walk around my neighborhood or at my local beach. 🌊
Above all, I have to actually enjoy what I’m learning to learn it. If my curiosity is not piqued, I have lots of trouble retaining the material. Motivation/ intention is everything for me!
Thank you so much Noor!
The pleasure is mine!
You would like to become part of our team as well? Check out our open positions!