Meet Bravin, a passionate learner from Kenya who decided to enroll in the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative. During a challenging time of unemployment, Bravin was determined to make the most of his time to upskill and prepare for re-entry into the workforce. See how he’s using his new skills and knowledge to pave a new career path:
When COVID-19 hit, the company I was working for had to cease operations because most of the clients had stopped funding projects. As a result, I became unemployed.
Just two years earlier, I had graduated from Machakos University with a degree in accounting and a minor in finance, and started my career as a CPA in Kenya. Entering the workforce was exciting, but my thirst and passion for knowledge had always been beyond the accounting profession. I started developing an interest in data science, and after taking some online courses, I switched paths and landed a role as a junior data analyst at a market research company.
Then came the pandemic.
Because of my earlier experience with online learning, I knew there were opportunities out there to learn new skills, and the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative* came as a light at the end of the tunnel. I took it as a challenge to upskill. I decided that, during my period of unemployment, I would learn new skills that could help me become a better market researcher and, eventually, an entrepreneur.
The first course I took was the Market Research Specialization offered by UC Davis. I currently have two other courses in progress as well the Statistics With R Specialization from Duke University and the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program.
Bravin’s advice: Choose something to learn that is geared toward solving a problem. That way you can enjoy learning while solving problems in your field of interest.
Becoming a market researcher and learning how to get insights from data for decision-making was at the top of my learning bucket list. I’ve now gained skills in these courses that enable me to write well-structured requests for proposals for market research projects and help me create effective questionnaires to gather insightful data for clients. I’ve also learned how to apply R packages in data mining and scraping, especially on social media platforms and other websites.
After learning how to write market research proposals, I was approached by one of my clients to write a proposal for their charity organization. I successfully wrote the proposal, enabling them to get a funding donation of Ksh.1000000!
I’m also happy to share that the Capacity Development Programme in Africa took me in as their lead designer for all their social media accounts. Furthermore, I registered a graphic design business (b-graphics). I am awaiting my license to start practicing, but I already have clients. These are really big wins for me and I’m grateful for having been able to gain this knowledge on Coursera.
Bonus: A fun fact about me!
I actually have four components to my name: Bravin Majani Mugangasia Luvayo. Majani means “green leaves,” Mugangasia means “wizard” and Luvayo means “playful.” I’m told that I’m a pretty funny person in my community!
*The Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative concluded in December 2020. You can learn more about our Coursera for Government offering here.14