When Limari became a mother, she knew she needed to rethink her career so that she could spend time with her son. Northwestern University’s Content Strategy course on Coursera helped her build the skills she needed to succeed as a freelancer. Here’s her story:
I was born in Puerto Rico, which is a very festive culture. I grew up with a lot of love for the music, and when I was young, I wanted to be a musician. But after I graduated from college, I felt stuck in limbo. Then I got pregnant, and when I had my child, I really wanted to stay at home with him.
A great friend of mine, who worked in advertising, said that she had a perfect job for me in social media. After I started, though, I realized it was way more than I bargained for. It was not only posting on Facebook or Instagram or this or that – there was a science behind it. I began to look for different courses that would give me the in-depth knowledge I needed, and I bumped into Coursera.
I tried different courses – at first, I tried a course in data science, which was really interesting because it helped me understand some of the technical aspects of social media, like how to process information. But that course actually helped me realize that those weren’t the aspects of social media that I was most interested in.
Then I saw that they had a course on Content Strategy, from Northwestern University. I took it, and it really changed my life. I learned how to engage with people, and how to create noteworthy content for different platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It gave me the tools to be more confident in what I was doing. Pretty soon, I moved on from that first stint as a community manager, for $7 an hour, to this big advertising agency with a great title, and big brands.
But there was still this pressure to be perfect as a woman – to be the perfect wife, to be the perfect career woman, to be the perfect mother. It was a lot to carry. And I realized that something had to give. I started contemplating the idea of striking out on my own as a freelancer, and I finally did it. I haven’t looked back ever since.
The work that I do now gives me more flexibility and enables me to spend more time with my kid, and to spend more time with my friends – and it gives me more “me” time, doing things like making music, which is very important to me. The only reason I have that is because I took those Coursera courses, and I built a career that satisfied my needs.”