SoFi employees have access to the dynamic professional education platform, Udemy which makes high-quality learning accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Udemy provides a rich and diverse learning ecosystem, empowering employees to explore a new subject or upskill and master advanced concepts, and it’s offered as a benefit to our global workforce.
Jonathan Blair, Senior BI Analyst, Strategic Finance is one of our top users of the tool. He has invested nearly 60 hours using the tool and shared his enthusiasm for the platform: “This has definitely made my job here better, and it’s one of the top reasons I recommend SoFi as an employer.” We recently were able to catch up with Jonathan and discuss topics such as how Udemy has enhanced his professional development, our June Value of the month, Embrace Diversity, and his favorite part about working at SoFi.
How has your access to Udemy empowered your goals for professional development?
Breadth, depth, flexibility and organization are key features of Udemy that have allowed me to dive into a specific topic or technology and allows me to get as detailed as I need when time permits. Udemy has been a go-to when I have run into a topic I haven’t encountered before. With Udemy at my disposal, I have organized learning paths that specifically target what I need today—while also allowing me to study an expanded and deeper curriculum that moves me closer to understanding subjects that really interest me. This has been very rewarding and most certainly made an impact on my job and ability to learn and implement solutions to move Strategic Finance’s BI/analytics capabilities.
What is an example of how you’ve applied what you learned from a Udemy course in a real-life scenario?
The example that comes to mind would be Apache Airflow, which is a platform that provides a way to define and manage complex workflows. Truth be told, I had never heard of this tool before I started at SoFi. Udemy was my first stop. Within minutes I found and enrolled in an Airflow course that is full of concept introduction and code exercises — a key feature of the platform. Over the course of just a few days, I was able to successfully test code within the development environment made available via SoFi Data Platform. More importantly, I was able to follow along with documentation provided by SoFi engineers and ask questions that helped me navigate, troubleshoot and connect with colleagues along the way.
How has Udemy improved your job performance?
Udemy allowed me to take a stretch project exploration to implementing and understanding Docker for more critical projects and deliverables. Docker is a platform that allows you to build, test, and deploy applications quickly. The instructions available on Udemy allowed me to quickly ramp up on Docker, digest the available documentation from the SoFi Data Platform and turn it into a viable solution for multiple data processing projects. It has bred confidence, in both knowledge and comfort with not knowing but learning and figuring out tools to propel my work forward. I think this shows up in my work. I think this shows up in the collaboration with my colleagues and it is a motivating component of continuing to push myself each day.
What is your favorite part about working at SoFi?
The people and significant professional development opportunities. I work with people who are kind and understanding of the challenges that come up in life, from the importance of family and the challenge of parenting while also sharing the desire to deliver for SoFi. On multiple occasions I have sat down with colleagues with subject matter expertise in a variety of areas and they have offered their time to help me. Udemy has also been a key factor in my development. It offers valuable content and the ability to customize your learning experience. I have created a plan (e.g. multiple learning paths) that continues to fuel my learning. Further, I own the outcome, which means I can adjust when needed and feel that I have full support from my manager to continue to develop.
Explain how the value of the month in June “Embrace Diversity” is lived out on your team!
The common denominator of our humanity is just the best way I can explain the feeling and experience I have from my team. The positive engagement and collaboration day-to-day, where you feel you can take care of yourself, your family — and also challenge yourself professionally. This might mean failing at times, but learning from your mistakes and receiving unwavering support and constructive feedback is very rewarding.
Just for fun, If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go and why?
I plan to take my family to Europe. My wife and I have dreamt of a European cycling tour, paired with trips to Ireland, the Austrian Alps, and the English countryside. There is also no shortage of an opportunity for a history lesson so add to that visiting the monuments, memorials and museums commemorating the momentous and world changing events that have occurred throughout Europe that deserve our remembrance and responsibility for the future.
Thank you Jonathan, for sharing your journey of continuing education with us! We are so happy you have found the value of Udemy!