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Learner Story – Zac

Zac has been using FutureLearn to prepare for university and gain tech skills for the workplace. Here he shares how FutureLearn’s courses have kept him busy during lockdown and even helped him bag a job at school.

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Zac has recently received his A-Level results and is going to study Philosophy and History at the University of Warwick in September 2021, after taking a gap year. In the meantime, he has been using FutureLearn courses to expand his knowledge and get ready for higher education.

“I started taking FutureLearn’s courses during lockdown to keep my brain active as I had finished all of my A-Level exams. I’m really interested in different areas of history and I came across the University of Kent and the National Army Museums’ The British Army 1815 – 1945 course. It was absolutely amazing and really excited me – I couldn’t believe it covered so much rich history, in only 4 weeks! 

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Practice independent learning

“It was also the perfect way to prepare for independent learning at university. The course included sources from the National Army Museum which we were asked to analyse. This will be an incredibly important part of my history degree and it really helped me to get ready for that experience of going to the library to find historical sources for essays or dissertations. I enjoyed it so much that it inspired me to look at the other courses available on FutureLearn.”

After searching the site, Zac joined Sungkyunkwan University’s Introduction to Korean Philosophy to broaden his horizons and get used to learning about different aspects of philosophy. 

Discover new subjects

“I’ve only ever studied European Philosophy so I really wanted to see the subject in a totally different light. I had never even thought about studying Korean Philosophy and am grateful I’ve had the chance through FutureLearn. At university, the chances are that I’ll be learning things out of my comfort zone all the time. This course was a great way to prepare for that and get to grips with different concepts that I’m not familiar with.” 

Alongside using the platform to prepare for higher education, Zac has also completed the University of Leeds and Institute of Coding’s Computer Programming for Everyone course as a way to prepare for the modern workplace and gain the digital skills employers are looking for.

“I know the world of work is becoming very technology-driven and digital skills are becoming increasingly important for every job. I didn’t take this course to become a computer programming expert, I took it to gain a foundation for the technological world. I learnt some really useful skills like how to program and code which I can now demonstrate to an employer and show that I’ve gone out of my own way to become more technologically invested.”

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Enhance your CV

Zac believes online learning can help you stand out while applying for jobs and recently used his experiences with FutureLearn to demonstrate his initiative during an interview. 

“I recently got a job at my school as a learning mentor, and in the application process, they asked me what I’ve been doing during the pandemic and how I will motivate other students to learn. I told them all about FutureLearn and used it as an example of how proactive I’ve been. I believe online learning can really set you apart from other candidates in a job interview as it shows employers you have an active mindset and you’ve taken the time to learn something new.” 

Zac says FutureLearn has been invaluable during the pandemic as it has allowed him to continue learning, despite the disruption he’s faced to his education. As lockdown eases, he plans to continue using the platform to prepare for his future.  

“FutureLearn has provided a continuation of learning for me, and the different courses I’ve completed have helped to keep me busy and engaged. Having my A-Levels disrupted but then being able to carry on learning – even during a global pandemic – is something that really shouldn’t be underestimated.” 

“I think FutureLearn is an amazing tool for anyone who is curious. Even when the pandemic is over, I’m still going to carry on doing as many courses as I can. Whilst doing one of the courses I noticed another learner who had completed over 70 –  I want to do that and one day be able to say, I’ve just done my 148th FutureLearn course!”

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