Multitalented Freelancer Credits Love of Learning—and Udemy—for Growing Her Career

Our personal lives and careers can take us all over the world, an experience both exciting and challenging. From navigating a new culture to learning a new language, working in a foreign land requires skills that extend beyond mere job requirements. This was no problem for Cristina Estévez Rodríguez.

Cristina, a freelance marketer, made the big move from Spain to the U.S. when her husband secured a research grant with the University of Maryland. She started learning English before they left home so she could find projects once they got settled.

Though Cristina had prior experience as a content manager for a tourism company, she wanted to broaden her skills. This was partly so she could take on more freelance projects in the States but also because that’s just how she rolls. As a self-professed lifelong learner, “I’m always the one to volunteer to spend time researching and figuring out how to do a new project. It makes work so much more exciting.”

When a friend recommended Udemy, she had a specific goal in mind: to gain more in-depth knowledge about web development. “I wanted to learn to code, to get my hands dirty with HTML and CSS, so I could handle more of the design work myself and communicate better with development teams,” she explains.

Finding the right teacher
The first site she coded on her own was a website to promote her freelance business, and she gives much credit to the expertise and delivery style of popular Udemy instructor Jonas Schmedtmann. She’s enrolled in all of his courses, including “Advanced CSS and Sass: Take Your CSS to the Next Level.”

“He’s a great instructor, and I love his courses. He takes the time to code along with you and explains the basics really well,” Cristina says. She also appreciated his responsiveness when she had a problem setting something up, and he got back to her with an answer promptly.

More recently, the agency she’s been freelancing for needed a new website quickly for a brand launch, but the development team was stretched too thin to deliver in time. Cristina got the new home page up and running and says, “I wouldn’t have done it without Udemy.” Learning on Udemy has helped her become the lead web designer and online project manager at the agency.

Embracing the learning mindset
Cristina’s colleagues know about Udemy now and are taking courses too. She firmly believes everyone working in or around the fast-moving online marketing space needs to be passionate about learning and make time for it in their busy schedules. And she has advice for those who aren’t as enthusiastic as she is.

“If you think you don’t like learning, you’re probably just not looking at the right topic. Needing skills for a new job or promotion may not be enough motivation, but if you’re really excited about a certain topic, it will be easier for you,” Cristina says. She thinks online courses like Udemy’s are the perfect way to gain practical skills, not just a broad, high-level understanding typically offered in a college degree program. “In five minutes on Udemy, you can learn a lot of basics. Then, it’s up to you how much you want to practice and delve in deeper.”

Cristina’s next challenge: JavaScript. She’s a little intimidated, but that only makes her hungrier to master the programming language for herself. After more than three years in the U.S., Cristina and her husband will be moving back to Spain in a few months, and “I would love to start a remote freelance business focused on website development, branding, and digital marketing.” As a multitalented freelancer with a love of learning, she’s certainly on the right path to achieve whatever she aspires to.