Student profile: Jérémie Tousignant

Name: Jérémie Tousignant
Location: Montreal
Age: 22 years
Job title: Full-time student

Jérémie Tousignant loves learning so much, his biggest challenge is figuring out what to focus on. In school, he started with science and then switched to math and economics, which he loved but didn’t want to make it his career. Next, inspired by his experience coaching badminton, he moved into studying kinesiology. In order to make this transition, he had to fulfill some requirements and took a bunch of psychology classes. He loved those too but not enough to consider it for his full-time livelihood.

Now, Jérémie has one more year to complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Québec at Montréal and has plans for bringing together the subjects he loves, with some help from Udemy. As part of his study of kinesiology in school, he been working in a lab where they collect a lot of data but only use Excel to capture it. This sparked a curiosity about bioinformatics. This is a field Jérémie can imagine dedicating himself to over the long haul — gathering, storing, analyzing, and integrating data about the human body and using it to develop personalized medical treatments.

Meanwhile, Jérémie had always wanted to learn coding, and now he was extra-motivated to do so. By understanding programming, he felt he’d also deepen his understanding of data analysis and informatics. Besides, Jérémie simply loves to learn and does it as a hobby. During the summer of 2015, he decided he’d start learning Python and went looking for resources that would match his needs and interests.

Jérémie’s first online learning experience was with a MOOC and it wasn’t entirely positive. Most courses assumed the student already had a strong foundation in Python, and he had trouble finding material geared to someone at his level. Moreover, he didn’t have enough hours in his day to stay on the MOOC’s pre-set schedule. “It’s hard for someone like me who’s already in a full-time study program,” Jérémie says about his experience with a MOOC.

Things were different once he tried Udemy, which “gave me practical knowledge I can apply in the lab where I’m working now.” He loves the instructors, in particular, because they’re “not academics but just people who love teaching on the Internet.” When he was trying to follow a MOOC, he got the impression the professors were simply recording their regular classes to put them online, not creating content designed expressly for that purpose. This makes a real difference in how he responds to Udemy instructors and their course material.

One instructor Jérémie really connected with was Jose Portilla, whose “Complete Python Bootcamp” covered all the basics Jérémie wanted. “He knows his stuff and takes the time to explain things step by step,” Jérémie says. In addition, Jérémie likes that he can easily go back and rewatch portions of video lectures. Jérémie’s excited that Portilla now offers a course with interviewing advice for people who want to go into data science. Jérémie also gives an enthusiastic thumbs-up to “Data Visualization with Python and Matplotlib” and the other courses that comprise Stone River eLearning’s “Online Tech Bootcamp.”

Jérémie says Udemy is helping him reach his goals and urges others to follow his example. “You constantly have to learn by yourself and look at everything that comes out as a possibility,” he says. He sees friends who aren’t happy in their field of work and thinks they’d benefit from sampling the diverse course offerings on Udemy, many of which they may not have considered before. Given his hunger for knowledge, this breadth of course topics is another thing Jérémie values about learning on Udemy.

Jérémie realizes not everyone shares his natural inclination toward self-driven learning but believes they’d be inspired if they took the first step because Udemy’s format makes it easy to show progress. “There are lots of things I’d like to learn but never would’ve picked up a book and started reading about it,” Jérémie explains. Video lectures make it easier to take that first step and also make him feel that “someone’s teaching by your side, you’re not alone, and you can ask questions. That’s a big advantage.”

Now, Jérémie is eyeing graduate studies in bioinformatics, and Udemy is offering him “endless possibility” for learning new things along the way.