Learn & Work

Product Manager in educational projects. Alex Nitsa

During your professional journey, which job or project has brought you the most satisfaction? Why?

My main professional activity is product management/project management in educational projects. Currently, I am developing two projects, and I am launching the second one from scratch, targeting an international audience outside of Russia.

Teaching - I stopped teaching at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in the middle of last year. However, I enjoy it and plan to continue. Whether it's online or offline doesn't matter. Offline, of course, is more enjoyable because there is a greater response from the audience, and you can feel the energy - it's invigorating! It's challenging to conduct classes on Zoom when cameras are often not turned on, and it feels like giving a monologue to myself

Web design - here, it mainly involves websites, presentations, and UX/UI audits. In 2020, I started a small studio where, together with HSE students, we worked on small and simple projects for clients for money. Currently, this aspect is on pause for me, but I occasionally do something if it's needed for other projects. For me, development in web design means the skill of packaging ideas and meanings, and it requires constant practice.

Planning and launching projects/businesses/startups. I am well-versed in all stages from customer development to marketing and initial sales, but I enjoy the initial stages more, such as studying user problems, creating MVPs, and testing hypotheses. Market research and evaluation are also part of this. Currently, I primarily apply this knowledge to the aforementioned projects.
Apart from your primary profession, do you have any hobbies or engage in other fields that complement your primary work? If yes, briefly describe them and explain how they enhance your overall work.

Basketball and the NBA - I haven't played myself in a long time, but I can still shoot some hoops. However, I constantly watch NBA highlights and games, especially this seaso

Cycling - I haven't bought my own bike yet due to frequent moves, but I often ride rental bikes. For me, it's more about burning calories, getting some exercise, and simply getting around.

Running and fitness - I recently started running again, although it's been challenging. Fitness has always been a part of my life, but in recent years, I haven't been as consistent. However, I understand the importance of staying active because once you stop, it's difficult to get back on track.

Drum'n'bass, lo-fi, indie music - Over the years, I've realized that I mostly enjoy these genres. I intentionally don't listen to Russian music and haven't for a long time.

AI and neural networks - Midjourney and ChatGPT. Although I increasingly use them for work purposes, it stems from my curiosity and desire to explore their capabilities.

Photography - Surprisingly, I enjoy taking photos with my phone and hope to someday exhibit my peculiar works.

As someone who has experience in your profession, what suggestion would you give people who are considering whether to study or work in this field?

If we consider my primary professional sphere as educational projects, then the advice and recommendations I would give to those considering working in this field are as follows:

  1. Be curious and constantly seek to learn and stay updated in the rapidly evolving field of education.
  2. Stay informed about emerging technologies and advancements, such as ChatGPT, that are relevant to the educational landscape.
  3. Develop a solid understanding of pedagogical design and the overall structure of educational products.
  4. Even if working as a manager, immerse yourself in the topic of education to gain a deeper understanding of how it operates internally.
  5. Analyze existing educational projects to learn from their successes and failures.
  6. Take a systemic approach to all aspects of the field, considering the comprehensive nature of educational projects and their impact on various segments of the target audience.
  7. Emphasize the importance of continuous learning and acquiring new knowledge, as the education industry undergoes rapid changes.
  8. Adaptability and the ability to learn will always be crucial in this industry, regardless of the specific sector one works in.

Could you recommend one or a few independent educational resources available online in English that you find valuable for people looking to learn more about your profession?

Coursera: It offers numerous open programs on learning and the educational landscape. You can learn about how to learn effectively and gain insights into the field of education and its development.

ChatGPT: It's a valuable resource where you can ask various questions and seek guidance related to your profession.

Additionally, platforms like PT provide opportunities to create mini or even micro-courses on different topics. You can input a specific theme, which will be divided into sub-topics. At the end, you can even take a small test to assess your knowledge. It's a fantastic tool.

These resources, including neural networks and AI technologies, have replaced many previous services. They offer a wide range of educational courses and services, and they continue to evolve and improve the learning experience.

Alex Nitsa, 41, US

The article deals with such areas of interest as:

  1. Product Manager/Project Manager (main professional activity in educational projects)
  2. Teacher (previously taught at the Higher School of Economics)
  3. Web Designer (worked on websites, presentations, and UX/UI audits)
  4. Entrepreneur/Startup Founder (planning and launching projects/businesses/startups)
  5. Basketball and NBA Enthusiast (hobby)
  6. Cyclist (hobby)
  7. Runner and Fitness Enthusiast (hobby)
  8. Music Enthusiast (specifically Drum'n'bass, lo-fi, indie genres)
  9. AI and Neural Networks Explorer (interest in AI and neural networks)
  10. Photographer (enjoys taking photos with a phone)
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