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Small Wins Add Up To Big Milestones: The Completion of My First Coursera Specialization

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you’ve achieved something huge. However, I think we also shouldn’t forget to celebrate the small wins. Always putting in mind that small wins add up to big ones, I tend to celebrate my small wins even harder.


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Salim Oyinlola

a year ago | 3 min read

"Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.” — Kobe Bryant

As a society, we love to celebrate big wins. The milestones, achievements, promotions. We never fail to recognize when we’ve accomplished something big. It might not happen very often, which is why it’s such a big deal to us when it does. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you’ve achieved something huge. However, I think we also shouldn’t forget to celebrate the small wins. Always putting in mind that small wins add up to big ones, I tend to celebrate my small wins even harder. Some things seem insurmountable when we look at it as a whole. But when we break it down, it’s not so bad. And when you do finally complete one checkpoint, don’t let it go unnoticed.

Still on not letting it go unnoticed, earlier today, I received a congratulatory mail from the Coursera team lauding me on the completion of the last piece in the “Communication Skills for Engineers” three-course specialization. Being my first completed specialization, it meant the world to me. In time past, I had attempted to complete a couple of specializations on the Coursera platform. All to no avail. However, earlier this year, I realized how often times, even the best engineers struggle to get their ideas across to their employees, employers, clients etc. Many a time have I seen engineers lose their audience by talking over their heads with the use of jargons (i.e. special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand). I do not want to be one of those engineers. I want to be an excellent communicator of my awesome ideas.

Oral Communication for Engineering Leaders: Featuring 14 Quizzes, this course covers core topics in oral communication: Communication strategy, content, data visualization, and delivery.

So on the 18th of April, 2021, I sat down and wrote my application for a financial aid to the Coursera team for the first of the three courses. I kept my head down and promised myself this was not going to be one of those specializations I never completed. And now, about 100 days later, it is with my chin raised high that I share with you all that I have successfully completed the three-course “Communication Skills for Engineers” specialization with honours taught by Dr. Beata Krupa and Dr. Gayle Moran, both lecturers in professional and engineering communication at Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL)

Interpersonal Communication for Engineering Leaders: Featuring 11 Quizzes, this course covers communication skills that engineering leaders use every day to motivate, inspire, and support the people in their organizations.

In this three-course Specialization, I was able to practice designing and giving strong, persuasive presentations; I learnt how to communicate across cultures, genders, and generations, how to create my personal brand and leadership presence, how to hold effective meetings with global teams; and learnt how to handle difficult conversations. Whilst acquiring a knowledge of how to handle crisis communication; I also learnt writing skills immediately applicable in my daily activities. The courses, taught by the faculty from the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership — a subsidiary of Rice University, featured Oral Communication for Engineering Leaders, Interpersonal Communication for Engineering Leaders and Writing Skills for Engineering Leaders were indeed splendid. The institution is home to one of a very few academically approved Certificates in Engineering Leadership.

Writing Skills for Engineering Leaders: Featuring 8 Quizzes, this course covers writing skills that Engineers can apply in their daily activities on the job as an engineering leader.

To Rice University, Dr. Beeta Krupa, Gayle Moran and especially Coursera, Thank You. I do not know what happens ahead but I am proud of my journey. In any case, I am not stopping. Those who wish to support me, drop a couple of claps, comments and share if possible. Thank You and God bless you all.



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Salim Oyinlola

AI Engineer • Technical Writer

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence enthusiast


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