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Transforming Lives Through Learning: Angela Romero, Principal Manager @ Coursera

Last updated on August 8, 2019

In this episode, I spoke with Angela Romero, Principal Manager at Coursera.  We spoke about her experience working in a PR agency, cold calling and her role in sales at Google, Duolingo as a startup with an e-learning environment giving people practical and fun learning opportunities through technology and access to better jobs, all about Coursera, and the importance of Employee Resource Groups in working environments.

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Connect with Angela via linkedin:

Angela Romero

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Time Stamps:

  • 01:43 – Welcoming Angela Romero
  • 02:00 – About Angela and Coursera
  • 02:53 – Angela’s favourite course or specialization 
  • 03:52 – Angela’s favourite learning technique
  • 05:25 – How Angela gets to Coursera
  • 07:55 – What is it like to work in a PR agency
  • 08:41 – When Angela realized she wanted to switch into sales
  • 10:38 – Role at Google in sales
  • 11:01 – Good at cold calling
  • 13:35 –  How Angela would write a perfect pitch email
  • 17:17 – What is the perfect phone call
  • 20:10 – Switching from Google to Duolingo, a startup e-learning environment
  • 23:04 – What Angela was most proud of at Duolingo
  • 26:34 – Why Coursera?
  • 32:10 – Principal Manager at Coursera. What does a Principal Manager do?
  • 34:14 – Coursera’s challenges for the next two quarters
  • 35:29 – Wanting to get into the e-learning industry… What kind of opportunities can I get at Coursera? Where will I be needed the most?
  • 36:52 – What is an ERG(Employee Resource Group)?
  • 42:06 – Angela’s last words

Key Takeaways:
  • Cold calling > “Your pitch is not really done on the call, your pitch needs to be done before. The more resources you do about the person, and why whatever you are selling to that person makes sense for them and for their business, the easier your cold call is going to be.” Learned in PR.
  • It is recommended to do a lot of research about a person before tailoring the message to the business, function of the person and seniority.
  • Phone Calls and emails are done depending the culture. In Latin America phone calls are more popular. Phone calls should be genuine. Emails should be short and genuine too; when you care about doing the right thing for the client, they can tell.
  • Having another language gives people access to better jobs. Duolingo is an app that has personalized education through technology. It is practical and fun for learning another language. Expanded to Latin America with english for latinos!
  • In a startup: It is rewarding for anyone who builds useful things that have a high impact and help others. “In startups you can put together your own strategy, bring your own ideas and learn much more”.
  • For Latinos > The Latino group in the Bay Area is very tight, supportive, and latinos have authentic relationships “We are latinos first, identity is paramount!” 
  • ERG (Employee Resource Group) All about diversity and inclusion! A group created by employees for employees, a space to help people feel they belong, comfortable and proud about their identity; a group that provides support, enhances career development, and contributes to personal development in work environment.
  • At coursera > They want to create a group (HOLA ERG) that will foster family, friends, events and meetings with other ERGs, and will focus on ways to increase the pipeline of latino candidates
  • At Google > HOLA ERG  helped her bring her identity back. Back in FleishmanHillard’s PR environment, there were no latinas in role models and Angela struggled hard to try and fit in. “Non acceptance is not healthy; Tech in the Bay Area is a white dominated industry, so people feel they don’t belong” 

LatinosWhoTech is thought for people to listen and learn about others who have made their way up to Silicon Valley, and are trailblazing a way for them to get there.

For Engineers:

  • Figure out how to we work best with universities and how to create a platform for them to be able to put the credentials on the platform in a more streamlined way.

Who is Hugo Castellanos? Find out about him on linkedin

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