MIT is for Smart People: Blockchain Program Review
“You got into an MIT blockchain program?” What, like it’s hard?
Okay, so not exactly how the Legally Blonde quote goes, but still. Just like how Harvard Law School seems to be an extremely prestigious, crazy intense, and high caliber education (which it IS!), MIT and anything technology related (i.e. blockchain) gives people the same sort of shocking image. Sooooo… when your girl (me) found out she going to be in the MIT blockchain program, people were like “woaaaah you’re actually smart??!” and “omg that’s like SUCH a good school.”
Yes, THANK YOU I am smarter than I look!! Don’t let the blonde hair and sparkly nail polish fool you.
But no, in actuality, I feel like this whole MIT blockchain program has given people this skewed look of me. For many, it wasn’t until they found out, that they finally saw me as someone of actual intelligence. No matter how many substantial achievements I have, how many companies I’ve started or worked with, or how great my grades have been, it was when I added “MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology” that I was finally labeled “smart”.
Don’t get me wrong, MIT is an amazing school and it really is top of the line for technology. So yes, I know it’s a big deal. Although, to be fair, it’s not like I went there for undergrad. This is a graduate certificate program and honestly, a lot easier to do than getting into school with your GPA and ACT score. So, I don’t feel like I deserve all the credit I’ve gotten just because it says MIT on my resume.
Even so, people don’t care when you went there or how you went there, it’s just that you went there. So does it mean I was stupid before? Why is it that the title of school suddenly changed people’s opinions of me so drastically?
I guess we can look at this like designer clothing. If you see someone walking down the street with a Chanel bag, Gucci belt, Burberry trench, Dior sunglasses, and ALAÏA shoes, we think “dang, she’s got money.” But if that same woman is wearing an Old Navy sweater, Gap jeans, and Converse, we don’t think much of her at all. Either way, her bank account is the same, yet we have to see certain designer labels to verify in our minds that she has $$$.
Now I’m not here to preach the tell-tale story “Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover”, because honestly, judge away. Lowkey, I think one of my secrets to success is being judged so heavily because I always seem to prove them wrong. My point here is to really dive into the concept that I am “smarter” now that I have MIT on my resume. Everyone else seems to think it… so is it true?
Simply put, no. This program is built around blockchain for business and definitely is meant for those working in the professional field. I, however, decided to dual enroll (also sounds a lot scary than it is) while I am still a senior in college. Regardless, the program is meant to be completed while you’re working (or schoolin’) full time, so it’s done completely online. ALSO, to clarify, this isn’t the same thing as getting my MBA or something -- it’s a certificate program, a.k.a super specific and not nearly as long and I won’t have a masters degree at the end. See? Already sounds less scary!
So, no, I didn’t get smarter the day I found out I’d be doing courses with MIT. I am, however, smarter now that I’ve been doing them! Here’s why:
Being taught by world-class professors
Part of what gives schools like MIT the amazing image does have a large part to do with their incredible professors. It’s true! I can personally testify that the professors in the MIT blockchain department are phenomenal. My course was taught by leading MIT faculty and crypto-economics expert, Professor Christian Catalini. Give him a quick google search and you’ll find tons of his insights, research, accolades, and more. Talk about a smart man!
The layout of the program
Clearly this wasn’t MIT’s first rodeo with the online professional graduate program thing, so they had this program layout down to a T. First of all, every student had their own personal success manager (s/o Robin), who was basically there to answer any questions you have, help you with technical difficulties, and keep you on track. I would get emails from her with reminders to complete modules or meet deadlines, quick responses to questions I had, and even phone calls to keep things personal. Plus, the overall layout gave room to work with busy schedules (i.e. work or school). We had a week to complete each module and extensions could be requested.
When I decided to do some sort of graduate blockchain course, almost all of the ones I found were either strictly crypto related or were about the technical coding. I wanted more of a holistic view that focused on blockchain and business -- MIT’s program answered my prayers. The program covered tons of things from bitcoin (crypto)/blockchain basics, to private and public keys, to consensus mechanisms, and more. While it did relate directly to how blockchain impacted business, the course had a lot more on economics than I was expecting. I’ve never been much of an econ gal, so I’ll admit, the crypto-economic portions were pretty difficult for me. Of course, that did help me achieve my overall goal of being smarter ;)
As a fair review, I will admit that it was a bit difficult for me to relate to some of the material as a student. While I didn’t know beforehand, I can certainly say after that this program was really designed for those in the working field. A number of the assignments and discussions relied on applying the concepts from the modules to your personal work -- e.g.. “how could xyz change your business?”. I, obviously, have no real profession because I do not have a full time job. Therefore, I found myself having to make up fake jobs in order to practice applying the materials. I was still able to properly learn and apply, but it was challenging since I didn’t have any day-to-day stuff to capitalize on. That being said, I am pretty sure I was the only college student in the program.
Overall, however, I would definitely say I am smarter now that I’m doing a blockchain graduate program with MIT. The professors, material, structure, and information is really top tier and goes to show that MIT deserves such amazing rankings. However, let’s not forget, while putting MIT on my resume is a great accolade, it didn’t make me smarter overnight. This blonde chick was a smart cookie before -- now I just have some cool MIT apparel.
Oh, and a ton more knowledge :-)
**DISCLAIMER: This review is 100% my own thoughts and opinions.
**P.S. sorry for the bad quality picture. Honestly, kinda works though. Sorta looks like the picture your parents force you to take when you get into college, huh?