First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Resit Gulec: Thanks for asking. Me and my family are safe and healthy but some of my far-relatives and people I know are caught to COVID-19 and unfortunately a few of them died. Humanity is going through hard times. To be honest, it was like a hard-to-believe news from China in the beginning.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined masterofproject
Resit Gulec: I have BS degree in Electronics Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. I graduated from the university in 2007 and I worked in Nokia (formerly Alcatel-Lucent) for four years. Two years in Belgium and two years in the UK. Then, I worked in Ericsson and in a Software company. I have founded masterofproject.com in 2012 as a blog. I was sharing my project management experiences. Then, I started to give PM lectures in a university as a visiting professor. I uploaded some of my rehearsals in an online training portal and they became very popular. There were 32,000+ students in my courses in 6 months after I uploaded. I decided to turn my blog masterofproject.com to an online training and learning platform as well as blog. That is the brief history 🙂
How does masterofproject innovate?
Resit Gulec: Customer feedback is the #1 sensor for us to improve our courses and services. We evaluate every and single feedback we receive from our students. We build a pipeline and prioritize what needs to be improved in our future releases. We also follow the edtech improvements, new technologies, and our rivals to offer the best learning experience for our students.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Resit Gulec: The pandemic affected many lives in a bad way. I am very sorry for this. But, it had an adverse effect in our business. Students who are willing to attend a professional education opt for online methods. Previously, some students were preferring in-person classes but after the outbreak, all students had to go through online methods if they wish to get a certification. This affected our business in a positive way. From our employees and organization point of you, we are a remote working company so everyone keeps on working from their home and thank God that none of our team members caught to Covid-19.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Resit Gulec: Yes, I had to make difficult choices all my life and in this business as well. The best lesson I learned is, when making a decision, short-term wins must not be considered. You must be aware of the long-term consequences whatever you are doing.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and masterofproject in the future ?
Resit Gulec: I was a workaholic a few years ago. I was working all time and there were a few hours each week for myself. However, this is very exhausting. Now, I try to reserve at least one hour for me in a day to rest, not look on my emails or phone. This helped me to deal with stress and anxiety.
Master of Project Academy has been very successful since its foundation to guide professionals through their project management career. We have helped more than 150,000 students in seven years to get ready for their certification exams and counting. We aim to exceed 200,000 students by end of 2020 and we are very close (182,705 as of today).
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Resit Gulec: We have several competitors. I do not find right to list a couple of companies here. There are individual instructors and companies who are offering similar programs. Each competitor has a different strategy. So far, we had excellent growth pace with our strategies. We are offering premium courses with affordable prices and that is our core strategy. Besides, we do not just offer a course. We have several study aids, practice questions, exam simulators, prep books, flash cards and many other resources. So, we offer a 360 degree study plan for our students.
Your final thoughts