In this issue’s MEITE Minutes Alumni Spotlight, we are highlighting Jorge Pradilla (’17 MEITE)! Please enjoy the dialogue below — a conversation between MEITE Program Advisor Aliyah Benton and Pradilla.
Aliyah: Tell me a little bit about your professional and educational background.
Jorge: I am originally from Columbia and moved to the United States to pursue an education in 2011 at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. There, I played tennis and earned a Business Administration and Management degree in 2015. Post-graduation, I relocated to Bradenton, Florida, and worked for the amazing company, IMG Academy, as a tennis instructor. From there, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree and started doing my research. I was fortunate enough to find the MEITE program and was a part of the very first cohort!
Aliyah: What did you like most about the MEITE Program?
Jorge: I enjoyed many things about the MEITE Program! However, the part I enjoyed most was being able to work and learn from faculty with many departments at UNC-Chapel Hill. I had experiences taking classes in the Department of Computer Science, the School of Education, and the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Not only learning from people in those departments, but also from their students. I had many opportunities to work with undergraduates, other graduate students, and Ph.D. candidates!
Aliyah: How has completing the MEITE Program aided in your success?
Jorge: The MEITE program was able to aid in my success in many ways. Firstly, its focus on design thinking prepared me to have that mindset in my current position. Also, the MEITE program introduced me to my current job at Learn Platform! They had the CEO of my company come speak to our class, I connected with him, and ended up applying for a job with Learn Platform.
Aliyah: Where are you employed, and can you tell me about the work you do?
Jorge: I currently work for Learn Platform. Our mission is to expand equitable access for all students to teaching and education technology that is top-notch. We work with different clients such as school districts, state education agencies, and edtech providers to understand the technology they are using and how our platform can become a central place to store their information. My role in the company is a district analyst. In it, I work within the customer support and onboarding department of the company and have a set number of clients who I worked with to ensure they are successful, understand our platform’s tools, and improve their customer experience.
Aliyah: What advice would you give to current MEITE students?
Jorge: Find a topic that you like and stick to it. It is a quick program, so you should come prepared with a skill in mind and work on it. When I started the MEITE program, I was unsure of exactly what I wanted to do and spent as much time as possible learning what I was passionate about while I was in the program.
Aliyah: What are some productivity tools you have used during quarantine?
Jorge: My absolute favorite tool recently has been Trello! It has been very helpful with balancing all my projects, tasks, and responsibilities. Other than that, a good pencil and paper and making a list works well for me!
Aliyah: What has been on your watch list, books, or articles that you have read in this time?
Jorge: I have a book about the life of Fredrick Douglass that I have been reading from time to time. I am also reading Scott Kelly’s autobiography.
Aliyah: Favorite dish to cook? Favorite past time?
Jorge: I do not think I have had a favorite dish so far. I do have a new grill that I have been using a lot to cook meals! The food has been coming out very good on it. As for a past time, I have been continuing to play tennis. It is the perfect sport to do now that allows us to get outside but also stay far away from your opponent.