UCSC’s popular GetVirtual internship program expands its impact and outreach with newly launched Coursera course

Two years ago Taj 95 online entrepreneurship course: Get Virtual Business Assistance Launched at UC Santa Cruz, with funding from Crown College to pair students with local businesses trying to shift from foot traffic to online orders and sales.

In this successful and popular course, students serve as mentors and advisors to participating businesses, helping to redesign their websites for e-commerce, listing product catalogs in virtual marketplaces, and providing other valuable technical assistance.

This arrangement benefits local businesses while connecting the university to its surrounding community in a meaningful way. Now, with the support of UCSC Online EducationGetVirtual has expanded its scope and influence by adding a The brand new version of Coursera launched on Monday November 28th and is now liveopeTake this non-credit class for students from other UC campuses.

Coursera courses are open to anyone worldwide with an internet connection, regardless of academic affiliation. It’s free for students outside the UC system, unless they want a certificate.

“All along, GetVirtual’s goal has been to share our process and resources with the world as a way of empowerment,” said GetVirtual co-founder Nada Milkovich, a tenured lecturer at UCSC who teaches most of Crown 95 and Crown 95 offerings. Is. Since then, he has become the project manager of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (CIED).

“Now, with the launch of Coursera, our dream is coming true,” said Milkovich, who is also a broadcaster, entrepreneur and multimedia artist.

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“Students can be anyone, from those about to graduate to young professionals who want to go out on their own to retirees who want to have a purpose in life,” he said.

Miljković stressed that the Coursera edition will be held in addition to the GetVirtual course, which will continue on campus as usual.

Miljković founded GetVirtual two years ago together with entrepreneur Toby Corey. They launched the course with the help of nine highly motivated UCSC students who became GetVirtual’s first student board of directors. Taj 95 will be offered every quarter from spring 2020, including summer.

“The GetVirtual program is working so well that we are at capacity with students taking the class,” Milkovich said. “Coursera gives us the ability to practice outside of the classroom without additional resources.”

The GetVirtual organization has also been very successful, completing over 150 client projects with 70% of those businesses residing in the city of Santa Cruz, all at no cost to clients.

Santa Cruz Works, a non-profit organization that aims to connect industry professionals and increase the number of local startups, honored Miljković as one of the Titans of Tech in 2022 for helping to grow the local tech and entrepreneurship community.

A powerful program

The four-week Coursera/GetVirtual course has a unique structure and format. Students lead the discussions. This course also includes assignments, tests, self-assessments, templates and many videos.

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“The first part of the course is about self-discovery of skills and values, learning about entrepreneurial mindsets and leadership styles,” Milkovic said. The second part takes what you’ve learned about yourself to create an ‘About Me’ page.

The third part is learning the GetVirtual process. Students learn how to do project management while learning the basics of starting a company. “They learn the mechanics of it and figure out what business structure they need,” Milkovich said.

Milkovich said the structure and format of the course make it “very empowering” for students. The main difference between the old GetVirtual course and the new version of Coursera is student autonomy. There is no specific coach.

In GetVirtual’s master class, students are paired with local businesses to redesign their websites for e-commerce, product delivery services, pickup and other features that can help them stay afloat.

In Coursera’s version, instead of partnering with businesses, students discover their customers by going through the process. They build a website for themselves. This version of the course is more like an idea lab and intensive training seminar to prepare students for their entrepreneurial consulting roles, while walking them through the steps of building a business step by step.

This flexible format allows students to pursue their interests, challenge each other, and develop business acumen by learning from their peers. There is an element of role play when students develop their business plans.

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Many of the website building tutorials come directly from Wix, the no-code website building platform and partner of GetVirtual since its inception.

“This GetVirtual/Coursera course is a great example of how our educational programs can reach a wider audience,” said Manel Kamps, UCSC professor of microbiology and environmental toxicology, provost of Crown College, and faculty director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development. (CIED)

Campes noted that the Coursera format can also provide the training and structure necessary for educators interested in starting an organization similar to GetVirtual or a chapter of GetVirtual.

GetVirtual has now expanded to four other campuses and has partnered with the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Small Business Development Center.

Miljković said that the GetVirtual team is now working on the Spanish version of the course.

“Ultimately, I want it to be translated into Serbo-Croatian, the language of the country I’m from, and also into Portuguese, Punjabi,” he said. the world.”

Cid Pearlman, who oversees Open Access Online Education offerings, praised Miljković’s work on Coursera’s GetVirtual project.

“Nada has developed a number of successful online courses with UCSC Online Education, bringing a wealth of experience as an educator and entrepreneur to everything she does,” Perlman said. “This open access version of GetVirtual gives learners around the world the privilege to access this information and start their own virtual businesses. We look forward to following the achievements of Coursera students.

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