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Home » Blog » Brand Ambassadors » Illinois Community Ambassador Showcase: Mark Benson

Illinois Community Ambassador Showcase: Mark Benson

Hometown: Waltham, MA.

Occupation: Subject Matter Expert/Course Consultant for an innovative learning company located in Waltham.

Education: Dual Bachelor of Arts; Master of Liberal Arts; Master of Business Administration.

What is your favorite part of being an Ambassador?

Course Ambassadors share their passion for learning and promote the benefits of taking online courses with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign via Coursera. As a UIUC Community Ambassador, I also appreciate letting potential learners know how the UIUC intellectual environment fosters a spirit of collaboration.

Why did you decide to take the Digital Marketing Specialization?

This was the first set of courses I took with UIUC. When I reviewed the description of the UIUC’s Digital Marketing Specialization, the capstone course caught my eye. I wanted to design a digital marketing plan utilizing digital marketing tools to create a winning strategy for improving sales.

What advice do you have for new Digital Marketing learners?

UIUC tries to ensure that all students who enroll in any course have the resources to master the material. New learners will find that the Instructors and Course Mentors are eager to assist them if they encounter difficulties and encourage posting on the Discussion Boards. I am grateful that I am now a Capstone Course Mentor and can assist other learners design successful digital marketing plans of their own.

How do you manage your time to graduate/currently manage your time?

UIUC’s online courses available via Coursera are an important part of my life. I find that my spare time is well spent taking courses and building my subject matter knowledge and professional skills. I truly appreciate finalizing the Digital Marketing Specialization and am now approaching the Capstone Course in the Financial Management Specialization. I find that my spare time is well spent taking courses and building my subject matter knowledge and professional skills.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I am an emergency heart surgery survivor. On December 30, 2008, I suffered an aneurysm and aortic dissection and was saved in a heroic emergency surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Were it not for the skill of the surgeons, nurses, and technicians in the operating room, I would not have the chance to be associated with UIUC. As shown in the photograph, I feel grateful that I can today point to a digital image of an aorta on a viewer located at MGH’s Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation and celebrate that I was saved by skilled and dedicated MGH medical professionals.

What’s on your bucket list this year?

I’d like to try to complete the capstone course for the UIUC Financial Management Specialization.