Working in Boston Tech: edX
EdX, an education technology focused company in Boston, is looking to reinvent the idea behind online education.
Founded by Harvard University and MIT in May 2012, edX’s mission is to democratize and re-imagine education by increasing access to high-quality education and creating a culture of continuous, lifelong learning institutions to learners around the world.
The company is driven to provide the best-of-the-best online education services for those who need it. EdX has their own unique culture which shows the company's entertaining and human side.
We recently had the chance to speak with Jaclyn Jussif, the lead recruiter at edX, about the internal workings of edX’s offices.
edX is hiring! Check out the company's BIZZpage a list of openings.
Quick Hit Details
- Year Founded - 2012
- Number of employees - 160
- Industry / Tech: Online educations services. EdX’s mission is to reimagine education and increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere.
Can you share the details on what edX does?
Together with over 110 partners, including the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations, edX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs to learners across the world. Anyone, anywhere with a desire to learn, and an internet connection, can take high-quality courses on edX for free.
EdX courses are created by our prestigious partners, like Harvard, Oxford, UC Berkeley, Microsoft and more, and cover a wide array of topics, from introductory courses to career-focused learning. Our most popular course subject areas are computer science, engineering, humanities, business management and statistics and data analysis. In addition, we offer courses in subjects across all disciplines, from economics, finance, marketing and entrepreneurship to languages, history, philosophy and writing.
Through our work with prestigious universities, and top corporations, edX develops programs in the most in-demand fields to empower learners and professionals to gain deep, career-relevant knowledge that allows them to improve their lives and advance their careers.
For example, the MicroMasters initiative offers a credential with a pathway to credit for on-campus or online programs and helps learners launch or advance their careers, and MOOC programs, like XSeries, offer a deep dive into exciting, career-oriented subjects.
Who are the end users of your products?
Our end users are learners around the globe. Our edX learning community is over ten million strong. Our learners come from all over the world, from all walks of life and from a wide range of ages, from 7 to 96. We currently have learners from every country on every continent.
Regardless of where they are from, all learners come to edX to learn something new and improve their lives - whether they are looking to advance in their careers or simply foster their love of lifelong learning.
What are your plans for growth in terms of hiring in 2017 and what positions?
EdX is growing in a number of business areas. We plan to add about 30 people before our fiscal year ends in July. Currently, we have positions open in engineering, education services, marketing and business development.
How would you best describe the culture and working environment at edX?
EdX is a collaborative team of education and software professionals with a shared focus on increasing access to education and creating high-quality courses for people all over the world. Teams are empowered to innovate and experiment, while using data driven decision making to reach our lofty goals. We love our work and we have fun while we push forward on providing access to education worldwide.
Since edX is a non-profit, can you talk about the social mission and impact which comes along with working at edX?
EdX is the only leading MOOC provider that is both nonprofit and open source. Open edX is the open-source platform that powers edX courses and is freely available. With Open edX, educators and technologists can build learning tools and contribute new features to the platform, creating innovative solutions to benefit students everywhere.
At edX, you will find employees who are passionate, driven, and motivated to change the future of education. We take our mission of increasing global access to high-quality education seriously and we draw daily inspiration from seeing the impact that edX offerings have on the lives of learners around the world.
What types of activities are employees involved in at or outside the office?
We do daily push up sessions in the office to get our energy levels rising, but when we need to find a moment of zen, we turn to our meditation group. Group trips to karaoke or pool night are another fun way that we relax. We’ve also been known to rent out entire movie theaters for Star Wars movies or to throw a party at Fenway. On a typical day, we often sit together in the cafe and enjoy our daily free lunches while checking out the views of Cambridge.
Share some fun facts about your employees.
1. One of our engineers was a guest on Jeopardy! and is now a highly sought after pick for trivia teams.
2. Our CEO’s Executive Assistant sang vocals on a song featured in Rock Band.
3. Two of our employees are aerial performers, while another employee's family has been in the carnival business ever since moving to the US.
4. Our CEO and founder, who is an MIT Professor, used to be a chicken farmer, and one of our engineers has his own hobby farm.
5. Last, one of the engineers on our Tools team can be dropped in the New England woods and survive without poisoning himself. We may ask him to train the rest of us on this!
Rapid Fire Questions
What’s in your fridge?
We have a fully stocked fridge on both floors. You can always find a variety of soda, seltzer water, and juice. We also have fresh fruit and an endless supply of healthy (and not so healthy) snacks! The real perk is our coffee machine at the puzzle bar. It has over 50 different drink options. Rumor has it that option #28 is the best! Coffee and Cheez-It’s are a regular and acceptable pairing here at edX.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Both! All of our conference rooms are named after fictional universities. You can book a meeting in Jedi Temple, Starfleet Academy, or even Hogwarts.
Favorite employee perk?
Free lunches from great local restaurants, commuting discounts, and tuition reimbursement, as well as free courses on edX that are open to employees and, for that matter, all learners everywhere!
What famous movie character best describes your culture?
Take Matt Damon's character on The Martian, make 150 of him, and give him free lunches.
What music is playing in your office?
"Hello" by Lionel Richie and "Holiday" by Madonna are regular songs for the recruiting team.
View from your office
“What I enjoy most about edX is the people. They are so friendly and often reach out to learn more about what each other's interests and hobbies are outside of work (IE world travel, hiking and skiing/snowboarding).”
Sherisse Viray, Sr. Accountant
"I am thrilled to be working at a company where my bias to action is appreciated and encouraged. I feel truly empowered to make important decisions, and know we'll reflect and adjust our ideas continually, so we can provide great resources and a high level of support for our learners and partners."
Julia Henderson, Manager of Learner Support & Operations
“I love working at edX. The work environment is diverse, open, and collaborative. I’m inspired by edX’s mission, as well as by the fact that it’s open source and a nonprofit.”
Carol Tong, Principal Tech Writer
Images courtesy of edX.