When College Students Get CSM Certified

What do gerbils, eagles, laser cats, flying ravens, and four girls one guy have in common?

They were the team names for our awesome group of college students in our first free Certified Scrum Master (CSM)—College Edition class this past weekend. 

A group of Braintrust trainers and facilitators came together to customize the hands-on exercises to be relatable to the college audience.

Their class simulation, from writing vision statements, to user stories, refinement, sprint planning, daily Scrum, reviews and retrospectives, produced some great fliers! 

We had a great group of attendees with children from Braintrust, Scrum Alliance, Agile Forum, Women of Color in Agile Forum, and Weber State. We wanted to hear firsthand what they thought about the virtual class and if they found getting a CSM certification useful for their futures. Below are some interviews.

Maniyah Dale
Kathryn Cooper
Ashlynn Bara
Brianna Dale

 
Holly Dunbar

 

Did you enjoy spending a weekend attending this class?
 
Brianna—I definitely enjoyed this class and learned so much. I think the schedule was great as well. 
 
Kathryn—I enjoyed the class and learned a lot. I was intimidated by how long the classes were and how much material we had to cover, but the time went fast and we were given breaks. The info was covered well and was broken down into very manageable portions.
 
Maniyah—I very much enjoyed the class! I felt that it was very interactive and informative, especially for an online course.
 
Ashlynn—I very much enjoyed spending my weekend taking this CSM class, especially since it was all new material for me. The instructors made it fun, gave plenty of breaks, and the days went by quickly. Taking my free weekend to attend a class and receive a certification made me feel really productive, especially during COVID and the extra time at home.
 
Holly—While initially reluctant to give up our weekend, my husband and I found ourselves enjoying this course. It was well structured, very informative, and surprisingly fun!
 
Hunter—I would say sacrificing a whole weekend is something difficult and that no one really wants to do if given the option. However I feel I didn’t sacrifice a weekend, I feel like I traded it for an opportunity. Going in I was hesitant because I felt it would be like working on the weekends but not getting paid, but that was the wrong idea. This was a fun experience and something great I can now put on my resume, and hopefully utilize during my job now.
 

What did you think about the virtual training aspect? Were you able to learn as much as in-person classes?

Brianna—I personally am not a fan of virtual learning but I must say that everything went pretty smooth. For individuals like me it may be difficult at first, if you have no experience with Murel and/or any computer or network hassles. I think individuals are definitely able to learn as much as they would in person, but it is up to the individual to stay focused while being in their home setting. 

Kathryn—The team did a great job bringing the class virtual. It gave people all across the country, and even the world for this class, the opportunity to come together to learn. The learning tools were utilized well and I learned just as effectively as I would have in person. If there was a technical difficulty, they were ready with a backup plan.

Maniyah—I loved that the class was virtual. I’m an introverted person, so the online structure actually made me feel more comfortable. I learned just as much from the virtual class as I would have from an in-person class.
 

Ashlynn—I thought the virtual training was enjoyable and easily accessible. I felt very comfortable and do think I was able to learn as much as an in person class. The breakout rooms worked really well for team collaboration and to get to know the other class participants. However, I think an in person class would be very beneficial for some of the exercises and truly embracing scrum.

Holly—Normally I favor in-person courses, but the instructors’ use of Zoom and Mural captured my attention and made it possible to expand on ideas and ask questions while in a virtual setting.
 
Hunter—As a recent college graduate, I have mixed feelings about online courses. They often felt impersonal and put extra distance from the student and the source material. This was not the case with this class, because I felt engaged and like I was part of an actual classroom. The breakout rooms really helped me feel like it wasn’t just a lecture, but something I was a part of and actively learning. This was the single best online course I have ever taken.
 
What’s one way you can apply this to your future, personally or professionally?
 
Brianna—I have already incorporated backlog charts into my personal and education lifestyle. I found it very constructive during this weekend training. I plan to carry it on into my jobs as well. 
 
Kathryn—I can use the skills learned to keep my current work team on task and accomplish projects. I will also use the skills to help facilitate between different people to make sure everyone is on the same page and up to date on any project.
 
Maniyah—I have already implemented some of the techniques I’ve learned in my personal life. I have used it to plan one of my final projects, and feel more comfortable about completing it on time. I also plan to use this in my career.
 
Ashlynn—Being a sophomore in college I can apply scrum in planning and completing my school work, studying for exams, and group projects. I also hope that I will be able to use what I learned professionally one day.
 
Holly—I see myself using strategies learned in this class to prioritize tasks and potentially to work on group projects in graduate school. 
 
Hunter—I’m hoping to apply this to my job and leadership skills. I’m looking to take on more responsibility and work my way up through the ranks of my job and this may give me the edge to prove I know how to lead projects compared to others my age/experience level.
 
Do you see yourself applying for ScrumMaster jobs in the future? 
 
Brianna—Eventually I can see myself working as a scrum master. when I looked at job opportunities they were scarce for someone like me who is still obtaining their degree but also has no experience but I definitely find it interesting and would consider it for the future.
 
Kathryn—I am not sure where my career is going to take me. I am glad I took the class so I do not have to pass up any opportunity that may come along. Even if I do not take on a ScrumMaster job, I know I will start using these skills right away to create a better and more efficient working environment. 
 
Maniyah—I do plan on applying for ScrumMaster jobs! I am very interested in doing this professionally, and feel like it is an awesome tool. I plan on doing more training before then, but I hope that I can be a ScrumMaster for an organization in the future!
 
Ashlynn—After taking the class, I see the benefits of Agile and actually see myself as more of a Product Owner in my future. I hope to enter the business tech world after I graduate and definitely see how useful scrum is. I am hoping that having scrum knowledge and a CSM on my resume will separate me from other college students when applying for internships and scholarships over the next year.
 
Holly—While I do not see myself applying for a traditional ScrumMaster job, as a future physical therapist I can use Scrum to help my team problem solve and implement new ideas, especially if I eventually enter into a leadership role such as a clinic director.
 
Hunter—I plan on trying to utilize Scrum in the future but right now I am focused on learning more before I apply for any jobs involving it. I want to be comfortable and confident in my abilities before I start attempting to lead others, but I definitely will be looking for opportunities to use this certification.