Mentor Community Spotlight: Sunil Kappal

Being a mentor has also helped evolve the trainer in me and has helped me at my workplace as well to become more responsible

Our spotlight this week is on Sunil Kappal. Sunil is a Mentor for Text Retrieval and Search Engines from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Share something about yourself 

My name is Sunil, I am from New Delhi, India. I am married and have two kids, Ananya (Daughter – 14 years old), and Agam (Son – 10 years old). I love to meditate and read books on spirituality, data analytics, business strategy and motivation. I work for one of the leading IT firms in India. I am a seasoned professional with 19 years of work experience in the field of quality management, training, project management, data analytics, and predictive modeling. I have earned 19+ certificates majorly from Coursera and Alison in the field of project management and data analytics and visualization. I love blogging and I am an active blogger on various platforms like LinkedIn, Niume, and WordPress. Recently, one of my articles was featured on the Technology sphere on Niume. I have been one of the 5 Laureates of a massive open online course provider accredited by UNESCO which won the WISE award in Qatar in 2013. I have also worked as a Beta Tester for IBM Watson Analytics Application.

What was your first Coursera course, how did you find out about it and why did you decide to take it?

My first course on Coursera was Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2013. I happened to stumble upon this course while searching for some quick courses around innovation in the healthcare domain on Google. The timing of this course was just perfect, when I opted for this course, I was planning to apply for the industry specialist position in my company. By the time I was done with this course, I was able to demonstrate by capability to define the need of innovation in the healthcare industry with a focus on describing the key elements of healthcare innovation. This course also helped to strengthen my communication and leadership skills to effectively showcase the need of innovation in the healthcare domain (analytics) to my company.

This course turned out to be a life changing experience for me, and since then, I have never left Coursera and have always been a dedicated learner of this wonderful community.

What’s your favorite Coursera course and why?

My favorite course is Business Metrics for Data Driven Organization by Prof. Daniel Egger and Prof. Jana Schaich Borg. I loved this course especially due to the way the topics were segmented and taught by the esteemed faculty of Duke University. I was awe-stricken with the simplicity with which this course taught me how to use the power of analytics to make day-to-day decisions to make my organization more competitive and profitable. This course also enabled me to connect the dots around how big data is getting integrated in making big business decisions and the usage of various models to make those moves.

The eloquence with which each topic within this course was delivered made a great difference and I still use the excerpts and videos of this course for internal training.

Which course do you Mentor? What do you like most about the course?

I mentor for Text Retrieval and Search Engines by Prof. ChengXiang Zhai. I believe mentoring a course which one had taken enables one to solidify and cement the knowledge by answering questions of other students. I am a big fan of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign courses and study materials and the best part about this course was Prof. Chengxiang Zhai as he gets down to the learners level to help them understand the concepts and then takes them to the next level in their learning.

This style of teaching really helps the students overcome any course-related challenges and make them better learners.

What does the Coursera/Mentor community mean to you?

The Coursera community means the world to me. It makes me proud to be associated with a select few who are committed to help students learn, and at the same time gives me the chance to revisit the topics that I have learned. Being a mentor has also helped evolve the trainer in me and has helped me at my workplace as well to become more responsible and accountable for my work. I have no qualms in admitting that before this mentorship was offered to me, I used to be a mentor with the aim to teach but now I am a mentor with the aim to teach and learn. As the old saying goes, “a mentor is someone whose hindsight can become your foresight.”