Billy Sichone

Billy Sichone
“Come with a open mind. Be focused--think long term. Always know that in a virtual environment you must be flexible and understanding. And make time also. Be intentional about your studies---read widely in class and out of class. The secret is effective time management.”
—  Billy Sichone

Billy Sichone , 40, is a program manager for a nonprofit in Mpika, Zambia studying at University of the People. He holds degrees in accounting both from African and UK universities, but he wanted to continue to study business. “Somebody sent me a link and said, you might be interested in online education. At first I was a bit skeptical that maybe it’s just spam. But when I followed up the link I and communicated with them I found out it was real.” Sichone, like Kazakov, is a very satisfied student. “I think it’s by far more than I ever expected or imagined. You have colleagues from across the world. You learn together, and you also learn the different views people have about things.” Along with the cross-cultural communication, Sichone also likes the open learning experience. “That’s the other bit which is unique about University of the People: it’s the flexibility. You’re not forced--it’s you who plans.” Billy’s advice for those who want to learn in an open setting: “Come with a open mind. Be focused--think long term. Always know that in a virtual environment you must be flexible and understanding. And make time also. Be intentional about your studies---read widely in class and out of class.” And above all: “The secret is effective time management.” Billy takes advantage of the seven-hour time difference as an extension to assignment deadlines, and also accesses his classes and assignments from his Nokia phone so he can keep up with his studies while on the road for his development job.

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