Shawn McCann: Improved Performance Through Learning

Graduate Certificate, Artificial Intelligence

Shawn is not a stranger to hard work. He balances being a full-time employee and family man with being a part-time student to advance his knowledge and quality of work.

"The certificate is a symbol of my investment to keep my skills and knowledge up-to-date and of the highest quality."

What initially interested you in pursuing the Artificial Intelligence Graduate Certificate?

I had taken the online courses Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques and found the information very interesting. The subjects caught my interest and I decided to pursue the Artificial Intelligence Graduate Certificate from Stanford. It was a great option for me since the online courses were transferable towards a master's degree—another credential that I'd like to pursue one day.

How has the Artificial Intelligence Graduate Certificate helped you in your career?

Within the past year, I have been able to apply the knowledge I gained from the courses to my current work projects with Amazon. Completion of the certificate was a symbol of my investment to keep my skills and knowledge up-to-date and of the highest quality.

What was your favorite course?

Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques and Computer Vision were my favorite courses. Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques had an amazing instructor and covered a broad range of topics. Computer Visions was more focused on applied artificial intelligence. It gave me the oppurtunity to dive into the algorithms and techniques that have commercial applications I could translate to my work.

What has been the most valuable part of earning the Artificial Intelligence Graduate Certificate?

The best part was being exposed to Stanford's faculty and having the ablity to interact with other students. During my first course in the online certificate program, I was given the opportunity to spend a week on campus attending classes in person. Learning from these amazing scholars was an incredible experience and being able to see the work they are doing, in the moment, makes me realize how lucky I was to learn from them. Some of them are publishing cutting-edge results, others forming new companies, and they are all pushing the field forward in exciting ways.

What advice can you give current students to help them succeed in the program?

If you are taking class remotely, you have to be disciplined if you want to succeed in the program. Make sure to stay on top of the work and try to have the same level of engagement with the faculty as the on-campus students. Take as many opportunities as possible to visit campus for this reason. Set up office hours and attend lectures to make connections in person.