As a project manager for the climate finance related e-Learning courses from FS-UNEP – the Certified Experts courses in Sustainable Finance (CESFi), in Climate Adaptation Finance (CECAF) and in Climate and Renewable Energy Finance (CECRF) – I am used to being on “the other side” of these exams, preparing questions and checking formulations with our experts. At several occasions I also supervised final exams, answering questions from participants about the exam rules; no laptops allowed, please put your mobile phone away, yes – even if it is turned-off, and call out “5 minutes left” for all to know.
I have been learning about Financial Inclusion Policy (it is difficult to take the courses I supervise). Financial inclusion policies can facilitate an inclusive economic growth, thus contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so I find this to be a really important topic. The course focus is on policies and strategy design and I was highly motivated, but after only 3 months I realized that I had to extend the course. With Christmas and family obligations next to an intensive work period, it was just too much for me and I could not keep the first assignment deadline. Luckily, it is no problem to extend the course duration. The second assignment was due ca two months later, but now I was prepared and kept the deadline. If I were to give a study tips, it is that it helps to block time for study in the calendar to avoid fun distractions, such as guests, when you need time to learn.
Final Exam Day
I was more nervous than I thought I would be. After all, I know the rules and should be able to focus on the test only. At least that is what I thought when I entered the room, but it was surprisingly difficult to put my mobile phone away. And two hours is a really short time too!! It does not feel short if you are supervising the tests, I can tell you that much. Another surprise was that I was so unused to write with a pen that my hand started to ache after an hour. Apparently my mind and my hand are not fully aligned either, because it did not look like I had gotten all my thoughts structured on paper the way I wanted them to when the supervisor called out “5 minutes” left. I handed in my exam, including some pen-ink smeared across the answer sheets and too much text squeezed into miniature text boxes, 2 minutes before the deadline. I was totally exhausted – but also happy and proud of myself. I realized how much knowledge I had gained during the course and that time pressure can be an adrenalin-kick too…
Happy to have gotten through the exam with my hand intact, I joined my fellow (!) exam-takes at the Frankfurt School Faculty Lounge for some much appreciated snacks and drinks. I normally join these get-togethers after each exam, I enjoy meeting with participants from the FS-UNEP courses in person. After having interacted over months on the Forum, it is really nice to meet “for real”. Of course I also talked with our “FS-UNEP participants” too. Secretly checking if their hands looked cramped, I talked about the course contents, the exams and how we might develop the courses further. I also promised to double check that the answer sheets have large enough text boxes for the answers before the next exam, something I admittedly have not paid enough attention to before.
My next e-Learning course
I do not know if I have passed the final exam or not, but sipping on a drink while talking with colleagues and participants about what we learned, accompanied by a wonderful view, I already felt like a winner. I have always been into continuous learning and the e-Learning structure makes it easy for me enjoy the benefits of its. Recently, a fellow Swede; Greta Thunberg, has made the world realize the impact of Climate Change and the importance of a sustainable development. Thus, I registered for our newest e-Learning course; Sustainable Finance. I am already looking forward to it!