Professional courses

Accelerate your technical skills with professional courses

When Ruth Tito-Huezo’s supervisor suggested she study online technology courses from Duke Learning & Organization Development (L&OD), she knew she would learn some helpful tips.

But Tito-Huezo, administrative assistant at Duke HomeCare & Hospice, didn’t expect the lessons to make using digital tools fun.

After taking an introductory Microsoft Excel course last year and a similar PowerPoint workshop this year, Tito-Huezo has some skills to show. In PowerPoint, she can embed animations into presentations and create templates to make slides look consistent. And she knows how to add data to Excel spreadsheets and have the program automatically perform the calculations.

“I really like using Excel now,” Tito said. “I want to keep learning more.”

In addition to courses in leadership, communication and time management, L&OD, a unit of Duke Human Resources, offers one-day and multi-day courses in commonly used digital programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. Designed for all levels of experience, the courses help beginners and experts alike acquire new knowledge.

Srini Iyengar “We welcome everyone from administrative assistants to people who do serious data analysis,” said Srini Iyengar, L&OD’s senior technology partner, who leads the courses. “People may have been using these products for several years, but they may not know how robust the tools have become. They may use it for a small aspect but don’t realize the wide variety of uses and applications that exist.

Until December, L&OD offers 18 technological courses, including 12 on Excel. Introductory Excel classes will be held online on August 16-23 and November 1-8. Other more focused two-hour Excel sessions on building tables and charts, using formulas and functions, and mastering pivot tables are planned through the fall.

Virginia McQuillan from the Duke Department of Pharmacy appreciated the L&OD courses on Excel.  Photo courtesy of Virginia McQuillan. For Virginia McQuillan, a recipe management technician in the Department of Pharmacy, Excel spreadsheets have become an important part of her day. For most of her 23 years at Duke, she worked in the Duke Cancer Center’s prep pharmacy, where she occasionally used Excel. After moving to her current role, where she verifies and validates drug costs for Duke University Hospital, she had to rely on Excel.

Knowing she would benefit from a deeper dive into the program, she took the Intro to Excel course last fall and the Intermediate course last spring. Now she uses keyboard shortcuts to quickly switch between files, fix errors, and save work.

“I wouldn’t call myself a pro, but I’m definitely a lot faster,” McQuillan said. “It’s great that Duke is offering this. It was very, very helpful.

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