This story is a part of our ‘A Day in the Life’ series that highlights the career journeys of 2U employees across the world. While many of our features showcase 2Utes during heritage months, this article celebrates one of our 2020 No Back Row Award winners—an employee recognized for embracing one of 2U’s nine Guiding Principles. Morghanne Procter was one of two 2Utes selected as the winners of the Cherish Each Opportunity award.
“Skilled in negotiation, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, group therapy, and customer service,” begins Morghanne Procter’s LinkedIn profile.
Without any other clues, one could think this South African might be TV’s next undercover superhero—leading tranquil meditation seminars at a mountain retreat by day, dissolving tense hostage situations with her telepathic mind by night. But Morghanne’s enviable balance of yin and yang, hard skills and soft, also translates to ensuring an outstanding academic experience for short course students as a senior academic manager with the 2U office in Cape Town.
When she began at GetSmarter (now a 2U, Inc. brand) as a course coach (now called a success advisor) in 2016, Morghanne was a part-time student. She had just completed her B.Psych Honours bachelor’s degree and enrolled in her post-graduate B.Com Honours program for HR Management. At the time, Morghanne had been enjoying floating between waitressing and student life, not yet set on an exact career path. Since her new role centered around coaching with similar aspects to counseling, she was excited to remain close to the field of psychology while exploring education at the same time.
Within a year and a half, Morghanne was promoted to student success manager for the team, working on short courses for the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge. “The role was perfect for me,” she says, “aligning with my obsession with all things UK—from the history of kings and queens to the pub culture to having Scottish heritage and wanting to settle in Scotland when I retire.”
Fast forward another year to February 2020, when Morghanne was promoted to senior manager of the Academic Management team. It’s for her efforts in this current role that she was recently recognized with a No Back Row Award.
But to understand the true nature of Morghanne’s superpowers, one must learn of her successes straight from the source. Read on to trace Morghanne’s 2U journey so far, what being honored with a No Back Row Award means to her, and what extrasensory advice she has for 2Utes-to-be.
The sky's not even the limit for Morghanne
Why did you join GetSmarter (which was acquired by 2U in 2017)? What is it about the company that sparked your interest?
My friend was working for GetSmarter at the time and told me all about the role and the company, and it sounded like a great place to work. After doing some research, I found that many of the guiding principles appealed to me and the company culture was very enticing. Anyone who walks into any of our 2U offices immediately feels this buzzing energy, and this was apparent even on the website. In addition to this, I have a passion for education and continuous learning, so it was exciting for me to be able to join an education company!
How would you describe your role as senior academic manager?
I am responsible for driving the improvement and adherence to our processes and policies within the Academic Management team for 2U-powered short courses. I work with my team members to ensure we deliver a seamless academic experience for students by supporting teaching teams and engaging with our university partner stakeholders. I achieve this by helping to enhance the team’s performance and supporting them in initiatives they undertake to improve our function.
Morghanne's fearlessness began at a young age
What do you find most rewarding about your job? How about the most challenging?
There’s no single reward I can identify in my role, as it’s somewhat divided into two parts. On one side is relationship-building with our university partners and teaching teams, and through them, delivering an exceptional learning experience to students. On the other side, as a manager, I get to watch the growth and achievements of the people I work with. Nothing is more important to me than my team members and their own successes.
The most challenging aspect of my job is probably keeping up-to-date with the total number of short courses across 2U’s entire portfolio that I oversee. As it stands, with 20 partners (and counting!), I’m no longer able to name each of the courses we support, but fortunately, I can rely on my team members to know their respective portfolios thoroughly.
Cherish Each Opportunity means taking everything in stride. Tasks or conversations may be daunting . . . but you still have to try [or] you'll never grow.— Morghanne Procter, Senior Academic Manager, 2U
Out of everything you’ve done at 2U so far, what gives you the most pride?
I’d say I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built across the company and also externally. I believe I’ve worked hard to build these relationships and worked well with my colleagues to deliver on our offerings.
During my time on the Student Success team—when I was helping drive the performance of the University of Oxford portfolio and so passionate about working with one of the oldest and most prestigious academic institutions in the world—I also received a fair amount of kudos from the stakeholders and teaching team for the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. They were in discussions to arrange a trip for me to Oxford, which would have been a UK dream of mine come true, but then I was promoted to academic manager and COVID unfortunately hit. That recognition still meant a lot to me.
She may not have taken that work trip to Oxford, but Morghanne did eventually make it to London
At the end of last year, 2U announced its No Back Row Award winners, all of whom were recognized for their commitment to one of the company’s nine Guiding Principles. What does this honor mean to you?
It was incredibly overwhelming to be nominated in the first place. I’m not one who likes to be in the limelight; I’d rather be celebrating others' successes instead. Winning a No Back Row Award was an incredible honour. Hearing what my team members wrote about me and receiving support from so many of my peers, it’s humbling to know that I’ve made such an impact and can be of support to everyone.
In your own words, how would you describe the guiding principle you epitomize: Cherish Each Opportunity?
To me, cherishing each opportunity means taking everything in stride. Yes, tasks or conversations may be daunting—they may be difficult, and they may not even turn out to be successful or what they were initially intended for—but you still have to try. If you don’t, you’ll never know, you’ll never learn, you’ll never grow, and you’ll never get the opportunity to do better. We’re a company that believes in continuous learning and improvement, so why should I not take the same approach in my work and in supporting my team?
Learn more about us.
At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help universities thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.