Northwestern is offering a free massive open online course (MOOC) this fall designed to help people start new jobs more effectively, helping them become more efficient and exceed expectations in their new role at a much faster rate than usual.

The six-week course begins October 12 and will be taught by William White, a professor of industrial engineering and management sciences at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering who also teaches in the Kellogg School of Management.

The course, called "Power Onboarding," is hosted by Coursera. It will provide participants with practical, easy-to-use tools to help them transition into new jobs. Throughout the course, participants will learn how to create their own personalized onboarding plans. Weekly content will include lecture videos, reading, quizzes, and personal reflection.

“Between accepting a new job and starting a new job, a person might have days, weeks, or even months,” White said. “There is always time to get ready.”

White recently published a new book on the topic called Get Ready. Get Set. Go!: A Personal Onboarding Plan to Launch Your Extraordinary Career. Before joining Northwestern, he spent 30 years as a manager in the business world, including time as CEO and chairman at Bell & Howell. When transitioning into a new job, White said workers should reflect on previous jobs, meet with their new bosses, and learn more about the company and industry.

“In a mid-manager job, reaching 70 percent efficiency usually takes 21 months,” he said. “With preparation, you can take 21 months down to 12 months. Your employers will be thrilled, and you’ll feel more confident.”

White said the course applies to people at all stages in their careers. It also can be helpful for promotions, lateral transfers, changing companies, and those who are happy in their current jobs but who want to be prepared for future moves.

“A typical person will change jobs seven times in a lifetime,” White said. “There are many opportunities to make great leaps in job performance.”

For more information or to sign-up for the course, visit

To read the original story, please visit the McCormick School of Engineering's website.

For more stories from this month's Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University's online community.