Manulife University Spotlight: Transforming the Organization Through Upskilling

by Jayden Robins  |  November 27, 2020

What is Manulife University (MU)?

Manulife University (MU) was born from the belief that as the business transforms and adapts to the changing environment, engineers at Manulife should be empowered to do the same.

In our recent transformation, we wanted to start teaching new engineering best practices and technologies like React, modern JavaScript technologies, Redux, Node JS, etc. and needed a way to upskill engineers in a fun, educational, and collaborative way – that’s where MU came in.

Manulife University Cohorts

Manulife University Cohorts

Since early 2017, Manulife University has been developing and teaching technical courses that are often run as a 4-week program, starting with 2 weeks of instructor led training with hands-on labs followed by 2 weeks of proof of technology. The program can be thought of as a collective class project. After the first 2 weeks, students are challenged to put the skills that they just learned to the test to create a product which they then have the opportunity to demo to their peers and leaders.

“It’s all about doing research, experimentation, rapid implementation, and then showcasing your ability to present” -Naveed Zahid, Lead Technical Program Manger

Last year, we grew Manulife University’s offerings and evolved by adding booster courses and mastery level programs to the mix. We also started covering topics like Reliability, Performance and Quality Engineering, Security Engineering, and Anchor Engineering (for head engineers).

“Manulife engineers are more than just developers. They do more than just coding. They can interview your stakeholders, put together user stories, understand the ideation process and implement.” -Naveed Zahid, Lead Technical Program Manger

Manulife University in session

Manulife University in session

Who’s it for?

Manulife University (MU) is a program that is open to anyone working at Manulife. Whether you have just been hired (full-time, part-time or as a co-op student) or have been working with us for years, the MU program is designed to equip employees with the knowledge and skills they need to keep up with a rapidly changing world.

“We want to bring in the best and the brightest, and one of the ways we can showcase that is our investment in our employees, regardless of whether they are co-ops or full-time” -Naveed Zahid, Lead Technical Program Manger

What’s next?

We’re always keeping an eye out for what will be the next thing, so that we can build out new material to make sure that we are leveling up the organization appropriately. Moving into 2021, we are striving towards building out more mastery programs around AKS, platform engineering, and React.

“We’re really focused on transforming Manulife and moving away from that concept of just being an old insurance company. Manulife has now become a top-notch engineering organization that you’ll want to work for and be a part of.” -Naveed Zahid, Lead Technical Program Manger

Live the amazing experiences with people who demonstrate our values, care deeply about growth, and empathize with those we’re building the product for.