This fall, Skillshare’s encouraging everyone to go back to school, even our own team members! We held a company-wide “Back to School” challenge through the month of September and asked everyone at Skillshare to refresh and refocus their own learning habits by taking new classes and workshops, posting projects, joining group discussions and developing skills outside of their job description. We had the best time sharing our progress with one another, and a few lucky participants won prizes for all of their hard work!

Now that the challenge is over, we asked a few Skillshare team members, like Alyssa Demirjian, Director of Content & Partnerships, to share a little bit about themselves and the Skillshare classes that they love. Whether you’re looking to recommit to your goals, start a new hobby, or just want to get back into the swing of learning, Alyssa’s picks will have you starting your back-to-school season right.

As the Director of Content & Partnerships for Skillshare, I lead the in-house creative team using video to transform the real-life stories of creators, artists, and entrepreneurs into insights for lifelong learners around the world. We publish new Skillshare Originals every week, always with the goal of demystifying in-demand topics and breaking down the tactics that propelled those individuals to success. It’s a very rewarding way to be part of the Skillshare community!

There are a million reasons I love the classes on Skillshare. Most importantly, I love how the classes are so authentic and actionable. As someone who always has a million tabs open (hello, overwhelming Internet), I always have this feeling of calm, focused energy when watching a great class.

For me, the classes on Skillshare stand out because they’re taught by real people who are just really good at what they do. I love seeing teachers’ tips and tricks, and then seeing what resonates and sparks interest with other students. The Skillshare community is so lively and positive. It’s like having thousands of mentors in your pocket!

roxane gay

1. Creative Writing for Impact: Looking Inward & Outward in Personal Essays

Roxane Gay is such an icon, and this class uniquely balances her wisdom and insight with practical, smart guidance about starting to write. At a time when there’s more news and information than ever, she reminds us that everyone’s voice matters, that your story is enough, and that there’s no better time to share your story than now.

steph korey

2. Leadership Today: Using Coaching & Questions to Grow Your Business

As the Skillshare team continues to grow, it’s been crucial to articulate leadership strategies that reflect our values and put humans first. Enter: Away CEO Steph Korey. She is an amazing entrepreneur who’s leading the charge in how to manage teams with empathy and humility. This 30-minute class breaks down the 3 core ideas she wants all managers to know. I recommend it to anyone  who wants to build stronger professional relationships, especially managers, teams, and client-facing freelancers.

jake bartlett

3. The Beginner’s Guide to Animating Custom GIFs

Jake Bartlett’s classes are so friendly and well-structured that everyone can try their hand at animation. I’m no animator, but it’s always fun to try quick projects outside my comfort zone, and it’s satisfying to see visuals you created “come to life” onscreen. GIFs are everywhere on the Internet, and this class is perfect for creating your own from scratch. Plus, for those who want to dive deeper, Jake also has a wealth of intermediate and advanced classes so you can go far in After Effects.

peter mendelsund

4. Design For Meaning: Creating Effective and Artistic Book Cover Designs

This class with designer Peter Mendelsund has long been one of my favorites for its thoughtful reflection on the critical power of design. It’s ostensibly about designing book covers, but the practical lessons still brilliantly weave in reflections on the power of language, critical thinking, observation, and the way design affects everything around us. This class may just change the way you think—and as if that wasn’t enough, you’ll leave with some great recommendations for what to read next, too!

Want more great classes this back-to-school season? To explore them all, click here.