At the ripe old age of 28, I am sadly aware that I have fallen out of touch with the latest and greatest capabilities in social media, mobile apps, and even websites. Balancing a full-time job that is not digital-heavy and a part-time MBA curriculum does not offer much time for exploration and experimentation. As far as social media goes, I would venture to say that I have become a primary Instagram-er, a secondary Facebook-er, and a very limited Twitter-er. Coming into this course, I expect to become much more comfortable in actively tweeting instead of just following industry-specific accounts to keep up with trends and breaking news. Thank God for push notifications! That little red bubble with the rapidly growing numbers doesn’t even phase me at this point. In the 6 years since I created a Twitter profile, I have amassed a whopping 15 original tweets, 32 retweets, and 11 likes. Pretty pathetic, I know.
In addition to utilizing Twitter to its full potential, I anticipate learning a great deal about new apps and technology from Professor Kane and the students in this class. Through the part-time MBA program, I have learned that everyone brings unique and valuable experiences and interests to the classroom. I have no doubt that the undergraduate students in this class will do the same. Heck, when it comes to technology they will probably bring the newest and most interesting things to my attention. Just because all of this technology can be found at the tip of our fingers doesn’t mean that we all know what the cool kids are doing. Many of us have our heads stuck in the books, in the never-ending Excel spreadsheets, and even in the cloud(s). I am ready to learn a lot from these students!
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a full-time employee and a part-time student is seeing first-hand how the lessons learned in the classroom can be directly applicable to everyday work and the advancement of my career. And vice versa. I try to bring my work experience into the classroom whenever I can. I am looking forward to learning more about digital business and the importance of cross-department utilization. In BC Athletics, departments can easily become silos. Since I work in Administration, I have the opportunity to work with coaches and staff throughout the entire Athletics Department. However, many do not have that ability in their day-to-day responsibilities. Our External Operations and Communications staff operate all social media channels for the department. Beyond that, I would say that we are not very digital as a whole. Our new Director of Athletics is digitally savvy on his own, and he has made it clear that transparency will be a department-wide priority. Given the new direction we are heading and my unique position within the department, I would love to be able to take lessons from this class back to work and help bring digital to the core of our business.
With all of that being said, the main reason I am excited for this course is because I know first-hand that Professor Kane is one of the best on this campus. Not sucking up, I swear! Once upon a time, a bright-eyed, and quite frankly clueless, 18-year old sat in Keyes South 401 and logged on to UIS on a white MacBook connected to the internet by a bright yellow Ethernet cord. Yes, I was at BC before all of the dorms were wireless. Ouch.
On the bright side, my room was so small that my 4-foot long lifeline just barely stretched from the data port behind my desk over to my twin-XL bed. Gotta love those silver linings. While registering for Spring 2008 courses, I opted for a combination of CSOM and A&S (before Morrissey forked over the big bucks) core courses including MI02102 Computers in Management with Craig Brown and Gerald Kane. This class was split into two sections: the first 7 weeks with Professor Brown learning Excel functionality and the second 7 weeks with Professor Kane on essentially everything else. As my memory serves, we focused primarily on Wikipedia and wisdom of the crowd, but also touched on how businesses were beginning to learn to utilize social media. At the conclusion of the course, and now 10 years later, what I remember most clearly is his passion for teaching, for the material, and for his students.
That following summer I had a marketing internship at a cloud-based software company, and they were impressed by my lack of surprise that they had just recently added a full-time team member to manage their Twitter account, all thanks to that half-class. Unfortunately, I was not able to take any more of Professor Kane’s courses due to a combination of 3 straight years of dreadful class pick-times and a long list of double-major course requirements. So, when I saw this class available for MBA credit, it was a no-brainer. While I am definitely excited to learn more about social media and the larger implications of digital business, I am thrilled to spend my last semester ever (yayy!) in a classroom with Professor Kane. Trust me guys, you will understand this soon if you haven’t already figured it out.