First Impressions

I walked into the first Emerging Technology and Digital Business class feeling a little unsure. It was a cold Wednesday night. I had a nasty cold coming on and two-and-a-half-hours before I could even think about going back to my warm bed. And this class was in Stokes, of all places – the furthest academic building from Lower Campus! I trekked up to class as my roommates all sat warm and cozy back in our common room, only to drop my tea practically the second I walked into the classroom. 9:20pm never seemed so far away.

I registered for the class excited to learn about how social media (the best way to reach the elusive millennial) is necessary for success in the modern business world. However, I was a little skeptical about how much exactly would be new information. After all, the class is made up of twenty-something’s, all of whom grew up as active participants in the evolution of social media and the internet. So what would a professor be able teach us that we didn’t already know? Shouldn’t we be the ones teaching the class? In a way, I was right. One of the first things that Professor Kane said confirmed this. Very aware of our “expert” status in the use of social media and knowledge of trends, he announced that he would be learning as much from this class as we would. In other words, we are each other’s teachers for the semester. Through insights, posts, discussions, and presentations, we will learn about each of our own individual experiences and strategies for social media.

I think, perhaps, the aspect of the class that I am most excited for is the individual presentations each week. It will be interesting to learn a bit about industries, companies, events, and more that excite the people around me, but it also serves as a great motivator to dive into a topic that interests me. As someone who is still exploring after-graduation job opportunities, this presents itself as an opportunity to show interest in the competitive industries that I am trying to break into. However, the idea of using social media to my benefit in the job application process is one that is new to me and a little daunting – however it might just be what makes me stand apart from other applicants.

From high school, I was conditioned to make my personal accounts as, well, personal as possible. “Don’t let colleges find your Facebook page – they’ll deny you if they even see one red cup in your photos”. Then in college, “Make sure your Instagram page is private! Don’t want potential employers to see what you’re up too on the weekends”. Social media was something that was so central to our lives and expression of personality, yet it was something that we’ve been conditioned to keep as far away as possible from our professional lives.

However, as all of us millennials know, social media is one of the most effective ways of getting our attention. So, now in a business school setting, we need to learn how the platforms we thought had the possibility of ending our career before it even started are now the very things that will play a huge roll in our potential for success. My expectations are that I will find new and exciting ways to use social media to boost business results, obviously, but also to promote my personality. This truly epitomizes the modern business education, in my opinion, and is one of the reasons that I am very excited for a semester in Emerging Technology and Digital Business.

After the first class, long as it may have been, I walked away with expectations which are very different from what I initially had. I now expect that this course will be a lot more collaborative than many of my other classes. However, this doesn’t mean “group-work” like it does in most other Carroll School classes. In this course, I feel the teaching rather than the assignments will have more of the sense of collaboration. I know that I need to pay attention to my classmates as much as I do my professor, and only by fully engaging with them will I truly be able to appreciate the class. These expectations further apply to my classmates as well. If they aren’t putting everything they have into the class, then this attitude will affect my own takeaways this semester as well. This class will truly be one where you get only as much as you give (snack policy included).

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