The Next Chapter

Well here we are, I’m writing to you all for the last time *one single tear drops from the corner of my eye onto my keyboard. I’m sure you’re all just as upset as I am that you won’t have the pleasure of skimming through my blog posts about 5G and social tech impact every third week of the month, but the end of this class is bittersweet for me for a few reasons. First it marks the end of one of my favorite classes where I’ve learned more about things I’m actually interested in than ever before, but it’s also closing the chapter on one of the best parts of my life thus far, my college career. I don’t know if I’ve fully accepted the fact that I’ll be graduating from BC in just a few weeks, but If I’m being completely honest part of me is completely burned out and ready to put an end to the constant studying and assignments. Pro tip…don’t overload your second semester of senior year, not a great time.

At this point, having a class that doesn’t have any exams is a saving grace and I couldn’t be happier, but that’s not all that this class has offered me this semester. When I sat in Stokes for our first session and professor Kane said that this wasn’t going to be like any class we’ve taken at BC, he wasn’t lying and I couldn’t be happier. Split up by twitter discussions, presentations, an always necessary snack, and finally both small and large group discussions, the class had a flow that made focusing after 7 pm on a Wednesday night not only possible but enjoyable. The countless guest speakers were amazing and gave professional insight into how the topics we were discussing in class are applied to the real world. I can honestly say I never expected to hear about the use of AI and machine learning in the chicken farming industry.

It seems like a fitting end to my ISYS6621 blog posting career to take a look back at my first post and reflect on the hopes and fear I held when first starting this course.

Hopes:

Engagement – My hope for this class was that everyone would buy into the structure and make the most out of twitter posts and class discussion. Thankfully this hope came true in a way I never really expected. In some of my other classes participation seemed like a chore and getting class discussion started was like pulling teeth for the professor. This class was the complete opposite with discussion constantly flowing both in person and on twitter. It was awesome to see everyone, clearly passionate about technology, bring their own perspectives and experience to class discussion allowing me not only to learn from Professor Kane but my classmates as well.

Diversity – This was one of my favorite aspects of this class and something that made it truly unique. The diversity of both thought and experience was incredible and opened the door for discussion and debate with a group of truly impressive individuals. The mix of both undergrad and graduate students was unique, but I loved it. The different perspectives were sometimes clear but it gave me a greater understanding of how different technologies are viewed and utilized all across industries. I often feel a little trapped in a bubble surrounded mostly by people my age and engaged in class discussion with mostly 18-22 year olds. This class gave me a break from that and I’m thankful.

Lasting Impacts – There’s no doubt that this hope came true. I’ve always loved technology and I think the innovation of the industry is fascinating to say the least. After leaving class and even traveling home, I found myself telling my parents and friends about things like AI’s use in the construction industry and low-orbit satellite networks. It made the material not really feel like school work and I wanted to extend that beyond the classroom and tell others about it. I got my friends and family to follow my twitter and blog posts. This course offered the chance to create a body of work that I can take with me and even continue building on as I move forward from this class.

Fears:  

Creativity – Creativity was an initial concern of mine as I was fearful that I wouldn’t be able to think of blog topics that would be engaging and entertaining to read. While ideas didn’t always come to me right away, I found myself later in the semester starting to narrow my focus on blog topics which was quite helpful. Looking back, I think I did a decent job and I wrote about things that I was interested in hoping that others would find them engaging as well. The comments and feedback were reassuring and I really want to thank everyone who read any of my posts for being supportive and continuing to encourage me throughout the semester. I found myself so impressed with the topics and presentations of the people around me that I felt the need to setup  my game and push myself. It was others who brought the best out of me, and I really happy to have shared a classroom with everyone.

Diligence – This was one of my main concerns heading into this class and to be honest with you, It was somewhat of an issue. As I’ve said I had to overload this semester and it was sometimes difficult remembering to post on twitter and write my blogs with all of my other school work. It’s a class you really need to focus on by yourself and remember to stay engaged, which I think I could have done a better job of. It’s a lesson I will take away from this experience, while not a failure I recognize that there was more I could have done to really dive into the structure of the class. That being said, I’ve never tweeted more in my life and learned more than ever before how to concentrate a salient point in under 140 characters.

Participation – I was worried that I would be drowned out. It’s intimidating sitting across from graduate students who, just by nature of being in graduate school, are already impressive and accomplished. I’m so grateful that this wasn’t the case and class discussions were so open and inviting that it made it easy to raise my hand and speak-up. Shout-out to my small group for always being kind and supportive, making it enjoyable to sit down and talk together about our thoughts on that week’s video, the changing landscape of tech, and even our weekend plans.

It’s sad and sometimes scary but I’m moving onto the next chapter of my life. My career at BC is rapidly coming to a close and I’m preparing to go out into the workforce. I always knew that technology was something I wanted to be a part of in my professional career, and I can’t wait to dive in. I’ll be working at Optum on an agile development team in the healthcare space, and I have no doubt that I’ll be able to carry lessons I’ve learned here, from all of you, outside of the classroom and into my career. I want to thank Professor Kane and all of you for making this a class to remember.

6 comments

  1. Are you going to continue to blog?

  2. nice summary. Diligence is the one area where, if students are going to have trouble with this class, that it usually shows up. I don’t really apologize for it, because managing multiple deliverables over time is critical for the business world. Frankly, it’s not a skill that I chose to develop until long after my undergraduate years, which is why I try to emphasize it now.

  3. Great reflection on an awesome class. I had many of the same hopes and fears as you and couldn’t agree more with your closing thoughts on them. I truly believe carrying the lessons we have learned and this new education process into the real world will benefit us immensely. Finally, it was incredible to hear from the graduate students on a weekly basis to see how to better apply classroom concepts to the real world. I will definitely miss this class as well!

  4. Totally agree with your assessment of this class. Completely different than any other class I’ve taken, and such a breath of fresh air. I definitely think I put more work into this class than any of my other classes, but it didn’t even feel like “work,” per se, because it was all on stuff I’m actually interested in. The two and a half hours, broken up between presentations, twitter discussions, guest speakers, and small group discussions, always flew by. Really enjoyed your contributions to the class this semester!

  5. Great post, and congratulations on the job! You’ve had some thought-provoking blog posts – I really liked your post about apps to help the homeless. As one of the MBAs in the class, I’m not ashamed to admit that there were definitely times I was a little intimidated by the undergrads – you are all really smart, and are on the ball with new technology. It has been great to have the opportunity to learn from everyone this semester. Good luck out there in the real world!

  6. Great post! I also was worried a little bit about the creativity involved in this class, especially the presentation. I was worried that there would be a bunch of very bland discussions and presentations with a lot of awkward silences mixed in. Boy was I wrong!

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