I was skiing in Aspen, Colorado. During my first trip up the lift, the entire top section of the mountain was blanketed with cloud cover. The banter between me and my friends that had filled the three-and-a-half-hour drive from Denver International Airport just one day earlier was now replaced with silence as the three of us looked up into the fog with a unique type of anticipation. We literally did not know what we were heading toward.
Fast forward two weeks and I’m sitting in Fulton 135. Professor Kane pulls up the syllabus on Canvas and plus-sized font emblazoned across the top of screen reads “FAIR WARNING, THIS COURSE WILL BE DIFFERENT.” As a full-time digital marketing professional for a non-profit and part-time MBA student in the middle of a global health crisis, different is not something I can claim to have been seeking out. At this point time, the familiar is one of my closest friends. I trust the familiar. It is easy to fit the familiar into my existing routine.
As someone who has minimal experience managing personal social media handles, this class will not be familiar. As someone who hasn’t had to give an in-person presentation to more than a handful of people in over four years, this class will not be a familiar. As someone who has grown comfortable with the simplicity of attending class, studying slides, and taking exams based on those slides, this class will not be familiar.
In some ways, I feel like I’m back on that ski lift in Aspen heading toward a a destination that at this point is indiscernible to me. I don’t know how this is going to go. However, the idea of doing something different has been growing on me lately, and I’ve come to realize three huge growth opportunities in the class that I’m now excited for.
- I’m going to learn so many new things that I currently know little-to-nothing about.
I feel like in most classes, you’re lucky if you come away with one new topic that you feel comfortable explaining to somebody else. With the way that this class is structured, I feel like I’m going to become familiar with dozens of new ideas and topics that will push me outside of my usual reading and media habits.
I’m looking forward to dusting off my presentation skills and giving the class a crash course on the power of inbound marketing, which is a huge part of my profession and something I get very excited talking about. However, beyond that, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s presentations. To me, it feels like each presentation is going to be an opportunity to expand my knowledge on topics I likely wouldn’t study or research on my own, and expand my base of knowledge a lot deeper than any class I’ve taken before.
2. I’m going to (finally) enter the Twittersphere.
In this class I will Tweet for the first time.
As someone who works in digital marketing professionally, most people are surprised when they learn I have no personal existence on social media. But the truth is, before this class, I tweeted 0 times, and created a handle for the sole purpose of following a few accounts I was interested in.
Up until now, I’ve always preferred to share my own thoughts and ideas in offline settings. However, I’m looking forward to pushing myself into the Twittersphere during this class and making a habit out of expressing myself in the virtual realm. And who knows, maybe by the end of this class I will decide to keep tweeting.
3. I’m going to kick some variety into my perspective of the world.
The interactive nature of this class is going to undoubtedly help me see the world in new ways. When every class features open conversations on current event topics as well as 10-minute presentations on open topics, not only am I going to learn a lot stuff, but I’m also going to learn a lot about other people. Compared to a class I took last semester that didn’t involve any communication at all with my peers, this class is going to be an excellent opportunity to start viewing the happenings of the digital world through the lens of other people’s views, and broaden my perspective of the world.
In my opinion, these are three incredible opportunities for growth to be gleaned in this course. I’m look forward to breaking out of the routine and taking advantage of them.