I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

As I reflect back on this course, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to you, my fellow #ISYS8621 classmates. With Twitter being the real star of the show, helped along with blog posts, presentations, and in class discussions of course, I can honestly say I learned just as much from the people sitting next to me as I did from the professor standing at the front of the room (sorry, not sorry @geraldckane).

I think one of the biggest takeaways for me this term came from the very first class – this notion that the crowd can be a great source of information and wisdom as long as it doesn’t succumb to groupthink by ensuring some conditions are met. Despite all of us being BC students, our little ISYS8621 crowd is definitely full of diverse opinions, and acted in a decentralized and independent manner through the completion of individual assignments/contributions. Through this class I learned how to learn about things I’d never heard of and teach others about digital trends I’m passionate about. I am better equipped at sharing information in digital spaces on varying platforms (who else was new to Twitter AND blogging?), as well as mask-to-mask. While these skills potentially could have been gained through other courses, the content covered when discussing digital transformation necessitates stepping out of the comfort zone, stating you just don’t get it if you still don’t understand a concept (here’s looking at you blockchain), and admitting that some things at this point are just conjecture and open to debate.

To show my appreciation, and to really acknowledge the amount of knowledge every single one of you provided me this term, I reflected on some of the things I’ve learned from you. Think of this as my small thank you cards to every student in the class:

Andrae Allen: From your unbeatable movie and TV references on Twitter, to your willingness to go on a deep dive through webpage ads – you provided some much needed humor, as well as insight and information, on some seriously creepy things going on the digital world. I’m extremely appreciative of that and hope to take that humor with me as I continue to explore digital trends in the future.

Samuel Brand: Thank you for clearing up the remaining confusion I had about NFTs and making me a believer that they might just have a place in the world (just not the art world). Despite SNL’s skit, the countless Twitter convos, etc., it was one of those things I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. I appreciate that you saw the potential confusion people have in understanding the concept and took it upon yourself to explore it deeper.

Alexandra Carey: Alex, I’m still thinking of AI home gyms after your tweet about Tempo! I think the technological implications of utilizing AI in the health and fitness space are HUGE. Also, after reading your blog post on Henn-na Hotel, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be keeping a really close eye on how IoT and robotics plays out in hospitality industry (I say while daydreaming of when I can travel again).

Erin Deadman: Erin, where do I even start? Your active Twittering (is that the right word?) has not gone unnoticed and has led me to follow numerous other accounts on Twitter so I can keep the knowledge flowing after the course completes (I especially enjoy @MorningBrew). I am also still awaiting your DM to get our robotics based landscaping business plans finalized ;)

Abigail Holler: From your tweet about google maps’ lower carbon footprint trips to your presentation on food waste – I’ve definitely come out this class with a renewed faith in technologies ability to help people live more sustainable lives. Tech often gets a bad rap when it comes to sustainability, and rightly so when you think of things like the emissions needed to mine cryptocurrency, but as consumers begin to demand more environmental responsibility from corporations I can only see the green-tech space growing.

Divya Jha: I have really enjoyed your blog posts and presentation on how AI is changing the beauty industry and how brands market their products. It never occurred to me that digital transformation would be happening in the beauty industry the way it is, but consumer’s desire for customization/personalization and how unique and different everyone’s complexion, skin tone, etc., make it a perfect fit. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to the developments happening in this industry.

Richard Kelly: Rich, thank you for showing me how sports have changed as a result of data analytics. I’m really interested in seeing how basketball in particular will continue to develop based on the data-based observations you presented to the class and if this might lead to another change in the rules/structure of the game. Your presentation actually made me finally succumb to watching Moneyball and I was not disappointed!

Courtney Lester: You’re blog on meditation apps is something I will remember for years to come. As someone who does well with the gamification of healthy habits, it made me search outside of my comfort zone and try apps that I wouldn’t have thought to try before (and yes I was inspired to try a meditation app while drunk after reading that post).

Olivia Levy: Your Twitter has been fire this term (is fire still something the kids say?). From the location of tech offices to the Will.i.am face mask, it has sparked so many interesting class discussions. Your blogs on the digital afterlife, mass shootings, and misinformation on social media have been so informative about issues that we not only have to face today, but will also have to face in the future.

Chang Liu: I am not what you would call a “finance person,” but your blogs and tweets have been critical to my continued learning in that sector. I had never heard of low code before your presentation, but see so much value in it across fields now, as well as the equity it can provide for those who aren’t software engineers by trade.

Chuyong Liu: Chuyong, I didn’t really understand what Smart Cities are before reading your blog, but now I can not wait to go and visit one! It sounds so futuristic and foreign, but he technology exists and the fact it’ll be developed within our lifetime is something that continues to amaze me. Really hits home that the future is really happening right now in a lot of ways.

Benjamin Long: Ben, while I can’t say I fully understand Blockchain – I’m a lot better off than I would have been without your presentation. Given that NFT are secured by Ethereum I would have totally lost out on the big picture of the NFT fad without the foundational knowledge you provided. Thank you for choosing a really difficult presentation topic to help ebb some of my continued confusion surrounding Blockchain.

William Moore: William, every time I see Travis Scott, I will think of you. From how Ticketmaster sells tickets to how amusement parks utilize the latest tech, you’ve highlighted the connection between entertainment and digital transformation flawlessly.

Michael Prendeville: Your presentation on drone delivery and your ability to stay natural during the presentation, allowing all members to formulate their own opinions on when and how drone delivery should be utilized, was amazing. Regulations surrounding the use of drones for delivery are coming down the pipeline and prior to your presentation I hadn’t thought about a lot of the issues surrounding this transport model.

Shane Riley: I had not known digital twins were a (virtual?) reality until you started tweeting, and finally presented, about them. Since then, I can’t help but think of all the potential situations and uses in which a digital twin would be a great tool to have. Thank you for also seamlessly pulling in knowledge from your military days and consulting which has really added to the wealth of perspectives in the class.

Ryan Ritell: Ryan, that Verge article you posted on Facebook’s moderators will likely haunt me for the rest of my days. BUT IT SHOULD. Understanding the bad that comes along with social media and the human price that comes along with these platforms is a must. It’s easy to blame platforms for controlling content, but when you realize why this is the case in certain instances and the scale at which many of them operate, it provides some clarity on why things are the way they are on those platforms.  

Conor Ryan: I know this note will not compare to your “Fresh Prince of Digital Transformations” rap or your top notch ppt abilities, but I’ll have to try… It’s easy to forget that while Ireland is a western nation, in a lot of ways it is really different than America. Your comments in class and small group discussions often put light on how culture and location impacts digital transformation/adoption, from Paddy Power & coffee delivery via drone to Irish men’s need for AppleTags.

Lourdes Sanfeliu: COVID has turned the world upside down, but I’d say no industry has been disrupted the way the healthcare field has been this past year. Getting to hear from an insider in the industry through your presentation, blog posts, and participation in class, has been extremely beneficial to understanding the rapid advancements happening in that space, so thank you.  

Scott Siegler: The watering hole metaphor you used to describe inbound marketing saved me in my Marketing Final. But more than that you have a way of using stories to communicate ideas that really stick – your blog post on AI and chess for example serves the perfect illustration of how machines can help humans grow and develop, but ultimately it is machines and humans working together that has the best output.

Lewis Xie: Since your presentation, I am dying to go to an Amazon Go. I’d never heard of it before (apparently I’ve been living under a rock), but you did such a great job describing the technology that it uses that I have a strong desire to go and see it for myself. Before this class, I’m not sure I’d classify myself as the type of person who wants to try the latest technology, but hearing presentations like yours really makes me want to experience these new ways of doing things first hand.

Sayo Yamada: Sayo, you have introduced me to so many “crazy” Japanese technologies this term (like robot friends). But you also made me realize they’re only “crazy” to my American brain. It really helped me understand how culture plays such a huge role in the creepy/cool line and Japan’s acceptance of technology probably means it’ll experience more technological developments in the consumer space due to that acceptance – cool things that us Americans probably won’t have access to.

Jie Zhao: Your presentation on telematronics and comments on how the insurance industry is changing in response to technological development were so interesting! I think this is something that impacts everyone in the class, Also, thank you for bringing back that Office clip (although I am Team Apple Maps).

THANK YOU ALL FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL LAST TERM OF MY MBA. Since I’ll be graduating this month, I’ll just depart with this…


  1. abigailholler1 · ·

    Lisa, such a nice wrap up post – cue the *tears*! I echo your notion that it wasn’t just the content, but also the people that made this course great. And of course this is a good metaphor for what we’ve learned about technology: it’s not just the capabilities of new digital tech, but rather what people, and thus organizations, make of them. Thank you for teaching us all about the HR space, and specifically how AI is used to enhance HR’s effectiveness. I really appreciated your transparency around the importance of using AI as a tool, and not a replacement of corporate jobs…you give me a lot of hope that all we won’t all be replaced by robots one day! Congratulations on completing the program and best of luck!

  2. therealerindee · ·

    Well this is fantastic and amazing on lots of levels. I think the best part of these thank you notes is that is really highlights how diverse each person’s contributions to the class was and how well all of those contributions came together. I’d like to thank you for hating on Uber with me and showing me that HR is not as boring as the general wrap it gets. Be on the lookout for my full business proposal in the form of DM

  3. Chuyong Liu · ·

    Lisa, I am with you among the beginner’s levels of bloging and Twitter, in fact, it’s my first time doing both of these! I cannot believe I start to love Twitter now and actually hope our #ISYS8621 twits would never end. Your thank-you note to everyone is a great summary highlighting each person’s interesting contribution. Looking back at them I still feel the excitement I felt reading people’s blogs and having our Twitter discussions during the class. I would take the chance to thank you for your HR specific area of knowledge and especially loved the presentation in which you give us a good understanding of digital transformation in HR using a real-world example. We should visit the smart city in Egypt together!!!

  4. conoreiremba · ·

    Lisa this is incredible. Reading through each of your thoughtful notes just really emphasized the different perspectives from each person in our class. If digital class transformation really is about people, then taking a class about it is definitely dependent on the folks you take it with. I also agree with you on how this class provided a safe place to come out and admit “yeah I don’t get this”. Also, I will forever be indebted to HR departments at whatever company I work with after you highlighted the real work that goes on behind the scenes.
    Congrats on getting to the end of your MBA journey and best wishes for the future. Go raibh míle mhaith agat agus Sláinte!!

  5. Jie Zhao · ·

    Wow, Lisa, what a thoughtful and fantastic way to wrap up this class! I agree with you that I learned just as much from discussions with each other as from Professor Kane, which I think is one of my favorite parts of this class! Thank YOU teach us about digital transformation in the human resource and congratulations on completing MBA!!

  6. alexcarey94 · ·

    Lisa! 1st of all congrats on finishing your MBA! I love this take on a wrap up and reflection of the class it really reminded me of a lot of great things during the semester and shows how everyone really had an impact in driving engagement across the class with different perspectives. Thanks for providing lots of insights into your industry- I actually never thought of the concept of tracking when an employee has potential to leave- I think this is reflective of the difference between turnover in a corporate setting vs a profession that is more dangerous and requires a lot of training can be. Thanks for also scaring the whole class on Clearview and how our images will be used in the future! (Kidding.. kind of ;) )

  7. I actually think some version of the phrase “I can honestly say I learned just as much from the people sitting next to me as I did from the professor standing at the front of the room” actually appears in the course description somewhere! No offense taken. Instead, “mission accomplished.”

  8. shaneriley88 · ·

    Well done, Lisa! This is simply wonderful. This post really captures your passion for learning and your awareness of, and interest in each classmates efforts. I really enjoyed hearing about HR practices at CleanHarbors! I hope they know how lucky they are to have you.

  9. williammooremba · ·

    Lisa, what an excellent and altogether awesome way to wrap up your blog posts. In addition to it being just really thoughtful, it so nicely summarized the different class perspectives. One thing that struck out in my mind was how interactive the class was that it allowed you to do this. Particularly with fully remote classes, there are some classes where I am not sure I could name every other student in the class, not to mention coming up with a personalized thank you card for each member. However, this is not to undersell the amount of time and effort on your end to do this blog post and the corresponding paying attention during the semester. I am thinking about ways to utilize a similar idea for the end of future work projects. Thank you and congratulations on finishing your MBA.

  10. olivia_levy8 · ·

    Lisa, this blog was incredibly thoughtful. I already gave a quick shoutout via Twitter but you really outdid yourself. I agree with everything said and can agree that having the opportunity to sit in class each week surrounded by such brilliant minds was an honor. The dynamic of our class was no doubt unmatched and the diversity of thought was incredibly beneficial. Now for your thank you, Lisa- you have brought such great insight into the class, especially being our in house HR expert. Your blog posts were always leaving me wanting to learn more and your energy in class was always refreshing. Good luck on your future endeavors and congratulations on graduating!

  11. Divya Jha · ·

    Lisa, this blog isn’t just thoughtful and observant, it’s an extension of who you are! You have a natural appreciation for people and their talent that I can confidently say you’re working in the right domain, your company is very lucky to have you. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us throughout the semester! Congratulations on your upcoming graduation and I wish you the very best for the future!

  12. Andrae Allen · ·

    Thanks Lisa, you were may favorite blog poster. Kind of like when your favorite entertainer drops a new movie/book/album and you’re like I gotta check this out because I already know its good. You were that for me! Keep up the great work. Clean Harbors is blessed to have you. Have a great Summer!!!

%d bloggers like this: