What a Time to Be Alive

What a semester! From a historical perspective the argument could be made that we took this class at the absolute best time. As we fought through the pandemic, I was very happy when BC announced that this class would be in person. As Professor Kane has said a few times, this isn’t a class that would translate as well to an online format, it would still be good but not as good. As we experienced over the past year and a half Covid-19 has forced companies to transform which played very nicely into this classes syllabus.

When I first enrolled in the MBA program at BC my expectation was that I would be able to interact with my peers on a regular basis, learning from them as much as I was learning from the professors. Partly due to Covid and partly due to the fact that most of us are doing this in addition to our careers, that expectation has not been fulfilled. It can be difficult to interact with other students in other classes because we’re so focused on getting through the program more so than interacting and building relationships. Don’t get me wrong I’ve met some really good people in the program, it’s just a lot different than what I thought. That’s one of the best aspects of this course, not interacting is not an option. I really wish more classes were like this in the sense that I felt like I was able to learn a lot more about people both personally and professionally in this class than other classes. One of the most important things that I learned is that some of my classmates share a similar appreciation for music, what a time to be alive!

What a Time to Be Alive

One of the aspects that I found really useful was breaking out into smaller groups to talk amongst people and then coming back to the larger group to talk about what we learned. I got so much from hearing from my peers on a weekly basis about what trends they were finding interesting and hearing different perspectives, classes like this are why I join why I decided to get my MBA. This class afforded us so many freedoms to discuss topics that we were passionate about instead of rigidly aligning to a syllabus. It felt uncomfortable in the beginning, especially as I was wondering, am I doing this correctly? But I was able to get out of my anti-social media shell and really enjoyed the Twitter portion of the course.

The person Willy Wonka was talking to was me in January

What I learned:

            From a knowledge perspective on the digital transformation front I feel like I learned that this is an ever evolving field and it’s not that we can just take this class and know everything. I am going to have to stay active on Twitter to understand the constantly changing field of technology and transformation.

I’m really happy about how much we learned about the blockchain. I still don’t fully comprehend cryptocurrency and where it’s headed but it’s very clear to me that the blockchain is here to stay. I am at least able to verbalize what I don’t understand about cryptocurrency much more now than I was at the beginning of the semester. Before this class I didn’t understand the difference between the blockchain and cryptocurrency. I was under the impression that the blockchian was solely there to support crypto and I am glad that we did a deep dive into this and the new world that is the blockchain.

Really what I don’t understand is the explosive growth that we have seen, especially over the past four months.  I am not skeptical that crypto will continue to be around it’s mainly the valuation that does not make sense to me. For example, Ether has more than doubled since the first day of this class (2/3/21) as depicted by the graph above.

I’m also a lot less intimidated by artificial intelligence after taking this class. A quote that I will live by going forward “AI won’t replace doctors, doctors that use AI will replace doctors that don’t use AI.” What I really feel that I learned in this course is how managers can leverage AI in a way that will be beneficial to all parties involved.

This class was very demanding from a time consumption standpoint but I really feel like, especially compared to other classes, it was worth it. What I like about this class is although the load was a lot we were learning about really fascinating topics which made it much more enjoyable. If I could review this course in one sentence it would be, demanding but you will be really glad you took it, Professor Kane has a way of teaching that makes class an event that you really look forward to. Reading the email that Professor Kane sent out the week before class started I was really intimidated by the format of this class but four months later I’m really glad that I stuck with it.

5 comments

  1. I confess that I’m really conscious about trying to make the class demanding. If I started to attract students who just wanted an easy class, this whole model could really devolve quickly. It’s built on the willingness for the students to get engaged and go above and beyond.

  2. shaneriley88 · ·

    I agree, Sam. I think COVID added another element that illuminated many imperatives and risks surrounding digital transformation. A few classmates have voiced the thought that this class should be in the core MBA courses. I’ll be curious to watch the #ISYS8621 Twitter feed and see how things pan out going forward for the BC MBA. The class concepts spanned across all academic focus areas that make up the generalist degree that is an MBA. Great job on Twitter! Thanks for being an integral and analytics part of the 8621 experience. Bravo Zulu!

  3. Scott Siegler · ·

    Sam, awesome post! I love the reference to one of the best collab albums ever made too. Diamonds Dancing is audio gold. I agree that we were fortunate to be able to take this class at this specific point in time, and I wrote about that exact idea in my blog post too. Also, this class also made me feel much more comfortable with a lot of the topics that I let fly over my head before like AI and blockchain.

  4. changliu0601 · ·

    I feel the same way. As a result of the pandemic, companies are realizing that digital transformation is something they must do.And as people pay more attention to cryptocurrency, the public begins to discuss cryptocurrency more.It is the best time for us to take this class. Loved your Twitter feed.

  5. lisahersh · ·

    Really insightful post, Sam! I totally agree with you that this class really provides a metaphorical snap shot in time of where technology is today and *might* be in the future – and therefore COVID did add a lot of value to the course’s content. Having an openness to learn about digital innovations and discuss with others the potential issues, implications, and benefits is really what I’m walking away from this class with (as well as a rudimentary idea of blockchain and its uses). I too feel like this class is exactly how an MBA education is often described, and that many classes don’t live up to the hype (although a lot of the strategy mgmt classes are a close second to this course). I wonder if it’s the nature of the content, the Professor, or a combination of the two that make it this immersive interactive experience or if its aura can be recreated in other classes.

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