Stepping out of my digital comfort zone

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I have never written a post on a blog before.

I have never posted a tweet.

And I am not an expert on digital transformation, digital business, or digital disruption.

My name is Max, and I am a graduate exchange student from Germany whose goal it is to step out of his comfort zone – not only personally, but also academically. I expect this course to do exactly that by combining a unique learning experience with new ideas and entrepreneurial spirit for digital projects. 

Teaching at most universities in Europe does not heavily rely on discussions with professors or fellow students, but rather on content presentation with subsequent case solving or follow up questions. In my opinion, this has always limited (to some extend) the possibility of spontaneous and creative discussions as well as problem solving.

I very much look forward to experiencing the exact opposite in this class. The setting of immediate interactions, bilateral learning and benefitting from fellow students who are much more experienced than I am, should give me the chance to acquire more knowledge in four months than I have ever did during my studies. 

This style of teaching fits perfectly with the dynamic topic we are dealing with. Therefore, I hope that it creates a more sustainable and longer-lasting learning outcome – both personally as well as academically. 

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Digitalization is prominent in every organization nowadays. In addition, COVID-19 functioned and still functions as the biggest driver of change in human behavior. This results in the need for fast and continuous adaptation of digital technologies which I want to experience in this course. 

The knowledge I have gained so far regarding digital transformation is quite limited and superficial. I am familiar with using digital technologies to make common business processes, that have always been done, faster and cheaper.  

However, I expect digital technologies to be much more than that. In this class, I want to discover the ones that fundamentally disrupt businesses, going beyond improvements that just simply scratch the surface without leaving a long-term impact. 

Additionally, I am very excited to see how digital transformation not only connects various fields of businesses and technologies with each other but also how it is related to other transformational shifts itself. In my opinion, digital, business model, as well as sustainable transformation are very dependent on each other. 

This course consisting of people with various educational and professional backgrounds has the great potential of discovering how these transformational shifts might be intertwined and how they might be able to support each other in order to achieve not only greater but also more meaningful impact. 

I am looking forward to your comments and our upcoming discussions in future course sessions, hoping that it will be a fun and inspirational time! 

Picture 1: https://fritsahlefeldt.com/2019/01/18/from-comfort-zone-to-solution/

Picture 2: https://marketoonist.com/2020/04/digital-transformation-2.html

4 comments

  1. Max, I really think the mix of part-time and full-time students is going to really benefit the class as a whole. As a part-timer I think I can provide professional experience while the full-timers provide valuable insight from their academic focus. By the way, I took a few semesters of deutsch and I’m currently trying to learn a little Russian. I think being able to speak multiple languages has some carry over into classes like these because it requires your brain to stay to sharp in a unique way.

  2. Max, welcome to Boston College! I certainly can’t speak on behalf of all American Universities but in my experience most content presentation has been taught by the professor and then is followed by questions by students for clarification. I am excited for this change of pace. Like Professor Kane said the first day of class, not one person can be an expert in all digital technologies thus I appreciate that we will all get to learn from one another. I look forward to the perspective and experiences you will add to our class!

  3. Welcome Max! I’m vey interested to hear more of your observations of how things are different in the U.S. compared to continental Europe. I got kind of burnt out by “Corporate America” after three years at Deloitte and a year at small west coast PR agency and so I moved to Stockholm, Sweden where I worked for a small interactive design agency for three years. So I’ve done versions of those comparisons, both ways over the years.

    Are you here in the US for a limited time? I’ve found the immersion in another country and culture to be a mix of excitement, fear and wonder. Hope it is going well for you.

    I enjoyed some time seeing a lot of different parts of Germany many years ago, touring as a drummer for a rock band. (And I actually lived outside of Frankfurt for year when I was a little kid!)

  4. We have some great international representation this semester. Looking forward to your unique perspective in class.

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