Dos and Dont’s

It is a cliche, but I absolutely cannot believe that this is the last blog post of the semester. Typing the final blog post of the semester means months have passed, the seasons have changed, and I am on the cusp of completing two more courses in the part-time MBA program. I am also on the cusp of finishing my last fall semester (maybe ever?) of school which is very exciting but leads me to reflect on how quickly time passes. I appreciate an exercise like a final reflection blog post that requires looking back on our experience. 

My initial thoughts 

  • That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be…
  • I know my classmates Twitter handles better than I know their names 
  • I think I learned a lot and it wasn’t very painful
  • Snack time is for grad students too! 
  • I have used the sentence “In my digital transformation class…” more times than I can count since August 
  • That was kind of fun
Best snack of the semester? Either the cheeseboard or the meatballs get my vote.

I titled my first blog post “Expectations”. It is funny reading back now what I expected the course to be before the first class – lecture-based with tests and quizzes. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Another thing I “expected” was to meet some new classmates. This class facilitated new relationships more than any other course I have taken over the past 2 years. The combination of snack time, Twitter throughout the week, blog posts, comments, presentations, and small groups was a recipe for learning about students’ jobs, experiences, and opinions by bringing the course beyond the classroom. I think this is a great benefit of a part time MBA program and the class led to interesting and thought-provoking discussions. This was supported by a very knowledgeable professor who was completely 

Due to the fact that I was completely wrong in my expectations before our first-class meeting, I have decided to make a quick do’s and don’ts list for people who are interested in taking this course in the future. 

Do: 

  • Be prepared to have a constant stream of work. 
    • While courses with only a midterm and a final can be a lower stress environment from week to week, I have thoroughly enjoyed a semester without a midterm or final. I find that the constant flow of deliverables keeps me more plugged into the weekly course content while decreasing stress levels at the same time. 
  • Be prepared to receive feedback and constructive criticism. 
    • I think this might be the first course where I received direct feedback from my classmates about my presentation. The last time I can think of a scenario where I received presentation feedback from classmates was maybe third grade. I found this extremely helpful and meaningful. Seeing consistencies across the feedback truly highlighted my strengths and areas for improvement which is useful. 

Don’t: 

  • Expect to cruise through the semester with minimal effort. 
    • Like I mentioned earlier in my blog post, the workflow is consistent. There is a checklist of things that need to be completed each week or you will be quick to fall behind. I also recommend putting in real effort to your presentation because every single person in the class is putting their best foot forward and giving their best effort. I give major props to those who presented in the first week. I would not have been able to do that! I appreciate that Professor Kane offers a mid-semester checkup of your deliverables, and you are able to catch up from there. This class does require a level of self-discipline to keep up with the deliverables and may not be everyone’s favorite style of learning. 
  • Think “boring” topics are going to fly. 
    • The hardest part of the course for me personally was thinking of blog post subjects, presentation subjects, and tweets. I was genuinely surprised at the diversity in blog posts and presentations. Please comment on this post HOW you thought of such interesting topics to produce the past few months! I know we discussed at the beginning of class why there is virtually no prompt or direction for blogs or presentations, but this was one of the hardest parts of the semester for me. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I feel like I was pushed out of my comfort zone which I think is the sign of growth and learning. Professor Kane in combination with all my classmates made the environment comfortable to share opinions and thoughts each class session. The class also highlights current events while establishing guidelines and frameworks that can be implemented in future business scenarios. The highlight of the class for me was all the presenters. From the in-class book launch to learning about Alexa, BC’s social media, and unlimited coffee at Panera, I was constantly riveted. To any prospective #ISYS8621 students – take this class! It will be fun. It will be interesting. I think you will take what you learn in this class with you, and it will be easily implemented in your everyday work. To current #ISYS8621 students thank you for a great semester!

11 comments

  1. I argue that snack time should be required in grad classes from here on out! You are right about boring topics. I kept an ongoing list of possible blog ideas and presentations all semester. I early on realized that while I may be super interested in topic A, topic B is sexier and would be more interesting to everyone else. Luckily, with the help of Twitter, I was still able to learn a lot about boring (well, not to me!) topic A without having to proofread a whole blog.

  2. DownEastDigital · ·

    Congrats on almost being done with your part-time MBA, I’m finishing up this semester and can’t believe how fast it went by. I really struggled with blog posts as well and what I ultimately would settle on are topics that I was interested in myself instead of what I thought would be people pleasers. I think you can’t go wrong as long as you’re genuinely interested in a topic yourself and have spent the time diving in. There were a couple of times I started to blog about something obscure that I wasn’t really interested in and could tell just doing the research that it wasn’t the right move. That’s how I settled on the subject of gray tech for my presentation.

  3. shanpopzaruba · ·

    Fully agreed that the direct feedback from peers was different but appreciated. In my world of undergrad feedback, often times residents will give me feedback like “The vending machines aren’t working” which believe it or not, is not part of my role as an RD. The feedback from this class was from people who were actually paying attention to what you are doing/saying and with your genuine improvement in mind. Also agreed that classes (especially night classes) should include a snack break, since this class was the only class so far I was really able meet the people around me!! Thanks for the blog!!

  4. Ditto on struggling to connect twitter handles and wordpress handles and student names… I kept going back to that list on the site like some sort of digital Rosetta Stone.

    This was the first in person class I’ve had since Spring 2020 and I found the discussion time to be so great, especially for a course that covers such a wide (moving) range of topics.

  5. Kanal Patel · ·

    Loved your little summary of take always from this course. Totally agree with you on the twitter handles. I definitely know the twitter handles more than the actual names of everyone on class haha Loved all the conversations in class and openness as well. thanks for the blog and good luck!!

  6. Bryan Glick · ·

    Great wrap up, and couldn’t agree any more on your Dos and Donts. The one that really stuck with me personally is the preparation for constructive criticism. Being a primarily student-run course, it seemed like every deliverable I submitted or completed had far more student feedback that from Professor Kane; and I think that’s why this class is so great. While Professor Kane did a great job moderating for our class, the majority of value I will take away from this class came from my peers. I’m especially glad we were able to take this course in person as well. Being able to participate in a group discussion not on zoom was such a refreshing experience.

  7. Love your comment on knowing Twitter handles better than actual names. I am guilty of this as well but was to ashamed to admit it.

    My favorite presenter of the semester was Fergus. I feel as though he “got it” when presenting to us and was able to really engage us and not just answer our questions, but turn them into informative discussions.

  8. Great wrap-up post! I could not agree more with how important snack time is for grad students who have night classes.

    I enjoyed Fergus O’Donoghue’s presentation the most but the other presenters were also insightful and engaging!

  9. parkerrepko · ·

    100% agree with your do’s and don’ts. While this class has been less stressful due to no mid-term or final, you do need to keep up with the cadence of twitter posts and blog posts. The best presentations were ones that a) were thoroughly developed and b) the presenter was passionate about the topic. As for coming up with twitter posts and blog posts, I consumed so much news outside of my general sources, which I plan to continue doing as I find it fascinating.

  10. Congratulations on wrapping up the MBA Program! I wish I could of read this blog before class started because your brought up a lot of great points. I think Fergus O’Donaghue was by far the best guest speaker we had in class this semester. He was entertaining and passionate about the work despite his unorthodox career path.

  11. totombc2021 · ·

    Great post here, love the do’s and dont’s! Congrats on graduating the MBA program! Hopefully they have snack time in your future endeavors :)

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