The Transformation Continues

Walking out of class last Wednesday was a bizarre feeling for me, as it was my last class and the last time I’d be on campus as a student at BC. Although I knew it would be my final class, it still never really sunk in until I started to pack up my stuff and head out. I had spent the last week overthinking my presentation and planning around every little thing that could go wrong and hadn’t taken time to sit back and appreciate everything that had led me to that point. As I made my way out of Fulton hall and to my car on Beacon Street I started to slow down. It just didn’t feel right walking away from everything so fast and I wanted to take it all in just one last time…so I turned around and ended up taking a couple laps around campus as I thought about my time here. That’s when I realized that this was easily one of the best classes that I’ve taken here. The best classes in my opinion are those that provide the most valuable technical skills and those that are able to change the way a student thinks and this class fits squarely into that second category. I simply think about the world differently than I did at the beginning of this semester.

source : simplilearn

Graduating with an MBA is like any life event in the sense that people seem to have a pre-programmed set of questions for me when they find out about my coursework coming to an end. It’s just like getting married, when people immediately move right on to the next set of expectations and fire off questions about when you’ll buy real estate, have kids, or my favorite question – “how’s married life?!”. With the holidays I’ve been getting pelted with questions related to graduating and the best part of this class has been the ability to discuss what we’ve been learning about. In the past maybe I’d have something to say about data analytics or investing in renewable energy which is a class I enjoyed, but in this class, we talk about the things everyone is curious about. Crypto, blockchain, Meta, AI, crisis-driven transformation…I’ve never had a class that I was excited to talk about outside of class and that’s exactly what happened this semester. Instead of looking to avoid the types of conversations that come with discussing schoolwork the opposite happened as I enjoyed bringing up what we were learning about to hear other people’s opinions. 

I feel like this is a class that you live as opposed to one that you take. Every other class is one that I’ve simply taken, not one that consumes my thinking as I work my way through the airport or a round of golf. This semester I have been constantly drawing parallels to what we’re learning about as I think about interesting things outside of class that I can bring into our virtual classroom (Twitter). When reading the news or just browsing online, I find myself getting genuinely excited when I find a cool article to share with the class. If I’m on the go I set a reminder to tweet about it and if I’m sitting in front of a computer I stop everything I’m doing to head to Twitter and share my find with the class. Other times when something big happens I know I don’t have to share it because everyone in our class is on the same page, we’re all thinking about how it relates to class and we know that we’ll be discussing it as a group. 

As many of you may know by now, I’m a classroom introvert. And what I mean by that is that I haven’t really actively participated in discussions as much as I would have liked to. Outside of class, I guess I’m an introvert as well but I wouldn’t consider myself a quiet person at all, I just seem to get quieter in class. Where I’m going with this is that I hope I was able to contribute to your experience this semester in the same way that each of you contributed to mine. I really enjoyed the structure of our class and felt that I could pick up the slack a bit on Twitter or blog comments or maybe even my somewhat bizarre topic of gray tech. I hope each of you was able to learn a few things from me because I absolutely learned something from each of you. The style of our class kept every single session so interesting and I really liked knowing that even though we had a general outline for the class, a discussion could go in any direction at any time for however long we needed to cover what we were discussing. Thank you to each of you for sharing your perspectives this semester.

source: buffalo7.co.uk

In terms of disappointments, I only have one. I chose to take this class because I was interested in digital transformation as it related to the healthcare industry and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to customize my presentation completely. That being said, I was pretty disappointed in the lack of eye contact with the audience I had during my presentation. It was something that I was working on a lot outside class as I practiced, but I found there’s just no way to simulate a game-time environment. Even though I had run through my presentation 30+ times, I still found myself getting tripped up when I looked up to see a classroom of people looking back at me. I need to get better at presenting and my presentation was actually the first time I had ever presented to a class individually and in person during my time at BC. If anyone else has struggled with this, I’d love to hear how you overcame it and the techniques you use when presenting!

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a class like this should be part of the core curriculum for MBAs. Thanks to Professor Kane for deciding to give us boring MBAs another chance and thanks to each of you for making my last semester special.

If you’d like to connect, please do! Instagram LinkedIn

6 comments

  1. llamadelmar · ·

    Congratulations on finishing, I feel like ending your time here at BC with this class is the right way to do it! I totally agree that I have been really eager to talk about this class with friends and family too. However, I am not really sure if they have found it as interesting as a I have and am sure it has to do with the fact that you pointed out – that this is a class that you live.

  2. allietlevine · ·

    Ryan, thank you for writing a great reflection! I relate you to on many occasions, I truly got excited when I would find articles to share with the class.

    I really enjoyed your presentation, you’d had some great jokes and humor intertwined. I just completed the public speaking course, therefore my suggestion to you would be “less is more”. What I mean by that, is rather than write out every single word you’re hoping to say write an outline and practice with your outline as opposed to reading your notes. I hope this helps!

  3. parkerrepko · ·

    Great blog post! And congrats on finishing up your MBA! I also found this class to be interesting and enjoyable – it was interactive both inside the classroom and outside of the classroom, which is a new experience for me. I have new perspectives on various topics that are new to me thanks to the lively discussions and thoughtful presentations. As for eye contact during presentations, I find it helpful to pick 2-3 people that seem engaged and imagine you are presenting to just those people. To be honest, I was impressed by your presentation and speaking skills after not hearing from you during class discussions!

  4. shanpopzaruba · ·

    Congratulations on finishing your MBA!!! And on such a high — you really nailed your presentation and honestly it was a great topic and helped reframe the concept of who technology is really for (answer: everyone!)

    I know what you mean about seeing something and just knowing that everyone will be buzzing about it during Twitter time on Wednesday — when Facebook had the outage, I was like “this is the only thing we are going to talk about.”

    Hopefully our class can find people in our lives who are just as excited as we are to discuss these things, but if not, we will always have Twitter!

    Best of luck on all your next things!!

  5. Congrats on finishing up your MBA – a tremendous achievement! And I love that you took some bonus laps before heading out. I hope you return to campus next May to participate in Commencement!

    In terms of eye contact and such, I noticed no such deficit in your presentation. I thought you delivered it well, with humor and personality (now granted, you didn’t mimic riding a broom, but… that’s probably a good thing!) And your content was interesting, so I thought it all went well.

    My strategy when presenting is just to play to the room: find different people to deliver landing points towards. And on the flip side of that, I try as an audience member to give hearty nods and such when I feel appropriate as I know how helpful that audience feedback is when you are up there.

  6. DropItLikeItHox · ·

    Congratulations on completing your MBA! I enjoyed your candor throughout this blogpost. I think your projection abilities commanded the room during your presentation and I was engaged throughout. Also really enjoyed your insights on comments and blogposts. Will definitely send a LinkedIn connection request your way!

%d bloggers like this: