July 28, 2011 - 12:00 PM
I first heard of this model while doing online training for my internship at Regence. The formula is a generally accepted learning development model stating that 70 percent of learning takes place from on-the-job experience. 20 percent is from feedback from the work you have done and observation of work from mentors. The last 10 percent comes from formalized training such as lectures.
Being a good student all my life I found it difficult to buy-in to this rule. With all that I have gained in 16 years of formalized classes, how can that make up 10 percent of my learning? Turns out, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Here is my personal experience of this model.
I have played the student role very successfully in my life. I have taken the more difficult classes, studied for tests, double-checked my papers and talked with teachers during office hours. I have an elevated vernacular, a first-rate GPA, and most importantly I can answer many Jeopardy questions. During classroom discussions I feel pretty good about myself.
Feedback and Observation
Let's start with my feedback. I am always knocked down a peg or two, which is good. The papers I think our great come back bleeding of red ink from the mighty pen of the GTF. What I may think of as a witty line most likely gets me a "Huh? I have found from my coaches that the only way I have ever excelled my skills was if I was given a dose of reality on my weaknesses.
I believe watching a professional doesn't make you a professional, but makes you better. Watching a journalist asking questions in the field shows you what thinking on your feet looks like. Observing how to properly field a baseball paints a picture in your mind of how it is done. I have adapted quickly to environments because of my ability to observe and remember.
Wow, what an eye-opener this has been. With my internship in the Strategic Communications department of a corporation I have had to learn, and learn quickly. In the middle of a meeting I cannot raise my hand and ask "excuse me, what do all these acronyms mean?" When given an assignment and asked "You know how to use (insert computer system) right?" I say yes, of course. Because through this experience I have realized that having a sit-down formal training course for everything I need to learn, with feedback afterwards, just isn't possible. A Learn-as-you-go-and-dust-yourself-off approach is the way the business world works and fails.
This model is excellent for teachers, managers, and mentors to realize. A pupil cannot just sit, listen, and watch to gain even half the level of understanding needed. On the contrary, throwing a person into a shark tank so they can learn first-hand how to feed a shark isn't the brightest idea either.
July 27, 2011 - 12:00 PM
I have always been an over planer. I started looking for my housing in December and I began looking for my internship in February. Some look at this as a plus. I have heard ‘wow Jen, you are a really prepared and organized, I wish I was like that.' Wrong. Yes, I do believe that in many ways my excessive desire to see the future has helped me steer clear of road blocks however; it has caused major panic attacks in the presence. Take for instance, my current situation.
I have received a great internship for this summer. Although I love it and am learning a plethora of valuable skills that will help my course work, the student-run PR agency on campus (AHPR) that I work for, and my career endeavors, I am already looking for job opportunities for when I graduate. I have started following over 10 Twitter job sites in the respective areas I would like to work. Why? I don't know. I guess seeing that there are opportunities out there make me want to jump on them now. Never mind you that a bachelor's degree is required to start and I need at least nine more months of schooling for that. I suppose a giant reason for this has to do with an all too familiar occurrence that happened most recently to me a few days ago.
I visited Nordstrom's Anniversary sale this weekend. While my boyfriend was trying on a pair of shoes the salesman started talking to us. We found out that he went to the University of Oregon and graduated in 2008. ‘So, he graduated over three years ago and is a shoe salesman' I thought. Then I wondered if he majored in something that is not necessarily applicable to many jobs. I asked him what his major was and he said "I double majored in Business Administration and International Business with a minor in Spanish." Gulp. What? How is that possible? As I left a panic started hitting me. I have heard of this happening before but with the job market not as terrible now as it was I thought it was in the past. Turns out, I was wrong.
So the panic began instantly once more. Instead of taking a breather on my lunch break I am scanning sites on who hires recent grades and what agencies offer paid internships. I have thought of the locations best suited for my career path, and cross examined them with where I would want to live and where it would be most affordable for me to live. I have also started counting the dollar amounts, which is never a calming activity. I read articles on how to obtain a job out of college and I stress about it, a lot.
I wonder if the job market was not so atrocious if I would be more at ease... doubtful. The truth is, when you over plan your life there will always be a panicky feeling somewhere inside finding something to stress about. People tell me not to worry and stressing only makes things worse, but I have never been instructed on how not to stress. I guess I can research that on my lunch break too. As of right now, I worry about the job market and me finding a place in it. If/when I end up in my desired career path I am sure I will be worried about elevating my career and then raising my children and then who knows what.
July 24, 2011 - 4:25 PM
During my time here at Regence I have been able to visit with some of the other interns. I haven't gotten to know them extremely well, but we have discussed the basics. One of the most popular questions we ask one another is "what school do you go to?" Just a few of the answers I have received:
• The University of Notre Dame
• University of Southern California
• University of San Diego
• New York University
• Dartmouth University
• Stanford University
• University of Portland
• Northwestern University
At first, hearing some of these prestigious schools made me feel a little uneasy. I thought to myself "how did I get this internship when so many of these schools are more prestigious than mine?" But then I realized the University of Oregon is undoubtedly right up there as well. We have top programs in business, psychology, political science, education, architecture, and my personal majors' journalism and communication studies. I thought when I told other students that went to places like Notre Dame that I would be looked at differently, possibly lower. I was wrong. I was asked many questions about my school, most about our football team, but others about our programs in general. Oregon is getting the recognition it deserves. Regence handpicked which schools they wanted to advertise their internship programs too. They picked the above mentioned schools and the University of Oregon. I did not beg, borrow or steal for this position; I was sought out for it because of the school I go to. A great corporation like Regence looks for their future employees at NYU, Dartmouth, Northwestern and the University of Oregon. I felt an immense weight on my shoulders at that thought. During my time here I am the ambassador for my alma mater. I am setting the presentence for other UO students to go through this same internship program I am now. Let's just hope I don't screw up!
July 21, 2011 - 12:35 PM
I just read an interesting article from Grow Marketing that was slightly disturbing. There is a relatively new company called Klout that gives your social media presence a grade. Yes, 1-100 grade of what quality your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and now Foursquare existence is. You are scored on how much information you share, whether your "followers" and "friends" respond, and how many people you are connected to on social media. Ok, I will bite; I understand the need in a marketing world for this. Social Media professionals need to have some tangible form of progress for their efforts. However, why do individuals need to be judged by it?
I have a fairly high Klout score, nothing spectacular, but elevated above most of my peers. The craze about this judgment is your score drops if you do not partake enough in a day. By actually being social in the non-digital world and actively participating in real-life results in negative repercussions of a Klout score. Now, you may be thinking, ‘so what?' I concur. A number, what does it mean if it is +1 or -2? Turns out, it does matter in the communications world.
I am a Public Relations and Advertising major while obtaining a minor in Business. I am fairly positive I am going into the corporate communications field or an advertising agency. My Klout score in these fields matter. There are elite clubs for members of Klout with a score of 50 or higher. People are asked to attend exclusive conferences based on how high their score is. People have been rejected from job positions because their score was too low. This Klout thing just got real.
I have one year left at UO. To make sure I have a job after I graduate I am going to have to keep a high GPA, possibly receive another internship, find letters of recommendations (hand written and on LinkedIn), actively look for job openings, use my networks and contacts, and now keep track of my social media score. I think it is safe to say that finding a job with a college degree has never been harder.
July 15, 2011 - 12:30 PM
Last night, at 12:04 I witnessed my childhood end. The Harry Potter series is over. I have been growing up with these novels since I was 11 years old and now, a large part of my youthful and whimsical fantasies has come to an end. I guess it had to sooner or later, I am 21 years old now after all. The part that is eerie about this is it is true, with my internship in the city and soon to enter my senior year of college I am a grown up.
I have always been a forward-thinker. I have had my classes planned out for each term for over a year now. I have researched the best market places for my career to begin looking for a job before I graduate. I have never stopped to ponder where my life is at this second until last night.
In the 10 years Harry Potter has been present in my life I have grown up. I entered high school, college, joined a sorority, found my career path, fell in love and received a broken heart and learned to believe in myself no matter what. I am on the brink of adulthood and surprisingly, I'm not scared. I am ready to work long hours for little pay in a cramped apartment. I am prepared to move to where I have no safety net of friends and family to catch me. I am prepared to expect the unexpected. Many of my peers are dreading the fact that we only have one more year of college. I have enjoyed my experience at UO tremendously but, it is only suppose to last four years. I feel I have squeezed as much out of my childhood as I possibly could have and am now ready to embrace my future. So, goodbye Harry Potter, you may be done but we will always have our memories together.