Beyond Just a Course

To start off in complete honesty, I was absolutely terrified when I first decided to take this practicum. And now that it has come to an end, I can confidently say I am not the same student I was when it began. I went into this practicum very hopeful and excited, as I knew it would not be a typical business course. But with this came so many fears of the unknown as well, and questions of whether I would be able to successfully complete the work that was asked of me. This fear turned even stronger when I received more information on my team’s project, specifically about Robotic Process Automation. I had zero experience in working with anything technology related prior to this project, and only knew what I had learned from Information Systems courses I had taken. I quickly realized that this information, although useful, was not as related as I thought it would be. This project was a completely different kind of learning and required the implementation of various other skills that I had not even used or learned yet. I was in for a challenge. 

My initial reaction proved to be both right and wrong. Yes, this course was not a typical business class and contained many challenges. But no, it was not true that I was not capable of the work. I was capable, and with the help of my wonderful team, I came to realize this. Now that all of the hard work is done, I look back at the endless list of skills that I gained throughout this course and working with my clients on this project, solidifying and improving the old skills and mastering the new ones. Some of these seem small but created a large impact on the success of this project. Time management, communication, collaboration, proper research, planning, exploring ideas, creating alternate methods, solidifying existing data, and implementation are just a few of the many essential skills that I have gathered throughout this course while working with the professor, the clients, and of course my team. 

This is the one and only course where I can say “it’s beyond just a course”. I cannot imagine any other class preparing me for a real job in the real world as well as this one has, to the extent that it has. I did not just learn what RPA is, what my clients do, and how to solve problems. I got to work with and study RPA, work with actual clients, and solve ACTUAL problems. Nothing is more useful than this. I know this is true because I always think of this experience as not a course, but more of a project, job, or internship. I do not think some sort of compensation is what makes something more than just a course, I think it is the valuable information and experiences that are gained that make it more than just a course. And this one is just that. I can confidently say that I will be taking everything that I have learned here to the outside world, and I will be succeeding with it. This experience for me was fulfilling, educational, and rewarding, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.