The IS/OM Practicum Course allowed me to learn a number of things through real experience. I wasn’t taught these things by being told it in lecture, I had to learn these things on my own and with my team which made the experience and lessons more memorable and meaningful.
By having real and high stakes, me and my team had to put a lot more time and effort into this course than we would into a regular course. But that time and effort definitely paid off because I was able to learn these five main lessons:
- In a consulting-like career (and some other roles too), you have to constantly learn to adapt to new challenges that arise and be able to switch the route you are going in.
- It’s alright to not know something and make that known to the client so that they can give you the correct information that will allow you to succeed. While it feels embarrassing to admit you don’t know something to the client, it allows you to open up to your client and get constructive help that will lead you to your solution faster and be more suited for the client.
- I learned how to work with a new group of people while building personal and professional relationships at the same time. It also allowed us to be more open and speak up when we disagree with each other so that we can find the best solution for the client as well as hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas. Moreover, it allowed me to find a new group of lifelong friends.
- Being open and honest with yourself, the team, and the client allows you to be more productive and get work done instead of beating around the bush and wasting time.
- Lastly, a phrase that was emphasized to us a lot that my team was able to see in action: underpromise and overdeliver. While it didn’t make much sense to us in the beginning, we saw the impact of that statement in our last client meeting. We never made it obvious how far we were going to get, only how much we got done to that point. During the final weeks, we were able to use all the information we had and tie up ALL the ends and provide extra research, advice, and solutions (which the client didn’t expect us to do because they thought they knew everything we have for them) and presented that at the final client meeting where the client was very impressed because we gave them more than they expected.
These five lessons are crucial to my growth from this course and will allow me to be more prepared for the start of my career soon. While we were completely virtual throughout this entire project, it taught me how to function as a fully virtual team with a client and that is a useful skill for the coming years. This course has also allowed me to connect with a lot of new people and build my network, which is a very important aspect during this time.
If I am to go into a consulting position in the future, I will know how to interact and build a relationship with the client as well as my team even for a short-term project. Not only has this course taught me valuable lessons and skills, it has taught me what a consulting career entails in the real world before I have even graduated from the university.
The friendships, connections, memories, and lessons this course gave me are truly valuable and this was definitely a huge growth experience for me.