An Improving Learning Curve

The IS/OS Practicum Course has been a huge learning opportunity for me, especially since I was not very confident in my IS skills. I have always focused on improving and polishing my skills in the field of Finance, since it has always been primary interest, that I wasn’t confident I could keep up with my teammates for a non-finance related project. When I joined the IS/OS Practicum Course, I was still a bit jittery about my skills in the field and wasn’t sure if I would be able to contribute enough to help the team progress.

The first few weeks of the class were dedicated to team building and for the team members to know about each other, like the strengths of the team members, and how the roles could be divided in a way that the members are happy with their roles and at the same time ensuring everyone was contributing to the project. During our first team meeting when we were deciding on the roles each of us would get for the project, I was given the role of handling the Migration process with Mengqing. I was a bit nervous since not only was this my first IS project, but it was also a project where I was gonna work with a real life client as well. Since all this was also happening during the pandemic, I wanted to make sure I can make the most out of this opportunity I was given. During the initial few weeks of the project, we were focusing on understanding more about the problem and only started the Migration process after the Midpoint was completed. Those weeks provided a huge opportunity for me to not only learn and understand what was expected from me, but also opened doors to new learning opportunities that I had not thought I would come across when I registered for the course. The project helped me in improving my communication, since communication was the basis of the project due to the Pandemic and since not everyone from the team was on campus. An example of this was during the trouble we faced during our midpoint presentation. While we had worked on it together, we had to make changes to the presentation at the last moment in order to make it presentable to the client the very next day. Together as a team we helped each other out and were able to tackle the problem. This process, not only improved my communication skills, but also helped me improve my presentation skills. I was able to contribute and make better slides for our final presentation and I was also able to implement it in few of my other courses that I had taken this semester, where I had to present with a team at the end of the course. After the midpoint presentation was over, we moved on to the Migration stage of the project. During the start of the project we were told that we had till the end of the course to do all the migration in the testing environment, however, after the Midpoint we were updated that since the client was growing a rapid rate, they were able get the testing environment to end quicker than expected. This meant that if we could get the Migration process done quicker, we could also get the opportunity to run the Migration in the finalized environment. This would mean that we would be able to get a feel of whether what we did during the migration process was done correctly or did the data show errors when run in the main environment. This was a huge chance for me as well as others in the team to get hands-on experience in Migration.

Now, when we are at the end of the project, I feel as though my learning curve increase by a greater amount each week because of this course. It is not only because the project required us to learn more and improve, but also because we would have guest speakers who would tell us more about their experience in different aspects of their job and what the course can help us learn and how we can implement what we learnt in this course when we get jobs in the future. I also felt as though the learning curve was also affected more because I was also able to use what I was learning in this course to other courses that I was taking this semester at the same time. Since all the learnings were fresh in my mind and I was getting the opportunity to implement it more and more, I was able to get the learnings stuck in my head. I am grateful to all the mentors who helped us during the period of this course and am also grateful to my teammates, since I was also able to learn a lot from them. I hope that the I can meet with them in person before my graduation to celebrate with them, since we have met just over video-calls during the entire semester due to the Pandemic.