Stepping Out of Comfort Zone

This semester I was very fortunate to have the chance to enroll in this practicum, and I learned lots of meaningful lessons from this unique and valuable experience. I first knew about this practicum was in an email that sent to me at the end of last semester, and I got interested in this course after reading through the email but I had no idea about the details of this course or the project. It turned out that registering for this practicum was the best decision I made in the year. Looking back the whole semester, it is amazing to see how much I had learned and grow in problem solving and teamwork.  

The greatest lesson that this project taught me was working in a team virtually and cooperating with my teammate closely. In all my previous project in classes, teamwork just means to divide up the assignments and work individually. However, this project gave me a different experience in team bonding and developing trust among team members. An effective and supportive team didn’t just pop up from somewhere. It took time and effort for the team members to know each other and create synergy. The key to this was communication and being honest with each other at the beginning of the project. Communication was crucial for team development, and it was more important under the current virtual circumstance. For example, in the past, I often forgot to check emails and messages, but now I learned the importance of timely checking of messages or I would get behind on the updates. Also, being honest with team members could be helpful when dividing the tasks based on the strength and weakness of each member, and this ensured the efficiency in finishing up the tasks.

Also. I became more open-minded and willing to speak up in the discussion. As the project moved on, team members become more familiar with each other, and the team was more connected. We were more freely in sharing our ideas and disagreement during discussion. I learned lots of professional skills from my team members, such as the skills of creating more professional PowerPoint slides and presentation skills. In addition, helping each other out in a team was also a main portion of teamwork. After the midpoint presentation, our team had a reassignment of tasks to have all the team members to help with the technical sides. It was not only to finish the own part of tasks but as a team to work and improve.

The second lesson that I learned was problem solving and self-learning. I was very nervous at the first few weeks since the project involves the use of ERP system that I have very little experience with. I need to be a fast learner to gain some knowledge on this ERP system. I watched the tutorial videos and training lessons in order to know the basic operation and the system’s potential ability. This experience motivated me to self-learn and go beyond the project to improve myself since I realized how limited I was in my ability and skills. There are many things that won’t be taught in the classroom setting, and even though we were using what the lecture taught us, it was still necessary for some adjustment in order successfully apply on the project.

As the project came to an end, I was thankful for my team members and the Professor to provide so much support and encouragement to me. This project required me to step out of my comfort zone to not just focus on the lecture in classes but to have a hand-on experience on applying what I learn to offer a real-world solution to the client. I believe the lessons that I learned from this project would still be useful in my future career and continue to benefit me. In the future, I will know how to work in a team to better promote the team efficiency, and I will also continue self-improving to learn new skills.