Learning is the core component of our academic journey through college. Yet, the medium of education isn’t always so transparent. Primarily, we focus on our academic coursework, taking in new concepts and, as a result, expanding upon our knowledge base. The BADM395 Practicum course did just that–albeit in a more transformative way. The skill of adaptability is now more critical than ever, and I had the chance to hone it through this course.
As we entered our first in-person semester post-pandemic, I realized that it would be a challenging task to regain the confidence and skill needed to excel in a business environment. For me, this meant adapting to a new work environment: one that emphasizes collaboration through technology. Some companies have started embracing remote work in the market while others stand by their in-person atmosphere. Either way, the global business climate is changing, and I saw this as an opportunity to grow and adapt. By taking the Practicum, I embraced the change, and the experience was a necessary part of my academic learning.
The course’s approach to soft skills that are paramount in today’s market was essential in becoming more adaptable. The skills included collaboration, communication, and leadership. As we worked within our consulting group, we received ample time to engage with them. During the virtual semesters, I was isolated from working in a team setting. Although we had team projects and presentations, it was hard for me to adjust quickly to a sudden change. Being back in class and working within a team, the Practicum enabled me to practice confidence in that setting while adding to the diversity of ideas. In addition, I felt a lot more comfortable in communication. Working in person during class combined with some virtual team meetings and virtual client meetings gave me that time to become adaptable. Communication, as a result, became smoother as I learned the team dynamics and spent more time talking with the client. Versatility also played a vital role in the growth of my leadership. As a co-leader, I was at the center of managing deadlines, team meet-ups, and deliverables. The responsibilities transcended through different communication channels and prepared me to tackle the objectives.
Looking beyond my group, being in the classroom helped me gather knowledge. With such a diversity of projects present, groups took approaches, which was an indirect way for me to acquire insights. Everything from how the slides were designed to the way groups presented their findings was an excellent way for us to accumulate information. Of course, the time spent in the class was not just on learning but also applying what we previously learned in other courses. A variety of concepts, such as the SWOT analysis, were well integrated into everyone’s deliverables to add depth.
Through my time in the Practicum, I saw an opportunity to become more adaptive prior to entering the industry. Through the course, I saw the new work environment that emphasized a pressing need to deliver through technology while incorporating teamwork and leadership. Most importantly, learning through this medium was a fundamental step for me to adapt to a changing work climate and prepare myself to succeed in my professional career.