I attended my first week of classes for this semester, and I noticed some interesting patterns.
First, students in general are so much more open than people in the professional world. Maybe this is just the people I’ve met in the professional world, but I’m always struck by how quickly people show their hand and make assessments in an academic setting. Particularly in the Organizational Behavior class, all the students “get” each other pretty quickly. The ice breaker activity on the first day was to choose a partner that you didn’t know, and introduce them. The questions included asking about their biggest accomplishment or proudest moment, and their biggest failure or disappointment. Digging deep, right off the bat! I walked into that class without knowing anyone, and by the end of a 3 hour session, I’d formed a semester-long group that I already feel very comfortable with. This type comfort seems to take much longer in professional settings I’ve experienced.
Further, it was interesting that so many more people were comfortable speaking to the class than in my accounting class. It’s odd, because this OB class is required for most of the programs represented in the class, so there’s not a higher concentration of marketing nerds that just enjoy presenting. Maybe it’s the class setting, and the fact that the ice breaker was informal, as opposed to the accounting class with a formal presentation for a grade? Either way, most of the people in the class stood up to speak, made eye contact with the audience, and spoke loudly and clearly throughout their introduction. The accounting presentations involved reading a notecard in a soft voice, with heads buried behind the card or the computer screen. HUGE differences that made me feel more confidence in my peers after leaving class last Wendesday evening!
So, I feel this semester is going to get the gears turning in my head, and I’m excited for the synergy that I believe will happen between my classes and my work days. It’s good to be back in a class with people that are open and articulate, so we’ll see if my first impressions hold true as the semester progresses!