Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Integrated Classroom Experience


I'm sure we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that our client presentations are over with. It has definately been an experience to say the least. I just want to take a moment and reflect on what this experience has taught me.

I know for me personally, I have already taken Consultation Skills and have done a similar project. By similar I mean, an outside client came to our class with an issue and we as students were asked to take on the responsibility of proposing a viable solution. So when this project was presented to us, I knew what I was in for. With Consultation skills, our client was the Shattuck Shelter and as much as I complained the entire semester, going through the entire process really taught me a lot. I know there are several of you out there that are taking both Consultation Skills and this class together during the summer, and you each deserve a KUDOS. The Shattuck Shelter service learning project was probably the hardest and most intense project I've ever been given at Northeastern. But it was probably the most worthwhile.

In all honesty, I think these two classes are probably the best classes any of us can take as Communication majors (especially for us who are organizational comm). By integrating what we learn in class into an actual hands on project, at least for me, is the best experience. Northeastern is known for it's co-op program, but I would argue that it's classes like this class and Consultation skills, that also prepare each of us for the "real world." As students who are career conscious (I mean co-op was probably a leading factor in each of us choosing to come to NU), classes like these are instrumental in helping us in the future. I know for me, I went on and on in every co-op interview I had, bragging about the service learning project and I'm sure in the future I will do the same about this WOM proposal as well. I think Northeastern should take advantage of Professors like Dr. Carl and Professor Dallimore, who understand that learning isn't all about knowledge recall but about application and evaluation. Josh, that Bloom's taxonomy is all for you.

I would urge any communications major to take both of these classes. Yes, they require a lot of work and consume rediculous amounts of your social life, but in the end it's worth it. When I have a prominent position in a well known consulting firm, I'll be thanking both Dr. Carl and Professor Dallimore for all their expertise. (How's that last paragraph for positive WOM??)

And on a side note, I just want to congratulate the entire class for a job well done. I really am proud of what we've all accomplished.-->
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10 comments:

KERandall said...

Jesols, I would agree with you that these two classes mentioned are very valuable to our education. I think we now have a step up above other students at more traditional universities who may not get this kind of hands on experience. Coming to college I imagined lectures and skipping class. Now that I am here, and taking classes such as this one, I look forward to class and find myself making connections even when I am interacting socially or at work. I think this WOMM class was especially stimulating because it is a phenomenon we all definitely take part in. In addition, this is a growing industry and we are very fortunate to have a professor as excited as Dr.Carl to get us involved so early in the game. Now, as we enter the professional world, we will already be aware of the benefits/criticims of WOMM as well as techniques to create and launch campaigns. With our last class being tomorrow, I can honestly say I feel more like a part of this WOMM industry than just a student who is learning about it.

DietPepsi said...

I also agree with Kerandall and Jesols. Jesols, I found what you wrote in this blog to directly impact me. I for one thought I would never have an interest in consulting, and that I am a Media Studies focus for a reason. This class has taught me otherwise. Our WOM class has been so much more than just your typical college classroom. The ability that us students have had to engage, learn and read from such significant people in the WOM field is really amazing. I want to thank Jenn and Dr. Carl for that opportunity.

FrankBenway said...

I was actually just having a conversation with my boss about this the other day. I was describing how when I came back from being on co-op in the Spring of '05, sitting in a classroom and studying Company X and Organization Y Case Studies just didn't cut it anymore. After taking this class, as well as Dallimore's Consultation Skills in the Fall of 2005, I have been afforded an extremely valuable education that is so often unique to Northeastern. I genuinely hope that the Comm Studies department strongly considers making one of these application-based courses a capstone requirement for all Org Comm majors.

somerso said...

I know for me, and as much as I complained and stressed about this project..I'm so glad that its over(just kidding). Really this project showed me that both myself, as well as the rest of the class was capeable of handling the responsibilities and large task it was to create a WOM program and bring that program to a client. I surprised myself with my own ability to step up to the challenge, though we hit some lil rocks and pebbles along the way. Personally, I had troubles within the project because my ownly experience with marketing was that from a traditional marketing perspective from co-op and no actual formal training from classes. After completing this project that brought us all out of our comfort zones a lil bit, I think we all realized the benefit of this project. I know now that when I start my new coop next week which is a different type of marketing than on my first coop, I'll take this project and what I've learned with me not just for my portfolio, but as a lesson to my own capabilities. I've been nervous as well as excited to start this new coop and wondering if I'll be successful or a miserable failure, but those nerves are much more settles after this project. phew...

JStephens said...

Ha thanks for the Bloom's Taxonomy plug! In, reality though, it's Eric who's head over heels for the concept. He dreams about it. Anyway, I too loooooove reaching for those higher levels of cognitive thinking. But seriously, I do agree with most of the points you made. Right now it's kinda hard for me to really appreciate the work we did in Consultation skills because we are just finishing up the class. Right now I just feel burnt out from it but I'm sure its all for my own good. Taking Consulting Skills and WOM was certainly a challenge, but Im very happy I did it. Hopefully both classes will prove to be beneficial in the long run.

towey said...

I know a lot has already been said in response to this post but I also wanted to say that I really agree! I have not taken the consulting class, but after all of the discussion I am very interested in taking it in the future. I am a media concentration but I feel as if topics taught in classes like this are very important to learn about because it is what will seperate us from other college students. As said before, it is usually the co-op program which makes NU stand out among other schools, but I do think that walking into an interview after gaining the info from this class and the experience of the capstone project, is something else that will seperate us from others.

Hillary said...

Well, it does not come as a surprise that this blog got a lot of comments hah! We can certainly relate to it either from the past or from this oh-so-short summer semester. I agree that this summer semester has been probably the most challenging semester of my academic career which is crazy because it was 7 weeks as opposed to a full semester. But it was also the most rewarding. I definately have never had so much work in two courses at the same time in such a condensed amount of time but let me tell ya, did it discipline me! I know people would agree with me when I say that we didn't really have a choice, we HAD to step up or face failure. I think it's great to see how we all stepped up on several occasions, even on some small scales like everyday tasks. We have gotten to know each other so much better as a class and I think that is very valuable as well and makes for a good culture. I know personally this played a large part in my being able to reach my goals in this course as well as consulting.
Case in point when I came into this course I didn't have a clue how to blog and now I successfully know how to participate in the blog community.....and let me tell ya do I know how to use Bloom's Taxonomy!

Sapphiregurl said...

I have to say, taking this class sure has tought me more in seven weeks then I ever thought possible, yes some of the information went in one ear and out the other, but I really feel that as a class, we are well versed in this area now.
I have to say, looking back on the course now if I had to do it again I would. The information we have learned and the projects we did (ESPECIALLY the last one)have really helped me get an understanding of what really goes on in the area of WOM and communication overall.
On another note, whether our clients pick our ideas or not, I think we all did a great job for the amount of time we were given. It's really hard to pull these types of projects off when you have no prior knowledge and only a few weeks to work on it. I think we all did a great job supporting each other and giving each other helpful feedback. Kudos to our class!

ericrocksmyworld said...

I <3 Bloom's Taxonomy, and I honestly woke up from a nightmare one time saying "...triangulate you data." Seriously. Gross.
Anyway, I agree that these classes are two of the most important I have taken. I am currently interviewing for co-op, and when I bring up my practical experience with these two projects, it gives me a leg up even on the business majors I'm competing with. In previous classes, there's been a lot an analyzing of different aspects of communication, but with these classes, we showed that not only can we critique, we can do. I recommend that everyone take them. If they have vast acres of free time to do the serious work involved.

Bek said...

As I wrote in my final blog post, I feel this project was super beneficial to me, especially as a public communication major; it really opened my eyes to a whole new set of possibilites for myself. I would also like to say that I agree with Frank when he said that he had a sort of renewed faith in NU's Comm. Dept. I too get a little frustrated with the doldrums of class after class after fairly meaningless class. I did feel that this one was different, however. This was my first Capstone project and really the first project that I have done here at Northeastern that I feel holds any weight outside of just a grade. And yes, as much as a whined, and complained, and stressed, and didn't eat, and lost sleep... (just kidding.. sort of) over this project as many of us have voiced, I am in the end hugely grateful for this experience. I do think it will serve me well in the future.