I would do college much differently today: speaking at Colorado State University
If you would have told me a few years ago that I would work at a tech company as a Business Marketing and Management major, I would have thought you were crazy. I've never considered myself "techy". Sure, I could use my phone and had basic computer skills, but when it came to anything beyond that I was at a bit of a loss. With my degree I didn't imagine I would need anything beyond Word, Excel and maybe Outlook to be successful. But here I am, out of college and working at booj. I guess it's not so crazy after all.
Recently I was asked by my old professor at Colorado State University to speak to her Computer Information Systems class (CIS200). She asked me tell to them all about booj, my role here and what it's like to work in the technology world. I started out talking about my background and how I got to where I am now.
Then my old professor wanted me to hit on the technology part of my job. Going into this part I felt a bit like a hypocrite. After all, I was telling them to do the things I didn't do myself, especially in regards to CIS and computer courses.
It got me thinking that if I could go back, what would I do differently? I would have taken more than just the core CIS and IT classes, that's for sure. Although CSU does a great job of requiring all Business majors to take the basic business courses- Finance, CIS, Marketing, Management, Business Law, and much more - I only took the basics. I completed what was required of me and nothing else.
But college is a chance to try things that are outside your comfort zone, and with our generation, that means exposing yourself to the new and coming in the tech world. Years out of college, I'm living proof of that. I never thought I would have a job in this industry and, even in a non-developer position, I find myself wishing I took more tech-related classes. It's becoming more and more commonplace for job positions to require coding skills, even those outside the traditional development roles. Some day, I believe that will be a requirement.
Now I've graduated college and although I still don't know as much about technology and coding as I'd like, I consciously set time aside to try to teach myself something new everyday. Sometimes it's technology related: what are the new trends online? What can I teach myself in regards to code? What do some of those crazy acronyms I hear everyday mean?
Everyone is busy in their day-to-day life and it's easy to make excuses, but continuing to learn post-college is so important. Learning one new thing everyday helps to keep my mind sharp, especially since a lot of the tech-related blogs I read are outside my bubble of comfort. Those are the articles that tend to be my favorite since they teach me the most.
I hope I motivated and inspired those students to reach outside their comfort zone and learn something new. And I hope you are also inspired to learn something new, today and everyday!