We’re nearing the finish line for the academic year both at Curry College, where I ride herd over the Communication Department’s undergrad Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the PR courses, and at Regis College, where I teach part-time in the graduate Organizational and Professional Communication area.
I’ve written about this before, and I continue to find it interesting watching the student-teacher dynamics, especially on the undergrad level as the semester seems to be picking up speed as it closes.
Before there was sort of a “yeah, that’s a nice offer of ‘extra credit’ if I do something outside the classroom that exposes me to another aspect of the communication profession. But I really don’t have time…I’m too ‘busy.’”
Suddenly, though, things have changed, Suddenly I’m being approached by someone after each class asking if there were something he or she could do “for extra credit.”
Wow! What happened?
To put it very simply…the student apparently has connected the dots between required classroom learning and voluntary “other” learning.
What a surprise that there might be a connection between the classroom world and the outside world! Who knew?!?
Life is filled with these opportunities, not just in college but in “real” life as well.
I try to attend, as often as possible, programs offered by the Public Relations Society of America and the local PRSA Boston chapter, the Publicity Club of New England, and the Social Media Club of Boston.
I also keep an eye on what’s being offered by the Boston Chapter, International Association of Business Communicators, the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association, and Boston Women Communicators.
I’ve probably missed a couple, but you get the idea.
These, for me as a public relations professional now teaching the next generation(s) of PR pros, are “extra credit” opportunities…chances for me to ensure that my knowledge of the latest developments in the public relations profession is as current as possible.
In doing this, I feel confident that what I’m passing on to my charges in the classroom is as current as possible so that they will be prepared to venture out into “life after college.”
Why? Because I learned long ago that there was a very real connection between what was happening in my daily work life and what was available to me to increase my knowledge and my skills. I quickly figured out (I’m not as slow a learner as you might think!) that, the more I took advantage of these opportunities, the more valuable I became to my client or employer.
It’s that simple…and that complicated.
You have to recognize that opportunities to learn…opportunities to connect with others…opportunities to get ahead are all around you. You just have to connect the dots.
“Four things come not back: the spoken word; the sped arrow; time past; the neglected opportunity.” – Omar Ibn Al-Halif, “Aphorism”