education

Yesterday I stepped out of my last exam thus completing a Bachelor of Business (Management/Marketing) from Monash University. Well technically I still have a piece of assessment due in March but let's not talk about that. Looking back, in a concluding sort of manner, here's the six lessons I take away from my time as an undergraduate. 1) Play the game University is about playing the game. Once you learn how to work the system, achieving good grades is easy. I worked it out towards the end of my second year, and my grades were consistently better from there on out. It's not about saying the right thing but giving the teachers what the want to hear. Students aren't encouraged to apply themselves, they're told what to write, do "research" (read: plagarise off a journal article) and any form of creative execution goes unrewarded. Instead you play the game to get the grades. 2) It's important where you sit For some reason universities are far too keen on group work. Which I don't have a problem with because that's the way it should be done in the grown up world. However if you're caught in a shit group, it's too bad. Upon raising concerns with teachers about said group you'll be told that it's too bad, in the real world you don't get to choose who you work with. Except in the real world people who are shit don't get employed. And if they don't do anything they lose their job. In some cases I single handedly carried useless groups to HDs (arrogant but true). The best way to overcome this is to make sure you attend in Week 1 and sit next to "good" people and try and get into a group with them. 3) Be loud Being the loud arrogant kid in class isn't all bad. Opinionated students never receive anything but full marks for class participation and presentations. Even if what you're saying is rubbish the fact that you're saying it gets you points. Especially when you sit in a class full of people unable to speak up in front of others. 4) Rote learning is for winners Studying the night before an exam trying to think of stupid acronyms to help you remember a list of six items that you forget on the way out of the exam got me through my degree. Likewise for when a tutor tells you that you can't do an assignment the night before it's due. Challenge accepted and you prove them wrong when you smash it. 5) Drink beer with your lecturers Well, the cool ones anyway. It makes a massive difference when you can rock up to Week 1 and the tutor or lecturer already knows you because you've met them through other staff members. Can't state enough how helpful this is, especially beyond academic performance. 6) Uni teaches you to learn Most importantly; I will finish on the the biggest point. Uni helped me realise my career interest. I wouldn’t say it taught me a lot about it, perhaps a few basics, but it did teach me to get off my ass if I wanted to follow it and go out on my own to learn it. In many ways, it taught me that university couldn't teach me what I needed to know. It got me interested in marketing and ultimately advertising, which made me realise I needed to learn on my own by reading books not on the text list, start a blog, meet people in the industry, do internships and ultimately score a gig. I suppose that's a rather negative take on the past four years of my life, one that will no doubt change as I look back on it in the future. There are certainly a few teachers who do good things and I would like to thank them. And I suppose because of that last point alone the ridiculous HECS debt and the piece of paper I receive when I graduate will be worth it....

I was sitting in a tutorial today keying an assessment date into my iPhone calendar. The tutor walked up and told me I shouldn't be text messaging in class and to focus on the task. I explained to him that I was doing nothing different from the student next to me writing the date into her paper diary.He smiled and asked what question I was up to.Yet another example of the University demonstrating just how far behind they are.The fact I was actually on Facebook because the tutorial was terribly boring is irrelevant....

Last week, Love Digital interviewed Seth Godin. This week they interviewed me. Cue the greatest anti climax of all time.The interview was a follow up on a previous post about marketing education.I've decided part of my degree should teach people how to handle interviews without sounding like too much of a knob....

As a current student I think I can provide an interesting perspective on the marketing industry, at least from the view of how it's being taught to soon to be graduates.Check out this article by Alana Taylor and pretty much replace the word "journalism" with "marketing". That's how I feel. Even as a student of one of, if not, the best marketing degrees in Victoria (modest, I know) the course is lacking. I can't help but feel that a student who graduates in two years (like myself) is going to be so far behind the industry it's not funny. Unless of course they're researching this stuff independently or learning and blogging about it on the side.I know as a blogger I'm far too bias towards the idea of blogging. But all evidence, according to my own personal experience, tells me that being active in this area is better than nothing. I imagine when I graduate I'll be fine, but what about everyone else?...

I recently contacted one of my University's newspapers to see if they would be interested in running a story on the increase and potential of student blogging. They basically turned me down stating that the views of our blogs did not necessarily reflect those of Monash University. And it's probably posts like this one they don't appreciate. What is the fundamental purpose of University? I mean if you ignore the partying and drinking its core role is to educate, right? Well not really. You attend to be graded and ranked. Much like the rest of the flawed education system, it is based on providing the highest achievers with the best results and differentiating these students from everyone else. Likewise on the opposite where the lowest achieves recieve the poorest grades. Sounds fair enough doesn't it? Hmm. Many of my lecturers will not put up lecture slides on the Interweb. Some refuse to record these lecture with audio or video for later access. Why? Because they want people to attend lectures. And the point of that? To differentiate those who receive HD's, D's, C's, P's and of course F's. In one case a lecturer refused to answer a question of mine because it would give me an advantage over others. As she said this I asked myself, what purpose does that serve? You are hindering my education not encouraging it like you should. It's not her fault that she is forced to make the students compete but the system's. I'm not saying I have any solutions and I'm not saying the current system doesn't work. But it is flawed and just imagine how effective it could be if it's sole purpose was to educate....