Thursday, August 07, 2014

The one school experience that stands out in my mind.

I received an email survey from PSU to function as a sort of "exit interview," which asked me the following question.

Thinking back over your experience in the SBA program, was there any one experience that stands out in your mind?  This could be something that was so surprising that you told others about it.  If you did have a particularly memorable experience--regardless of whether it was positive or negative--please describe it.  We would be interested in the details of the actual experience, your expectations at the time, and your reaction to it.

Professor Alan Cabelly's BA 493 HR Capstone Project was such a massive, involved undertaking that turned into much more than I thought it would originally be. This was also a team project, which presented its own unique challenges. Professor Cabelly did a great job of laying out the project format and expectations, and was very available throughout the term to answer questions and offer guidance. Looking back on that project, I realize how much I've taken from it and already applied to what I'm doing at work.

As the term moved on and we moved through the timeline of this project, the time I was devoting to it was exponentially increasing. Professor Cabelly prefaced that this was a doozy of a time commitment at the start of the project, but I think one has to experience the HR Capstone project to really understand what he means. I had also taken way too many classes that term in addition to working full time, and also had two incredible and unexpected national travel opportunities come up during the term. I moved through each week of the term, I became determined to achieve success. I felt as if I was racing in the Tour De France, passing important checkpoints, earning the polka-dot jersey and getting closer to the finish line at the top of the Col du Tourmalet.

Finally, at the 11th hour, I distinctly remember another classmate and I watching the sun rise in the Broadway Computer Lab as we made last-minute adjustments to material from tardy team members. It was about 5 after 5 in the morning, and our paper was due in 5 hours. As I stood at the printer waiting for my job to finish, I remember thinking how incredibly beautiful the fiery pink and purple sky was. There were about 5 or 6 other kindred spirits in the large, empty lab, and even though we hadn't spoken, I know there was an experiential connection occurring. My classmate and I definitely acknowledged the magic of morning as we paused between our editing and printing.