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Things we wish we learned in school

By Dawn Sailors   •   24 August, 2011



Things we wish we learned in school

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Group of teenagers sitting in classroom with raised hands.

If you’ve ever been to a “Meet the Pros” event, mentored a student, or interacted with an intern, you have probably heard the question “What do I need to know to get a job?” or “What classes should I take to do what you do?”

And, every time a student asks what they should be doing, doesn’t it make you start thinking about everything you didn’t know when you came out of school? Sometimes the mistakes you made and the things you learned your first few years on the job stick in your mind more than the classes that you took and you would rather share this knowledge with them.

We asked our team to share with us what they wish they’d learned in school.

Kim Kubert, Vice President of Client Services: “Marketing programs in college to do not prepare you for working with small or medium sized businesses and non-profits. These organizations seldom, if ever, have the budgets and resources to conduct market research, test models, utilize focus groups, track ROI, etc. It is the years of working with these organizations that has given me the experience needed to guide them – not anything I learned in school. ”

Dawn Sailors, Art Director: “Coming out of college I wasn’t as prepared as I could have been for working with real clients. There is a big difference between designing anything you want while you’re in school and designing something for a client who has their own ideas, specific requirements, and especially budget restrictions.”

Corrie Oberdin, Social Media: “When I started working after college, I remember feeling like I should have gotten an internship instead of working as an administrative assistant for three years. It’s only in looking back that I realized that those three years of actual work experience helped me understand how offices worked. Now I know that those years in a professional environment actually helped my career.(The fact that my office job allowed me play on a fast internet connection in the mid-90s didn’t hurt, either!)”

Afton Palmer, Digital Media Designer: “I was taught many forms of design geared toward print – everything from posters, to letterheads to even packaging. Web design, coding aside, is very different from how you approach print design. There is a need to focus on user friendliness and having your design not only look good, but be easy for the audience to maneuver through on a website.”

Andy Warren, Programmer: “The scripting languages (i.e. JavaScript, PHP, Ruby) would be at the top of my list. (Many) web development degrees include an overview class of about 7 languages, and one Intro to PHP class. Not nearly enough to prepare the student for real world jobs in web development. For me, its learn as you work. “

What did you wish you learned in school that you didn’t?

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