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Turning a university into a training ground

I was talking to my friend Erica the other day and she told me about a News Gathering class (JOURNLSM 244) she was taking. She was given an assignment to write a report about the economic impact of the Bears-Packers game last Sunday on local Whitewater businesses. After presenting her report in class, her professor, Samuel Martino, responded with a supplementary assignment:

Good work. Now call up the Whitewater registry and get your report published.

I was pleasantly surprised at this sudden transition from a classroom assignment to real world application.

One of the major criticisms of classroom education is that there isn’t enough application of knowledge. In my 4 years at this University with more than 130 credits, I have had only a handful of classes that took me outside the textbook. The Administrative Policy (MGMT 489) syllabus is filled with case studies, and my Security Analysis (FNBSLW 484) class required one stock analysis paper. But I can’t remember any core business classes that challenged me in a real world scenario.

Maybe that’s why internships are so encouraged and respected on a resume. And many employers even expect them.

My question is:

How long before the expectation becomes a requirement? Before the classroom becomes a project room. And before the university becomes a training grounds to prepare for the battle field out there?

Leave your thoughts in comments below.

About Mehul Kar

Senior majoring in Finance. Leader of the social media movement for CoBE.
This entry was posted in Student's Voice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Turning a university into a training ground

  1. Sara says:

    I actually had the same exact discussion with Sachie, John, and Maxim. I’m graduating in May and still can’t recall a real application in class of the theories learned in Finance. I could do that with other classes which helped me a lot but unfortunately not in my major. All the projects we worked on are more to get better at working in team than to understand the materiel and see the use of it. Especially when I compare myself to my friends back home who studied in schools of business and where they get much more practise as Finance majors. I was hoping to see the training ground you are talking about before my last year in Whitewater but let’s hope for one for the next Business major students to come!

  2. Mehul Kar says:

    Sara, I think the paradigm is slowly changing. I think faculty are slowly realizing that traditional education is not sufficient for the needs of the modern student. More and more people are realizing that a college degree no longer sets you apart. I’m sure that in the next 5-10 years, there will be several major changes to the system.

    Until then, students must take it upon themselves to create their own training ground.

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