I think back to my time in college, and I learned some valuable things. I also learned some incredibly worthless things (i.e. don’t flip a car upside down and then backover… it’ll break the axle so you can’t roll it). Even in classes… the basic approach to a supply/demand curve to maximize profit is cute when done in a classroom vs. the complexities of how things actually work… I mean I get the idea behind it, but what you learn is so far being able to be translated into being usable. But what surprises me looking back was a couple of skills around running meetings that I find so rare in the workplace that have immense value.
I’ve always been fascinated at the intersection of business and technology. I’d been coding for a long time before college, and while interesting it was also a means to an end. When you combine technology with business you can solve things in entirely new and valuable ways. My major was management information systems, and all folks in my program came out with a computer science minor in addition to their business degree–something pretty rare for more MIS majors in other programs and well generally for anyone coming out of a business school. Perhaps I’ll get into the value of CS training even if you aren’t looking for a CS job some other time.
Within the program we would have a senior project that was actually a real world project for one of the large companies that sponsored part of the program. We’d have monthly reviews with the company stake holder. We’d also have weekly meetings, these were especially well run. There were really 3 items that made them especially efficient.