Sunday, January 18, 2009

Continuous Learning

"In times of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." --Eric Hoffer

I'm routinely amazed when I see speakers at seminars or guest speakers in classes and look around to see that most of the audience (particularly students), aren't taking notes. I realize that not everyone is interested in every speaker, but I've been in rooms with incredibly successful people in the sports industry and seen no one taking notes on what they said. I guess my view is that there's got to be something I can learn from this person, even if it's something very basic. If they've gotten to a relatively high level in a sports organization they know something worth passing on, and maybe it's something that will help me in my career. I certainly don't know it all and know that I have tons to learn. Maybe my philosophy goes along with my being an information junkie--wanting to know things just for the sake of knowing them. I don't know if people are bored of if they think they have nothing else to learn. Continuous learning is not only an advantage, I believe it's a necessity with the speed that things change today.

I'm teaching a very informal class that helps students find out what they want to do, helps them develop interview skills, create a resume and cover letter, learn about networking, etc. There are no tests. I don't "make" them take notes. I have a guest speaker coming in tomorrow who has worked for NFL Films, the New York Giants, and the NFL Management Council. He's not much older than the students. He's going to present six things that he wishes he would have known/done as an undergrad just a few years ago that would have been beneficial to his career. It will be interesting to see how many students view this as a learning opportunity rather than just an opportunity to not have a regular class session.

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