The Learning Process

Hello Guys,

Welcome or Welcome back to my blog posts! If this is your first time, pleaaaaseee don’t start here. I’ve written 4 previous ones and they’ll give you good background into what I’m going to talk about. So, do me a favor and go read those first. That way you’ll get the complete story.

Over the Summer, when I interviewed to intern at The College Xoice for Fall 2022 Jeff Hulett asked me what I wanted from this upcoming semester. He had always been eager to remind me that they wanted the internship to benefit me as much as my work was benefitting them. Actually, the first time he made it clear was during Spring 2022 when I tried to quit. I was nervous that I had taken on too much between classes and working, and I didn’t want to be unreliable. Instead of taking my resignation, Jeff instead asked me to first consider if I liked what I was doing. He told me that it’s possible that I really didn’t want to do the internship anymore, but he said it was also equally possible that I didn’t appreciate the work they assigned me. In which case, he wanted me to be honest with myself and them about it so that we could try something else. He reminded me that this should be a productive learning experience for me, as much as it was a “job”. He was right, I wasn’t doing what I was interested in.

Back to this Summer, when he asked me again. I still didn’t know. I reluctantly answered that I wanted to code and be more involved in the technical side of things. This wasn’t true. At the time, though, I was still trying to convince myself that I wanted to be a Software Engineer. Anyway, they didn’t have any coding needs, but Greg (another one of my bosses) informed me that I was always welcome to work on the product side. Later, when I thought of it, I realized I did want to work with the product. I liked the Product Management side of things. I liked roadmaps and dealing with stakeholders and customers. I liked testing and using feedback to drive development. I like thinking about the user-experience, or what features would improve how customers interact with the product. I had been doing that stuff throughout my whole time at The College Xoice, but I had never put the name to the responsibilities until Greg suggested it.

By Fall semester, I had a clear vision, and I’m taking on responsibilities that align with that vision. I’m spearheading the testing program this semester, which I’ve done before with high schoolers, with college students from The School of Computing and Information at Pitt! I’ll be involved in using the feedback to drive product development. I’m also helping with our social media and launching a student-ambassador program that will hopefully drive the app into more schools and the hands of more students. I will also be getting involved in making a Pitt-specific mock-up of the app, that will hopefully be useful to one of our stakeholders. I have a lot planned and I’m excited for how it will go!

I can’t wait to come back and update you guys on how everything turned out.

Until then, Take Care.


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