‚ÄúHow can I relate this class to the real world?‚Äù I have never believed in the school of thought that prescribes education for the sake of learning. Sure, I find value in every class that I take; general education classes have always had some interesting features unrelated to fields I would normally study, and major classes help me build a solid foundation for when I enter the business world. Having said that, I tend to find classes which are more relevant to my field inherently more interesting- after all, a student should be excited about his or her major. If I am able to make connections between classes and my limited experience in the working world, I become much more enthralled with the course content. Seeing how a real business implements strategies we learn as students multiplies my innate interest in the class; in my mind, I‚Äôm now able to bridge the gap between the academic setting and the workplace environment.
On that note, the International Strategic Management course I‚Äôm taking on-board had the opportunity to visit a Turkish shipping company headquartered outside of Istanbul during our time in Turkey. During this trip, the current managers gave a presentation on the current operations (including overland and sea transportation), and after a small lunch we were lead around the main facilities. Overall, I don‚Äôt know many non-business majors who would find such a trip much fun; the good news is that everybody on the trip found immense value in gaining in-depth information about how a Turkish company operates. On top of the fact that we are visiting a shipping company half-way around the world and finding connections to both stateside companies as well as material from the classroom, I have personal experience around a warehousing company from back home; being around those huge semis made the whole experience seem as if I were just down the street from my home, not on a completely different continent.
Going back to the practicality of my educational experiences, I can safely say that the company presentations were riddled with information and strategies that we have talked about in class. Not only were we processing what managerial strategies they have implemented, but I was also subconsciously analyzing how I could improve their operations. Never would I have thought that I could be analyzing (on the fly) a Turkish shipping company. Never would I have thought that businesses could be so similar, yet geographically so far apart. Never would I have thought that in one summer, I could grow more as a person and a student than I had in the first 21 years.