GET Familiar with the Collaborative Global Environment
By Molly Blodgett
In the second half of the fall semester I enrolled in and completed GET 235: Leveraging Emerging Technologies, a class that I had taken on a whim to see if I was remotely interested in pursuing a career within the IT field. It was this class that made me realize that I truly had a passion for the IT industry and knew that I could see myself enjoying a career within it. When it came time to register for spring semester classes, I knew that GET 234 was the other half of the GET course coupling (I realize that it’s odd that I took these classes out of order… story of my life), so I registered for it, not only to gain the other 1.5 credits but also to see what I had missed in this other portion.
As the spring semester started and classes began, I began GET 234: Effective Collaboration in a Globally Distributed Environment. Going into the class, I had a very limited knowledge of what we might learn or what the assignments may entail, as I was still very new to the IT field of study. However, our professor, Michael Clarke, quelled any worries that I had about my competency within the course. Professor Clarke explained that GET 234 was a class that taught students how to utilize communication tools online in order to work more efficiently within a global environment. He explained that when working on projects in the future, some of our coworkers and collaborators may be in different time zones or even countries, and that it is crucial to know how to adjust around these barriers and still complete assignments in a cohesive and timely manner. In order to achieve this, Professor Clarke introduced the class to collaboration tools such as Google Docs, SharePoint, Adobe Connect, as well as many others. Many of our assignments required that we used these tools. We even had a class that was held entirely through video chat via Adobe Connect.
Beyond just the introduction and application of the collaboration tools, Professor Clarke also covered the importance of proper discourse within the professional work environment. We learned how to write professional emails as well as how to be aware of the cultural differences that one may encounter when working with those from other nationalities and cultural backgrounds. All in all, GET 234 was an extremely helpful class to take, particularly for those who are soon entering the professional work environment. I still use the lessons I learned in the class today and I feel they have 100% attributed to the success I have had with securing an internship. I highly recommend taking this class to anyone who is planning on entering a professional work environment in which they will need to collaborate and communicate with others, regardless of whether or not they are planning to pursue a career within the IT industry.
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Given that we are living in a world that is ever evolving and changing due to technology, do you feel as though it is important for your future to know how to work with others in other countries as well as being in tune to their cultures? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section!
Molly Blodgett is a sophomore in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Originally a Communication and Rhetorical Studies major through her freshmen year here at Syracuse, upon taking GET courses she decided to transfer majors and is now working towards a degree in Information Management and Technology upon her graduating in May of 2014. Molly is also a member of the Syracuse University Ski Racing Club as well as a sister of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Syracuse.