Learning in the classroom vs. Learning from experiences

Before many people go into a particular field, they end up in a four year program at a university/college. Throughout their time at school, students are able to learn analytical skills that will aid them in their future profession. While learning these skills is helpful, nothing could compare to experiential learning in the workplace.

As a student at Drexel, I spent 3 quarters learning in the classroom. I learned MATLAB, various levels of math, and core curriculum that is required for all students. While all of these classes may not be the most useful for me in the future, they gave the skillset to be a stronger developer. Not only did I learn about interesting subjects, but I also learned how to manage large workloads in short amount of time, deal with tight deadlines, and learn problem solving techniques. The classroom experience is great because you are always pushed to learn more, be surrounded by different types of people with different interests that can inspire you, and also allows flexibility in your schedule. While learning these skills was helpful, nothing compares to working in a work environment.

Throughout my co-ops, I was exposed to multiple coding languages as well as how they are implemented in different scenarios. I believe that this is something that I could only learn in the workplace since I was working on a product that had multiple parts to it, and I had my hand in each of those elements. The work experience is very important because it allows for you to apply the skills that you learn in class and practice them, see how a company runs on a day to day basis, and also gets you accustomed to working in the future.

Since starting as a Future Leader at VyB I have been able to integrate both learning and experience to this position. Throughout my time here, I was able to create a plan for testing the mobile applications. In addition to this I was able to learn react native as well as learn git and the commands that go along with it. With this knowledge, I was able to create a document that will help the other team learn git commands and how to run them from the command line, not the GitHub desktop app. The VyB team has pushed me to learn by teaching others. This educational approach mixes both the classroom and experiential learning - to maximize progress. So far VyB has taught me discipline and organization as now I have to balance out my schoolwork, and VyB work. I have learned to create calendar events for all of my meetings and due dates so that I can stay on top of my schedule and plan other activities accordingly.

This is why I believe that Drexel is great because it allows for the fusion of learning analytical skills to then going and applying those skills and learning more in the workplace. Some elements of the curriculum may not apply to me in the future, but knowing them made me a stronger worker as well as taught me various interesting things. While personally I love learning in the work environment, I think that it is important to have been exposed to both. I know many people who enjoy being in the classroom, sitting taking notes, while I would much rather browse the web and learn on the spot, but every person is different so you should try both and see which one you like most.

Written by Daniel Martini. VyB Technologies, LLC. Future Leader.

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