Adapting To An Online Environment In An Ever-Changing World

By Kaleb Heinen, Marketing Management student

Even in chaotic and unpredictable times, my mind is set on achieving my dreams.  One of the dreams I put myself on track to achieve is landing a job in the outdoor industry, specifically in a marketing role.  I hopped into school not long after exiting the military, pursuing a degree in marketing management from Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Accomplishing college will set me up nicely with a degree in hand.  With that, I have hopes of joining Vortex Optics, an amazing outdoor based company to work for.  They are based out of Barneveld, Wisconsin.  A few positions they have available that I have always dreamt of include marketing positions in apparel as well as optics.  These positions do however require some specific skill including management experience, SAP experience, as well as experience with financial analysis.  Though these positions are not necessarily starting level, they offer some opportunities to assist you in growing into them from within.

In terms of adapting to a fully online learning environment, I can admit it was a bit difficult.  My biggest struggle was not necessarily the learning itself, but rather learning all the applications and websites and how to navigate them.  For me, Blackboard took literally FOREVER to become familiar with.  I had multiple meetings with professors, advisors, as well as some other staff in order to figure it out.  I believe I even had one instance where I did not manage to get an assignment turned in because I could not find the portal for the submission.  It really was stressful taking it all in, attempting to cram all this new knowledge into memory.  Nearly 3 weeks later however, the tables had turned.  In that little amount of time, with the help of some staff, I got to the point where I felt I knew where to access nearly every feature within Blackboard that was needed for me as a student.  Despite my struggles, I never did just give up.  I will say persistence is key to getting through and adapting to the online setting.  Even though I had to step away many times, I always came back fresh, ready to learn more.

Some tips I would recommend for anyone considering online learning:

  • Create form of time management(block time, create schedules, to do lists, etc)
  • Utilize notes more than ever, they come in handy
  • Minimize and relocate yourself from distractions during in-class or outside of class work
  • DON’T overwork yourself/burn yourself out by trying to get everything done at once

Other important items to consider:

  • For virtual classrooms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, do not be afraid to chime in and participate, it aids in learning content faster and better
  • Find ways to take notes, watch videos, or anything else that is best for your style of learning
  • If you EVER have questions, reach out to your instructors they are there to help you