USINGYOUR ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE
The following questions summarize the response of someone using their academic experiences to maximum effect, in the face of rising competition. (You know the answers you should be giving to these questions).
To what extent do you explicitly decide what courses or parts of courses you like?
Do you expect to enjoy your studies? Part of your studies?
Do you use your course selections to help you define your areas of passion?
Can you read your textbooks for fun?
How often do you discuss with your classmates what areas they enjoy? And why they enjoy them?
Do you identify which aspects of the course content your professor especially enjoys? Do you ask explicitly?
Are you always aggressively alert for new areas of interest?
Do you speculate about how an interest could become a passion? Do you ask questions to that purpose?
Do you read to that purpose?
Do you expect that your course work allows you the opportunity to explore and nurture your interests? Or do you insist that they do?
How much academic content are you extracting from your classmates in their other courses?
How many of the university's libraries were you in this term? (There is more than one; there are more than two.)
How many faculty offices were you in this term?
How much one-on-one faculty time did you have this term, compared to last term? Hours? Minutes?
How much time did you ask for? Explicitly? Clearly?
Do you look for information which industry or society seems unaware of?
Have you noticed how new information caused disruptive changes in the past?
Do you find examples of great competitive advantage being created or swept away?
What emerging ideas have the potential for competitive advantage?
What does your professor think the most significant change will be in the next decade?
Do you talk to your professors?
Do you document all the classmates and professors you want to keep in touch with?
Do you organize all the resources you have accumulated during your studies, especially as you approach graduation?
Do you examine those resources of the University you have not yet come into contact with?
Have you paid particular attention to the University's Centres, Institutes and Working Groups?
Are you maintaining an integrated bibliography from all your courses and personal reading?
Are you taking time to maintain your network, not just add to it?
Are you letting your pursuit of grades interfere with your education?
Do you plan each term's learning objectives explicitly and in advance?
Or do you let someone else set the agenda of your mind? Or leave it to chance?
Do your learning objectives include both understanding for its own sake and knowledge to accomplish career goals?
Do your learning objectives recognize the connection among courses, programs and faculties?
Is the integration of your learning a key priority? Are you always trying to move your understanding between your academic and work terms - in both directions?
Do you realize that almost all careers require a greater range of learning than is offered in any academic program of studies?
Do you try to maximize the breadth of your studies, using every means at your disposal? Do you plan your electives with great care?
Are you prepared to take extra courses? During your work term?
Do you discuss your work term experiences with your faculty?
Do you discuss which problems you handled and which you didn't? Do you discuss knowledge you could apply and knowledge you should have had?
Do you ask for specific guidance in your next work term?
Do you help your professors understand the current concerns of your employer?
Do you discuss the real world application of new understanding in technology?
Do you systematically consider what improvements could be made to your program of studies? New courses, new options, new regulations?
Do you organize your fellow students to express your views regarding educational changes? Do you take part in student organizations?
Do you ask to be taught more?
Do you review your course content to determine what aspects might help you create an innovation for your employer?
Do you speculate about how a new piece of learning might create an innovation to address your own personal interests?
Do you make yourself familiar with the history of innovations that produced the course you are studying?
Within the constraints of the course, do you try to offer the most innovative solution you can?
Do you ask your professor for more opportunities to express your innovative capabilities?
Independent of the course requirements, do you discuss creative solutions with your professor and classmates?
Do you see yourself as a student of innovation?
Do you recognize creativity as a skill in its own right? Do you practice creativity? Practice a lot?
Next Section: Using Your Co-op or Summer Work Experiences
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