Final Reflection: User Journey

The Technology course, for me, was a perfect fit. Like a cozy mitten or a mermaid-tail blanket. Coincidentally, I did a lot of reading and annotating in said blanket. I grew up with friends that went to both IT high schools and universities, then I also ended up working as an Executive Assistant for an IT recruitment company. In a way, it’s like a moth to a flame kind of relationship for me: there is an undeniable magnetism because there is no limit to my curiosity, just as there is no limit to the Technology field’s progress.

Along the way, some things have fascinated me – like learning about Halt and Catch Fire and watching it without blinking at the very beginning of the term, or learning about Online Business Models, or learning about Annotations and their implications. Some things, on the other hand, have scared me – like the tracking apps or machine learning (and Sophia), things that were once only in sci-fi books and yet my generation is experiencing as “normal.” Overall, though, the underlying feeling has always been of satisfaction because there was always something to keep my mind busy and my spirit vested.

It was not all pink and rosy, however – being an introvert and a go-getter, I took the word of the contract as Law and drove myself into an anxiety attack two-thirds through. I have been told I am the Type A kind of personality, the kind that needs to do everything, needs to do everything right and if something goes wrong, tends to punish themselves with much too harsh consequences. It might stem from the type of household I grew up in, and by “might” I mean “for sure.” This is something that I have been working on over the last few years, especially because the Publishing industry is so fast-paced, entails so much group work and thus, means interacting with different creative and business types. I’ve definitely rounded my edges a bit through this academic journey, both during the Technology course, as well as through the final projects that we worked on. I also found a healthy balance where I restructured my personal goals, switching from wanting to do everything like a robot so I can tick away at tasks to focusing on the learning and managing the many tasks on my plate, and patting myself on the back for each small accomplished task.

In addition, I reminded myself to enjoy my passionate self and continue on my path of learning and success, and mind less what others might do or say or think. Writing the blog posts, for example, was for me an exercise for both expressing creativity and for practicing concise writing. I made it a personal goal to stay between 500 and 600 words, and that was something I did for myself to make it fun. I dabbled in some Toastmaster-ing here and there over the years, and there is a certain art in saying the same thing in less words. It’s a really fun game for me to constantly practice this skill. I may not always get it right but it’s the process itself that I enjoy. Writing these blogs was tough to manage at certain points during the Term, like when our demands for the Group Project were breaking our back, but again, my feelings when going into this Master’s was to make sure I focus on the learning and not to obsess over the marks (for once – even though just saying this gives me a bit of a *ZGR* on my brain).

I am in just a few days heading over to Simon&Schuster and during the Emerging Leaders’ week, my supervisor plain advised me to keep in mind that “the real world” might end up being nothing like what I am learning during the terms. So that’s perhaps the key takeaway: to keep an open mind. I think the lectures, activities and discussion certainly focused on this aspect, and I remember going down the same staircase during my undergrad so I can pass by my favourite quote on campus: “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions” (Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.). If I could get paid to be a student, that would be brilliant, but at the same time, I have learned through this course that there is a ceiling for me in terms of academia… and then I start to ache for practicality and actual work.

So with what I have learned during this course, I feel like I am entering the workforce knowledgeable in many aspects. Or if nothing else, I’ll be one ridiculously fun factoid machine at publishing parties!

Anna Stefanovici

One Reply to “Final Reflection: User Journey”

  1. Thank you for sharing your reflection with me. Its very useful to hear what you got excited about, what resonated, and what aspects of the course you most appreciated.

Leave a Reply