Community!!! My name is Jake and I’m the Product Marketing Intern at the DC office who was tough to get rid of. I spent the summer of 2016 working diligently, and Vivek Ramgopal just couldn’t let me leave. I will be leaving (grad school doesn’t last forever), but I’m getting ahead of myself. In this first post I’d like to give you a little background as to who the heck has decided to start a blog, and why!
Right away let me detail some goals of this blog:
- Relate how 6 years in education has shaped me as an MBA and Blackboard Intern
- Explain how being on the support side of education has altered my view on the role of technology in education
- I’d like to highlight the importance System Administrators play in promoting technology adoption within an institution
- Also, fewer pics from Brokeback Mountain - I'll be monitoring comments too for further direction/inspiration
(I don’t always take pictures, but when I do I make the best faces)
I was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC and am a proud graduate of UNC Charlotte. I earned my Bachelors in History and have certification to teach at the high school level. No Teach for America, just an old-fashioned education grad (yes for the millionth time, I planned to become a teacher). I graduated in the cold month of December 2008. Why cold you ask? How bad could it possibly be in NC? A fair question. The cold I refer to was the job market in education. With the onset of the “Great Recession” there was a hiring freeze throughout the North Carolina education system. Teaching someone else’s lesson just wasn’t my thing, so instead of subbing it out until the thaw, I hopped a plane to South Korea where I taught ESL (it was a bit more complicated than that but I’ll keep the intro short).
When I returned home after my year abroad I found a lovely high school in Rowan County. The principal liked my resume and I eventually ended up teaching both ESOL and American History. Oh, and coaching boys and girl’s tennis, cross country, and track & field. I also sponsored three different clubs and was a member of our school’s technology team (that last one is going to be important later). Clearly, I had a very light schedule…as in, my social calendar was light. Every teacher knows how busy this all is, but believe me I was loving it.
Suddenly, my school’s administration team began pulling me in their direction. Administration was not something I was interested in, but it did force me to think about my future. Where did I want to be in five years? I had always assumed that grad school was in my future, but grad school for what? I thought maybe another degree (or two) in History would serve me well; also, my undergrad degree screams law school! However, I needed something that afforded me more engagement with personal relationships at work; I’m a people person, and building relationships with those I work with is fun for me.
Well, my genius brother suggested I get an MBA. That resonated with me, so began the diligent process of GMAT prep and profiling schools. When I found the perfect school, I applied. It was the only school I applied to (I figured I didn’t have to go to grad school, and if the school I wanted didn’t want me, then so be it). I happily accepted when The George Washington University admitted me. It was harder telling my students the news than saying goodbye to my parents when I left for Korea. But then I was in DC. I had made the jump from the classroom…yet after one year in the program I found myself back in education with an internship at Blackboard. I guess some things you just can’t quit.