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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.

This episode comes straight from the horse's mouth. The What's Your Problem? team interviewed several students to find out what they like (and dislike) about online classes, and then offered three ways to mitigate student fears and frustrations from day one.


Please enjoy our latest episode, What's Your Problem? - Student Edition, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.


Thank you!