In college I majored in Communications (with a concentration in Public Relations) and also had a Business minor. A lot of the topics we covered in my organizational communication classes were also taught in my business classes, so I think it was a good choice to pursue both of these subjects simultaneously. As someone now who has her own business on the side (I consider this blog, along with my freelance writing and SEO consulting my side business), I sometimes wish I could go back to school and get my MBA to continue learning.
If someone offered to pay for me to go get my Master’s Degree, I would obviously say yes. But that magic fairy Godmother has yet to show up on my door and help a sister out. Instead, I take every opportunity I can to take free courses, go to workshops, and participate in webinars to continue my learning. So when I was offered the opportunity to take a free online course through Concordia University that matched up with my personal and business interests, I obviously obliged. I thought the course could help me with my own business goals, as well as help me exceed in my current day job at a tech company.
The “Functioning Above Entry Level” online course was created to help you understand your personal strengths and gain the confidence needed to boldly move forward in your callings. So what exactly does that mean? According to the course’s Program Director, it should help students master the following three things:
- internal and external forces and how they affect how you think
- how to recognize emotional intelligence and social intelligence factors to give you a better understanding of how you self-lead
- examine the 10 key areas in your life that are important in moving you above “entry level”
The course consisted of an introductory email, three lessons (which consisted of essays, videos, interactive polls, and journals), and a thank-you email after course completion. It was free (who doesn’t like free things?), delivered straight to my inbox, and took about 3 – 4 hours to complete. All content within this course is taken straight from Concordia University Wisconsin’s 100% online, one-year Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Administration program.
A lot of the course material was reminiscent of terms I had heard years ago in college (like the four internal forces and how they motivate us), but had never really applied to my current lifestyle and career. After completing the worksheets and interactive activities, I came away with knowing myself much better. Here are a few examples of topics the course covered and how I apply them to my own life.
- I am motivated mostly by “natural reward”, which is the reward you get when no one is looking over your shoulder or pushing you. I find that I work best when I am accomplishing things that I feel passionately about. This is definitely a strength, but the weakness in this is that this humbleness and self-drive can sometimes lead me to not be recognized for my success. It’s so funny — my manager is always telling me to share more of my successes with the team and company, and she’s right!
- As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of continuing to learn. For my current role, I’ve been lucky enough to attend a large marketing conference to hear from industry experts and get trained in certain marketing software. I know that these certifications and training programs have helped me excel in my career, and I look forward to doing more in the future. On the other hand, this made me realize I should be doing the same for my side business. So I made it a goal this year to attend a few more blogging events and conferences in my free time.
Overall, I was glad I took this free course to help understand what I’m currently doing right and what I could be doing to help excel in my career and go “above entry level”. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can achieve your goals — personal or work-related — I suggest taking this free online course from Concordia University. Thank you to Concordia University for sponsoring this post. #cuwselflead