I’ve just started my internship recently and there have already been a few surprising observations that I’ve made over the course of 12 weeks with regards to it being different from school life.
I was initially expecting a pretty cold and boring office setting, whereby everyone will be focused on getting their own job done without really caring about whoever’s in the office. However, what really surprised me was the teamwork we had as a department. Everyone in my department live by a philosophy of honesty and trust – politics are put aside and we are not afraid to share knowledge to one another so that all of us can get our jobs done efficiently. Without further ado, here are things which I’ve learnt from work life which is different from school, which made me feel strongly against the current bell curve system that most school systems are currently having.
1) TEAMWORK is forgotten in school
In university, people are only focused solely on how they can climb their GPA scores up, to the point whereby they have forgotten that school is all about learning and sharing knowledge, and how we can help one another to progress as a unit. Ultimately, I would want to transit to the work force knowing that the knowledge that I gained from university can be applied to my job.
Unfortunately, teamwork is forgotten in school, and people are just focused on how they can be smarter than the person next to them. Because bell curve system mah, if I help you, you win me, then how am I going to get a good GPA?
Students are not to be blamed for having this mindset, as having good teamwork isn’t promoted in school. The system runs in a bell curve system, which promotes selfishness in students. Helping others might potentially mean bringing your own GPA score down, so why would you wanna help?
When we transit to work life, teamwork is actually the key to success in an organization. It isn’t so much about individual effort or recognition, or how high your GPA was in school. It’s about how you can use your knowledge to contribute to the progression of the organization. Being selfless is the most efficient way for the organization to move forward. Without teamwork, progression will be slowed down drastically.
HEY YOU FORGOT GROUP PROJECTS!!!
Granted that you get group projects that promotes teamwork, however, once the project is done, we all kinda go our separate ways and start mugging endlessly for our final exams.
2) & That promotes brainless cramping of information
A common phenomenon observed a day before a final paper is that majority of students are busy cramping up all the notes of the different theories and formulas that they have learnt in class. Even before walking to the exam hall, people are still busy cramping as much information as they can. It’s not because they did not prepare before hand, it’s just that it’s pretty damn impossible to cramp 13 weeks of theories and formulas in one sitting. The hardest part is that you have to know the theories almost word for word or you will get penalized if the person next to you memorized the theories better than you did.
I have to be honest, I’m also one of those students who cramp as much information as I can before sitting into the exam hall, that’s because when I memorize lecture 2, I forget a bit of lecture 1, and when I memorize lecture 3, I forget a bit of lecture 2, so I have to keep going back and forth just to try to retain as much information as possible.
I’d like to use the analogy of gambling when it comes to exams. It’s like choosing the correct lectures to invest your brain memory in and hoping that those topics you studied for come out during exams. I personally feel that it’s impossible to memorize all 13 lectures in one sitting, so if you play your cards right, you will be able to spot the correct exam questions and get an A grade. If not, say hello to C. After all, it’s do or die right?
Well, there’s an alternate path which you can choose, which is to be the Jack of all trades, but master of none – meaning you try your best to cramp down all lectures, even if it may seem really hard. You will tend to forget a thing or 2 from each lecture but this may be a safer approach for those poker players that prefer not to go all in. You’ll be able to secure a B grade with this approach.
But saying that, brainlessly mugging for exams will NOT help you with transiting and applying the knowledge in work force, it just makes you score better than the person beside you.
Sorry if I digressed a little, but with all that said, school is about how well you memorize the theories and formulas, and you have to know the theories word for word or you’ll get penalized.
& even if you know your theories, if you didn’t memorize them better than your friend beside you, YOU WILL STILL GET PENALIZED!
In work, if I were to forget about a theory which I learnt in school, I can always refer back to my notes or sources from online to refresh my memory a little. The key is about how you can apply those theories into real life cases.
I don’t have to promptly state “Ok so this is the exact theory that I’m using” word for word because nobody cares. All I have to do is to know which theory to use and apply it accordingly.
But in school, if we don’t use the exact words the theory states, we may be penalized a mark or two for inaccuracy. Because of the bell curve system, though you may know your theories, but if the person beside you memorized the theories better than you, you will get penalized.
So honestly, why must we have a bell curve system?
I personally feel that the bell curve system should be removed from universities. Getting good grades SHOULDN’T BE A COMPETITION. Instead, it should be about having vast knowledge in your specific field by the end of your graduation, and how each and every student can unite and help one another on areas which they are weak in. Removing the bell curve system also removes the fear of jeopardizing your own grade if you help the person next to you.
This would also in turn promote teamwork in a school setting, which will be beneficial to students when they transit to the work force. Because in work life, teamwork is key to having success in an organization!!!
Thing to note… What if students cheat during exams?
I stated that with the bell curve system removed, people wouldn’t have to worry about their grades being affected when they help a friend. However, does this mean that cheating in exams will occur because everyone is working as a unit now?
That would be a possible flaw, but I highly doubt it will happen. Most university papers are conducted in an essay format, with 8-10 essay questions, and each answer is about 1 to 1 and a half pages long, and given the amount of time we have to complete our exams (1 hr 45 mins to 2 hours) it is practically impossible to copy the essay of the student next to you. So it’s pretty damn hard to cheat during exams.
ON A SIDE NOTE…
This blog post only applies to majority of the people that are in school. THIS POST IS NOT MEANT FOR ASPIRING DOCTORS, LAWYERS, OR ENGINEERS. Please disregard this blog post. if you fall under the any of the courses that I’ve mentioned. I don’t want any accidents to happen as these are majors that require you to memorize everything to perfection. Everything in these majors are so specific that a single mistake you make could cost you a life. So if you fall into these majors, keep studying hard! 😉
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