The perfect building block for a potential career
by Vidit Shah
February 7, 2022
In a study published by Richard J. Kraft, talks about why experience is key and that the education systems need unique forms of teaching to reach out to students as everyone studies and learns at their own pace. The author explains that “adventure programs and other experiential learning environments have enormous potential for use in the mainstream of our educational settings.” Sitting in front of a classroom and listening to lectures repeatedly may not be the best form of education for some learners, so other experiential forms of education could have a better impact on the student.
According to Albert Bandura, students learn vicariously through imitating others’ behaviors, as explained in his Social Learning Theory. Not all learning is shaped through consequences, rather they can be learned from a model. His theory was broken into four key steps: attentional, retention, reproduction, and motivational.
Attentional is highlighted by games and cues to motivate the student to pay attention. Retention follows as the instructor aims to motivate the student to practice their model. Reproduction is when the student applies their learnings and puts their abilities to the test and in motivational, learners reinforce their education. Education is not cut and simple, rather it should involve some form of experience and guidance through projects.
My First Experience: Learning through a model
Entering my international business class for the very first time, I was quite intrigued with the proposal of a final project that pushed the students beyond their comfort zone through a consulting case. Rather than just taking a simple test of the material, I was tasked with working with a group and finding a small business to apply my learnings to. We as a group were given a model of the final project and were then let loose to decide our own path; a path I will dive right into.
Application: Using the Model to find a Passion
Through countless discussions with my group mates, we came to a decision to reach out to my cousin, as he was readily available, and his restaurant, Dome Pizzeria, was an industry that all of us were interested in. Our client was extremely overjoyed with the proposal, and he was on board within five minutes of a conversation, and just like that our project had begun.
Juggling between classes and this professional project was quite frustrating at times, especially with our client being in another time zone. Our group made it a priority to hold weekly meetings to ensure that the data we were collecting was fair and correct.
Our client was facing a saturated market and needed help on his next step and going global was most certainly an option. We first identified the problem that the home country had, and then our team was able to identify two potential markets for our client. The pizza industry is incredibly competitive in nearly every corner of the world, so finding two unique markets was quite difficult. Through the models of previous cases and the new concepts we learnt in class, I was able to devise a clear strategy to enter into a market and potentially have success in that market.
Conclusion: Presenting, Takeaways and the Next Step
The culmination of everything I had put into that class and client was presented in our paper that we went over to the client. Working with my team has helped me create an unforgettable bond with each member and I am extremely grateful for the entire process even though at times it seemed exceptionally overwhelming.
“I would not trade this experience for any other and it really helped me find a drive for the consulting world. This process directly followed the Social Learning theory and it helped me realize that my best way of learning is through experiencing and following a model.”
– Vidit Shah, BE-EDGE Consultant
I sent him the project over email and organized a final zoom meeting with him in the hopes of potentially putting our plan in action. After a discussion with my client, he was extremely impressed with our findings and explained that he has tabled going global for a future date. Instead, he is branching out to a different cuisine and has begun the process for opening an Asian fusion restaurant in his home country.
Overall, I felt accomplished with the completion of this project, but it created a drive for more. I know that this is a potential career path for me, and I cannot wait to dive into my next potential case. The skills that I obtained through this experiential learning are unmatched and I am super excited to see what comes next. This was the perfect building block for a potential career as a consultant.
About the author:
Vidit Shah is a Business Administration and Economics Major studying at Northeastern University. He hopes to get into Supply Chain and has a particular passion for the psychology behind sports.