With all Glion campuses now back to face-to-face teaching, Master’s in International Hospitality Business student and Student Ambassador, Chidochashe Angela Chola, takes a look back to her remote learning days. She shares the positive outcomes she experienced and explains how the knowledge of working and learning online has equipped her with new lifelong skills.
Online learning was a new phenomenon to me, I am a 2018 bachelors graduate, a graduate in a time where COVID 19 wasn’t even a possibility, and yet for my master’s degree, I am stuck right in the middle of the heart of the pandemic.
Studying remotely was a big adjustment, having to engage in class online, loss of human interaction, which was especially hard given the type of degree I am pursuing, and the ability to focus and exercise self-control to not get distracted was challenging. But I did find beauty in the situation, and I want to share two things I really enjoyed and learned from remote studying.
Closer relationships through unique experiences
One of the things I enjoyed the most from remote learning was connecting with my colleagues in unique ways. Because we still had access to the campus, accommodation, and dining, as well as the fact that a lot of people opted to stay in Bulle rather than going home, we were all accessible to one another, and it allowed us to really learn from each other in dynamic ways.
“…we became quick friends and developed a family mentality, much like those in the hospitality business.”
I often spent class in the basement of Tissot with colleagues, working on group projects together in warmer weather, taking a trip to the mountains, renting a chalet, and taking classes in a place of different scenery. These opportunities gave us the time to experience each other in ways that are not usual to university life.
With everything closed and restrictions on high alert, we became quick friends and developed a family mentality, much like those in the hospitality business. We grew accustomed to working on assignments together, gathering (adhering to COVID19 rules, of course), and cooking dinner together once or twice weekly. We relied on one another, supported one another, and formed friendships quicker than most and with solid foundations because of our collective predicament.
Acquiring transferable, lifelong skills
The second thing I enjoyed while studying remotely was mastering the art of presenting to a blank screen. I know it sounds a bit weird, but here is the reality: given that there are so many students online, connecting from all parts of the world, sometimes technology crashes (it’s inevitable). As a result, we would have a class online with no cameras and mics on, which was fine for lectures, but when it came to presentations, the only face we saw was the face of the professor who typically didn’t make eye contact because naturally, they were taking down notes.
“It has, in fact, spilled over to how I interview with companies and engage, which has been an advantage and excellent life skill to learn.”
I had to adjust to this, but I enjoyed learning how to adapt to the new reality. I am an individual who loves oral presentations, primarily because I feed off the engagement, energy, and faces of my audience. It boosts my confidence and makes it more enjoyable, however online, that isn’t the case. I had to learn how to keep the same energy and momentum and pique the audience’s interest, which I believe is an important skill. It has, in fact, spilled over to how I interview with companies and engage, which has been an advantage and excellent life skill to learn.
Learning remotely and internally
Overall, as hard as it was to adjust to remote learning, there were many benefits from it. Even though I only mentioned two, there was a lot of learning, self-learning on my end, learning how to learn in a new way, engaging with my colleagues online and offline, and adjusting myself, my skills, and attitude, to name a few. Overall it was quite an enjoyable experience, which was majorly due to Glion and their efforts.