After spending a long four-and-a-half years getting my Business Marketing degree from the University of Montana, I am preparing to graduate this December. Just like most last semester seniors, I am finding myself beginning to prepare to enter the work force. Considering myself extremely lucky among many of my fellow graduates, I have a concrete knowledge of what I want to spend the rest of my life doing and have been provided the opportunity to do this at my university. With that being said, my uses of technology have morphed and evolved since I entered college as a wide-eyed freshman. There have been several pieces of technology that I have used during my career here in Missoula. These, however, are the five that are making my transition into the “real world” as smooth as possible.
1. Applications—Oh the wonderful, crowded new world of apps! In fall 2010 if someone had told me that I could have had seven pages of my favorite games, websites, and music one thumbprint scan away, I would have been blown away. In the few short years that I have been using these square little helpers, they have changed radically. It has gone from using Candy Crush, Words With Friends, and Pinterest to keep me entertained in class to needing LinkedIn, The Wall Street Journal, and Dropbox to keep me on the same page as my peers and competitors.
2. Email—Gone are the days when I would be relaxing in the evening only to realize it had been two weeks since I checked my inbox. In the world today, people will respond to emails in a matter of minutes (if not seconds), making being away from your lifeline for more then a few hours unheard of and often unacceptable. At this point in my blended college/professional career, I am receiving messages from professors, bosses, classmates, my internship director, and, of course, IAVM updates on a daily basis. Four years ago, my email could be left for days and be just fine, while now it is the last thing I check before I go to bed and the first thing I look at when waking up.
3. Online Banking—It did not take long for me to realize that a plastic debit card does not make it fake, plastic money. At the age of 18, living in the dorms with a meal plan, rent, and groceries were a non-factor in my life. This quickly changed as I moved off campus and toward becoming an “adult.” Soon my life was filled with pay periods, time cards, electric bills, and takeout transactions. Online baking makes it easy to not only manage my account balances, but track spending and even deposit checks from home. When you’re going to school full time, working, and doing an internship like I am, these little conveniences are truly life changing.
4. “The Cloud”—This mythical land that holds my research papers, marketing plans, music, and photos has followed me over to my job in the venue management industry. This file storage makes sharing documents—such as spreadsheets, waiting lists, and event information sheets—available to all different departments within our multipurpose venue. This makes forgetting to CC necessary personnel on an attached email a much smaller crisis then it has in the past.
5. Smartphones—Or what I like to call the “Queen Bee.” I sheepishly will admit that this five-inch, four-ounce plastic and metal piece of technology runs my life, much more than it should. Not only does it hold the power to run all of the before mentioned items, but it also keeps me in touch with my family and friends through calling, texting, and a plethora of social media. Without my smartphone, I could not keep track of all the details of my crazy schedule such as class, group meetings, work shifts, and other events. These little pieces of heaven make our worlds spin round.
What technologies are helping you in the “real world”? Please let me know in the comments.