How to Take Your Education Beyond the Classroom

This post was originally written for Bostinnovation.  This is only an excerpt of that post.  For the full article, please click here.

As a digital marketing student, I’ve discovered that I can’t only learn about the industry from what my professors teach me in the classroom.  There’s only so much you can be taught from a whiteboard and textbook.  I’ve found that the best way to learn about marketing is by pushing myself to work beyond the homework assigned in class.

Over the past two years at Boston University, I’ve come up with a few ways, both on campus and within the city itself, to supplement my classroom experience.  In no particular order, here are a few of the ways students can enhance their education while in the city of Boston:

Attend events: Prior to this year, many of the professional events I attended we’re hosted by my school.  Although they we’re excellently run, the attendees we’re often the same and I often never left the safety net that was my campus.

This fall, I discovered that there were plenty of Boston based organizations that put on events in the city.  Organizations like MITX and the AdClub helped me hear some amazing speakers like Dennis Crowley, the founder of Foursquare.  A lot of these events can cost you, but lucky for us broke students, there’s an organization called Stay in MA that will actually reimburse you for events that go on in the city!

For more information on what events are happening in the next month, some great websites to visit are MITX, BIMA, AdClub, Greenhorn Connect, and of course, Bostinnovation.

Reach out to professionals: You’d be surprised how easy it is to reach out to professionals.  A quick email can hook you up with an hour long coffee chat and a tour of where they work.  Meeting with professionals is an amazing way to learn more about the industries you’re thinking about working for.

Students shouldn’t feel embarrassed to reach out to professionals working in Boston.  They are more willing to help you then you realize and are a great resource to have during your four years in college.

Start side projects: Many students often really on the work they do in class to initially fill up their portfolio.  There’s nothing wrong with starting your own projects of interest as well.

Every student should find a passion of theirs and run with it:  start a personal blog on fashion, practice your graphic design skills on Facebook fan pages – that personal project not only will supply you with more for your portfolio, but will make you better at what you want to do in the future.

These are only a few ways to bolster your education outside of the classroom.  Just remember – beyond your campus, there’s an entire city for you to explore.  You’ll be surprised at what Boston has to offer the budding young professional.