Back to school

As the week came to an end, a new chapter of learning began. I don’t think I realised what I had signed up for till I attended the orientation webinar for the UpGrad course titled ‘Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing & Communication Program’ on a Sunday evening.

Out of a host of information that was shared with us about the course, it’s content and what we could expect, three things that stay with me as I get ready to set off on this learning experience are courage, commitment, and curiosity.

  1. Push yourself out of your comfort zone: Don’t worry about what others think. Be brave and engage with the content and the community of learners.
  2. Dedicate 12 to 15 hours a week: Put in the hours. Do the hard work. There are no shortcuts to success.
  3. How can I apply what I learn? Will it help me ideate better for clients? Will I be able to use it to improve my coaching website? Will it give me cues and clues on the kind of talent we need to hire? And a host of other questions swirl around in my head.

The joy of learning something new, coupled with the fear of not measuring up seem to be dancing together. On one hand, I tell myself that I will emerge from the experience, sharper and smarter. On the other, I worry that my ignorance and lack of knowledge will be exposed. Exposed to whom I ask? To myself first and then to others in the course I guess. I am going to learn how much I don’t know.

Of course, the answer that comes up and helps calm my racing mind down follows. It is better to know what I don’t know than to pretend. One of the most important learnings I have from the year gone by is related to saying ‘“I don’t know”. The learning is firstly to have the courage to say it. But equally important is the second part of the sentence which says “I will find out”.

The plain and simple “I don’t know” is good, but it gets great when it becomes light-hearted and excited “I don’t know, but I will find out”. The journey towards finding out is filled with possibilities, optimism, and determination. To be curious. To explore. To push the boundaries of what I know and find out what I don’t know. And then to be excited about the journey of learning. This is a good space to be in. From what I have heard about 600 of my colleagues have already been on this journey ahead of me and now I join another batch of 156 who have enrolled in the last two months, as we learn to ride the digital highway that beckons.

I am going back to school to move forward. In coaching, we are taught (among other things) to approach every session with a beginner’s mind of innocence and to focus on the positive. I intend to do just that as I get back into the digital classroom. I am also keen to understand and learn how education is evolving. The online classroom, new ways of teaching and engaging with fellow students, and a host of other serendipitous discoveries await me.

“Up, up, and UpGrad away”, I say. Time to upgrade my digital skills. Cheers to the class of 2021 and to a journey of lifelong learning.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

1 Comment on "Back to school"

  1. Lovely post, Nikhil.
    Just what I needed to hear this morning.
    Thank you! 🙂

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