Cherise O'Connell's e-Portfolio for EXL Scholars
Experiential Learning has been a wonderful thing for me throughout my college career. Most of
my classes within Organizational Communication have been EXL classes. On MTSU’s EXL website,
experiential learning is defined as a “learning process that takes place beyond the traditional
classroom and that enhances the personal and intellectual growth of the student. This education
can occur in a wide variety of settings, but it usually takes on a ‘learn-by-doing’ aspect that
engages the student directly in the subject, work or service involved” -- Experiential Education
involve activities that incorporate real-world situations and experience. These types of activities
have made me feel much more prepared to enter the work-force. Too often, college graduates
are not fully capable to be thrown into real-world tasks. I feel that experiential learning classes
have given me the knowledge I need to succeed after graduation.
I have done many assignments through EXL classes that incorporates the real-world. In
Interview Communication, I went on an actual interview and had it evaluated by the interviewer.
This gave me practice with my interview skills and feedback on ways to improve them. In my
Communication in Communities class, I not only participated in several non-profit events, but I
also helped plan an event with VSA Arts for children with special needs. This gave me extensive
knowledge with non-profits and what it takes to participate in this type of event. In my
Consulting and Auditing class, I was able to experience what it is like to be a consultant for a
company. I evaluated how the company was doing currently and found possible improvements
that I felt could be made. In my Special Event Planning class, I was able to actually plan and
participate in several events from beginning to end. This gave me many skills that I will need if I
decide to go into event coordination or promotions. These are just a few examples of the many
important things I have learned from EXL classes.
Another important benefit in having this real-world experience is that it can be a résumé
builder. These EXL activities may be the only actual experience a student gets before
graduation. I am grateful to have these assignments and experience to put on my résumé to
show that I am more qualified than a typical recent college graduate. These classes may put us
ahead of the other possible job candidates that we are up against.
In conclusion, I am very excited to have had the opportunity to be a part of the experiential
learning program. I feel that this program has helped prepare me for tasks that I will be faced
with later on in life. I am very happy that this program was available to me, because I know
that it is a new program. I will recommend this program to all college students that I come
across, because I believe it would be beneficial to anyone.