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Student Perspective: Learn by Doing Opens Doors Beyond the Classroom

Terry Hackney

By Terry Hackney (B.S., Kinesiology, 2012)

When I first toured Cal Poly, I heard about Learn by Doing, but it sounded like just another sales pitch. It wasn't until I started taking classes that I realized how legitimate Learn by Doing really is. I've completed a lot of lab assignments, such as exploring campus in a wheelchair to better understand life as a person with disabilities and evaluating my classmates' cardiac health, but Learn by Doing permeates many other aspects of life at Cal Poly.

During my second year, I worked as the special events supervisor for the Associated Students Inc. (ASI), planning and implementing entertainment programs for the Cal Poly community. Working with other students, I honed my professional skills by managing an annual budget of more than $50,000, conducting preliminary research and contract negotiations, formulating marketing plans, and executing and evaluating the final event.

Students from the Orfalea College of Business executed the marketing plans and worked with graphic design majors from the College of Liberal Arts to produce marketing materials. It was quite an honor to receive a call from a band's agent in New York or Los Angeles thanking us for being such a great group of people to work with and hear her surprise when she found out that the entire event was put on by students.

My experiences at Cal Poly have taught me not only the skills I need to be an effective kinesiology professional, but also life lessons such as how to interact with people from different backgrounds and schools of thought, how to manage time and stress effectively, and most importantly, how to think — how to stare a problem in the face, figure out a solution, and put it into action.

My time at Cal Poly has opened many doors. I have the option to pursue a master's degree in exercise physiology, continue to build my experience as an emergency medical technician, or work in a corporate wellness setting. My long-term goal is to become a physician specializing in emergency medicine, orthopedics or cardiology.



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