In Depth Blog Post #5
Black Swan: “An unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight.” Investopedia.com.
COVID-19 is clearly a Black Swan event that has impacted life worldwide. The pandemic has affected all of us. Schools are shut down with learning forced to move online, businesses of all kinds are struggling to operate under restrictions and unusual conditions. People are dying and healthcare workers are being asked to put their own lives at risk to help others.
For our TALONS In-Depth project, modifications are required. In uncertain times, as students, we need to be flexible and willing to adapt. In the weeks leading up to spring break, I felt optimistic in my ability to build and sell my product to my peers. Clearly, COVID-19 has changed everything. Suddenly, there is no In-Depth night, nor any in-class presentations that will be happening in the foreseeable future. Other school events that I was hoping to supply tri-folds for such as Spring Carnival are not going forward. I considered transforming my tri-folds into green screens for video calls. However, I am also unable to visit the stores to gather needed supplies to build my products. I have emailed my mentor, Mr. Bingley to give him an update on my project, but he probably has more important matters on his mind at this time. I hope to touch base with him one last time before the end of my project, but I understand if he cannot.
I am going to continue working on my project at home as much as I can through videos and reading articles and books. I completed a cost analysis and set a “pre-COVID-19” price that I would have sold my product at, had the Black Swan event not occurred.
For my next steps, I plan to research how local small businesses are dealing with this unusual situation. I will also try to envision what learning will look like in six months, a year, or even five years from now. COVID-19 has been such a globally life changing event that people’s habits and routines will never be the same.
1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
So far, my mentor has exposed me to concepts such as marketing and market surveys. To add on, we discussed a variety of ways on how to reach a potential market, such as social media. During our last meeting prior to the break, Mr. Bingley introduced the idea of branding. I found this topic very interesting and we agreed to discuss further on this concept after the break. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has interrupted that discussion. If we have another meeting before the end of the project, we may have a conversation about branding, so I can learn for future purposes, as I won’t be selling any of my product.
2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
One way I reinforced my learning was putting his advice into practice. I surveyed my peers and compiled the data. The Gleneagle Business Club was a great opportunity to reinforce my learning prior to the break. During our meetings, we discussed business cases involving “the four p’s”, product, promotion, price, place. Going forward, I would like to watch videos on marketing such as Shark Tank or Dragons Den.
3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
COVID-19 has really roadblocked my project, so although I will keep an eye out for opportunities to further my learning, I don’t see many chances to accelerate it.
4. When you get together what do you talk about?
Usually when my mentor and I meet, we start with a debriefing of my progress and any concerns, or suggestions he might have. We then discuss next steps and often Mr. Bingley tells a story to help my understanding based on his own personal experiences.
5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
I miss having face to face discussions with my mentor. I contacted him recently and he said that he would help out as much as possible under the circumstances.
6. What are you learning about one another?
We haven’t met since my last blog post due to COVID-19. I realize that he is supportive and willing to help me out even in these unusual times.