Keith Baira, MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation student, shares his reflections on the pandemic student experience. Read on to find out how he is making the most of this ‘different year’.
A different beginning
It’s been an adventurous first term since school started. Many things are different, but many are just an extension of this volatile 2020. The opening week was overflowing with an array of sessions in the true mould of LSE: high powered global brands making a pitch to the world’s best minds ready to take on a year of intensive study.
I, like many of my compatriots was trying to navigate the throws of the pandemic- rigorous biological protocols, remote meeting, remote learning, and remote studying. Where many students turned down studying in this model, it was an opportunity to adapt to what is most likely to be a standard future way of working.
Using a plethora of tools, classes have been progressing, and we have been learning, using what my strategy lecturer termed liminal innovation – a consistent act of balancing experimentation and implementation in adapting to the new student experience.
A different class
LSE is known for its characteristically diverse international class profile. Between the four cardinal points, a full complement of cultures, languages, ethnicities and naturally nationalities paints the vibrant 2021 MISDI tapestry.
A kaleidoscope of experiences, skills and ideas, we are helping each other find ourselves, and manage our studies, which at first glance give a deceivingly elementary challenge. I’ve made friends who check up on me just to make sure I haven’t fallen off the wagon, obliterated by binge studious regimens.
Having never met any of my classmates in person does have its downsides – there is much to be learnt from the non-verbal cues that are currently being bleached behind the otherwise standard portrait ZOOM faces that greet me every day.
I’ve made friends who check up on me just to make sure I haven’t fallen off the wagon.
A different normal
It would be remiss to imply I do not miss the ability to engage in the usual student rituals of ad-hoc meetings, pointless campus meandering in search of new experiences and so on. I see how disruptive the pandemic and the constantly changing terrain has been for the industrious Department of Management’s team.
I am cognisant what a very different set of demands this new way of teaching has been for our lecturers, who are also in this ship with us, braving the choppy seas of the pandemic. Their sense of humour, and their constant titbits of advice have guided us through the term so far, as we journey to what now seems to be the peak of the storm.
A different hope
As the year ends, I have often seen people joking that 2020 is the discount year we don’t include when mentioning our age or career.
I know that many are barely breaking even, taking care of their family, dealing with company closures, and job losses. I can only offer my deepest sympathy and hope for a brighter year ahead.
We forge ahead, building our future through present day action. We learn from the past that we might understand the causes of things better. Often afflicted with bouts of imposter syndrome, I often must pinch myself to remember that this year, I am a student at LSE.
As the MISDI ambassador for this year, I can proudly state, I am part of LSE.
Learn more about our MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation programme