The moment that my Program Advisor said that I could start the first course of Stenberg’s Dispensing Optician program, one thing came to my mind: this is it! The road to being a Licensed Optician just started and my journey begins. Let’s do this!
I was so pumped that day that when I sat in front of the computer, I didn’t know where to start because I had too many things running in my head, and I had some catching up to do after starting the program late. One thing I knew for sure is that I wanted to study hard and be successful. I am probably a little older than most of my classmate, but it’s never too late to study and start a career!
I decided that in order to catch up as quickly as possible, I needed to know what I would be learning in my first course. I looked at the course outline for Computer Fundamentals and saw typing, Microsoft programs, and some handouts, all of which I would need to complete in ten days. Then I checked how much time I had per day to dedicate to studying, did the math, and found out that on days that I work, I have four hours that I can allot for studying and about double that on my days off. I remember telling myself to be focused and disciplined, and for me to follow and use my allotted time for studying.
I would say it was painful but surely it worked! I spent hours in front of the computer working on my typing skills and doing online learning and the next thing I knew I had caught up with the class and learned a lot of new things from the first course.
My typing improved a lot; from typing with six fingers while looking at the keyboard to typing the proper way without looking on the keyboard (I still look when it’s characters or numbers though, I’m a work in progress). I learned the basics of Microsoft Office, thanks to the Simnet learning program which takes a lot of time, but it does work.
The best thing that I learned from the class was when we tackled “Netiquette” in our discussion forums which raised a lot of concerns about online conduct and how to express yourself online. Following the rules of conduct that we have while talking to someone face to face is the same as talking to someone online.
After the Computer Fundamentals course we headed for the Customer Service and Communications course. It’s about two weeks long and a little bit different from the first course because we had two written projects that were due on the last day and a book to read. I would say it was a fun course because even though I have 12 years of customer service experience I still learned a lot of new things and ways on how to listen and help customers needs/demands by actively listening and communicating. For me the best part for the communications course was when I posed as a secret shopper and later wrote a paper about it. It was a fun experience to apply what I had learned in the course and gave me a chance to gain some different persepective on customer service. All in all, a great start to the Dispensing Optician program.