Cover 2 Cover Magazine August 2011 : Page 26

Continuing Education by Paige Arnof-Fenn This time of year always reminds me of the excitement as a child getting ready to go back to school. I was a good student, loved school and that feeling of getting new pens & notebooks, a few new outfits and all the ex-citement and possibilities that a new school year brings. As an adult once you graduate it is never quite the same, but I still believe if you are lucky you will truly be a student for the rest of your life even, if you are not actually enrolled in a formal program. The world changes so quickly, it is important to keep your skills current even after you get your degree. I have often joked that diplomas should come with an expiration date just like your milk carton does. I received my MBA 20 years ago and even though the basic rules are still the same for things like discounted cash flow, many things in business have in fact changed a lot in 20 years. The Internet was not a factor and there was no social media so students in business school today are discussing and learning about issues that did not even exist when I was in school. If I had not taken the time and made the effort to stay up on these current trends, I’d argue my MBA would be a lot less valuable today. Lawyers and doctors are required to take continuing education courses to keep their accreditation current and I believe the best and most effective business leaders do it as well by reading books by thought leaders, attending conferences and speeches by industry icons. If you cannot remember the last time you picked up a trade journal, attended a webinar, or shook up your routine at work to think about things in new and different ways then it is time for you to go “back to school” and brush up on who the new competitors are in your industry, learn what the latest technologies and tools are from what the new hires are using and sign up for a conference or online demo so you can see what’s new in your field. Whether you are 5 or 25 years out of school I am certain you would benefit tremendously by making continuing education part of your life. Keep those synapses firing. You will learn new things and have fun in the process. Here’s to getting a great education, enjoy! 26 Cover 2 Cover Magazine | August 2011

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