Wait a minute what is PPP? PPP stands for Personal Professional Practitioner and is one of our Modules here at the University of York. The aim of this module is to prepare us for life after University where we might be entrepreneurs or otherwise self-employed and will need to market ourselves.
How is this achieved? We have attended lectures and had discussions about how to negotiate, how to come up with ideas and we had a guest lecturer who enlightened us with tales of being in an independent band. The module culminated with the schools’ event that we put on. We would be tested in multiple ways… We had a date set; the rest was up to us. Between the 13 of us we came up with our ideas and got to work with preparing them, splitting up into four teams. Between us we had a studio tour, build-a-microphone, learn to code, and of course build-a-loudspeaker.
I can say that everybody was challenged with this task. It was definitely challenging, in a good way, however. Speaking just on behalf of Team Electric Falcon! we were not 100% sure that our demonstration would work until the last minute. Thankfully it ran according to plan and in the end, we all had a good time. Events like this are important for children as it can be the difference between them realising they want to get into a particular career path, and losing all interest in education altogether.
But enough about the schools’ event.
This module reminds me of a module in my Undergraduate degree at Wolverhampton Uni. Instead of putting on a demonstration, we were given a more open choice. I was in a group of seven and we hosted a live lounge session in the University’s Black Box Theatre. Again, we were left to arrange everything, so that meant booking out the venue, booking four acts, sourcing and setting up the recording equipment, promoting the event and everything else. Being in a group of seven made this process more manageable. In the end, the event was a success and we all gained some valuable experience from it.
These kinds of experience do contribute to personal professional practice because in the real world you do have to organise things, and work to a schedule. In school (and university), a lot of the time you turn up and do the work. It’s the same at many jobs: turn up and get on with the job, but if you are to be self-employed you are required to be self-motivated as well, and deadlines are sometimes the best motivator. If I don’t hand an assignment in on time then I effect only myself, however if I sell tickets to an event and there are no artists or the sound system doesn’t work then I will ruin my reputation for the future. Therefore, it is important to prepare yourself for these upcoming challenges.
What have I learned from PPP? Well for starters I have gained a little bit of experience in public speaking, in the sense of talking to a class. I have had use my mind to problem solve in the context of getting the speakers to work and I have thought about negotiation and how to get the most out of a meeting.
Do I think there could be improvements to the module? Yes of course. PPP is a small part of the course so it’s not expected to be hugely in-depth. That said for a module that is preparing us for self-employment in the enormous and growing industry of electronic engineering/ audio technology, I feel like a guest lecture from a real entrepreneur would have been useful. Doesn’t have to be Mark Zuckerberg.
Here’s the class. (I’m the fourth one in)