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General Assembly

A story of massive personal growth

I taught the 10-week UX design immersive at General Assembly, three times in a row. It was totally different from anything I had ever done before and prepared me for leadership roles in the future.

I taught the program three times to a total of 83 students.

25% of students got jobs at great companies within 4 weeks of graduating, 40% within 8 weeks.

What I did

My job was split into four parts:

  • Lectures
  • 1:1 mentoring
  • Assembling teams
  • Giving constant feedback

 

Biggest personal growth areas

Presentation skills

I was nervous the first few times I gave lectures. I bombed in at least two lectures early on. But now I really enjoy it and am very good at it. I got so good at it, that my interaction design lecture's overwhelmingly positive response from students led to me teaching a video class at CreativeLIVE.com on the fundamentals of interaction design. I designed all my lectures from scratch because I wasn't able to teach the way I want to from the standard GA materials.

Communication

I was pretty bad at giving feedback and answering questions when I first started. I talked too fast and my answers lacked specificity. I got much better at communicating as I continued to teach, and started to understand the real value of good communication (it's one of the most important things).

I dropped the perfectionism

I learned to be more honest and vulnerable rather than trying to hide behind the "Mr Perfect" facade I had built up. Giving more of myself led to me connecting more with my students. Every time I taught, I became a little more open.

I learned how to assemble teams

Most of the work at GA is project based collaborations in teams. I assembled those teams. Man, that was so fun! My coinstructor and I put the names of the students on post it notes, and decided which ones would fit together, and on which project -- based on how we assess their skills, personalities, and what we knew about their goals and hobbies.