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Reflection on Life Long Learning, Application Essay Example

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Application Essay

When I was in high school, I had very limited view of learning. I thought learning only takes place in a formal environment and it will only last until college. But once I started meeting people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as started reading on a diverse range of subject matters, I realized that one can engage in learning almost anywhere and anytime if he/she has sincere desire to learn. After entering college, I realized that my generation is living in dramatically different times than our parents and no amount of formal education now ensures a bright future and/or lifetime job security. Bestselling author, Thomas L. Friedman also warned his country fellowmen in an online article that they will have to embrace continuous learning to maintain professional competitiveness (Friedman, 2013). Lifelong learning should be embraced not only for professional reasons but also because it will help us become more effective local and global citizens.

To be a lifelong learner means one is always looking for opportunities to learn something new even if the knowledge may not appear to be relevant for the time being. One keeps an open mind and considers every experience and every person a source of learning. Being a lifelong learner also means having the modesty to acknowledge that no amount of knowledge is ever enough. But one cannot engage in lifelong learning unless he/she develops passion for it which may be why Friedman suggests developing passion for learning and curiosity (Friedman, 2013). In addition, learning should be turned into an enjoyable activity otherwise one may lose motivation.

The world has been changing at a pace never before witnessed in recorded history. This is both due to tremendous advancements in technology such as the internet as well as the forces of globalization. Humanity is finally realizing the goal of global village in which geographical boundaries are becoming less important and information and knowledge is disseminated at a rapid pace. Thus, our competition doesn’t reside within national boundaries but all over the world. This is why continuous learning is important because it will help us stay ahead of the competition and maintain professional competency. Continuous learning will also ensure we are ready to compete at the global arena and many among us may be taking international assignments in places where different norms, values, and rules exist. Learning also makes us flexible and gives us tools to quickly adjust into new environments. Continuous learning is also important because organizations don’t help individuals manage career track anymore and we are all responsible for our own career direction. Continuous learning not only increases our professional competency but also makes it possible to change professions relatively easily because we possess diverse knowledge and skills set.

I have formulated several strategies to ensure I remain a lifelong learner. First of all, I have been working on my communication skills, especially, listener. Effective listeners encourage others to openly express themselves, thus, maximizing the benefit that comes from exposure to different perspectives. I have travelled to some countries and have discovered that travelling is one of the best learning experiences because it allows us to live in alien environments and help understand local perspectives. It also forces us to exit our comfort zones and see things from new perspectives. I also plan to continue reading on a wide range of subject matters so that I have a wide thinking horizon. Similarly, I will continue to maintain active social lifestyle, especially focusing upon the opportunities to meet new people so that I gain new perspectives.

References

Friedman, T. L. (2013, January 29). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. Retrieved April 22, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/friedman-its-pq-and-cq-as-much-as-iq.html?_r=0

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