One of the great fears of many college graduates is how to remember everything they are taught. This is a fear that is more imagined than it is real. The fact is that you will probably have little problem in doing what you learned. You will have time to refresh your memory. In most cases, you won’t have to recall detailed information. What will be more of a challenge is to know when to use what you have learned.
The greatest failing of new graduates is not using their knowledge rather than not remembering how to do something. The challenge you will face is to be able to examine the job situation you face and think of the best approach based upon what you learned. This is more of a conceptual recall challenge than a factual challenge.
How do you think about all that you learned in college and determine what might be relevant to a specific situation? Here are some ideas:
- Take each course you had in college and try to reduce the content of each course into 5-10 conceptual principles (e.g. supply/demand principles from economics). This will take some effort, and it will challenge you. You need to do this for every course, not just in your major.
- When you have a new assignment, review your list of conceptual principles that likely apply to your assignment. Once you have the grouping of principles, then start thinking about how they can be integrated into an overall project approach.
- If you need help in applying a specific principle, look back at your notes. Generally you won’t have a difficult time recalling enough of the concept to use it effectively.
- When you are using an approach that is new to others in the organization, teach them the basics of the approach. This will help you reinforce the concept in your mind.
The critical thing in all of this is to keep asking yourself: “what did I learn that can be used in this situation?” .