As promised – the insides of an independent study. Last time on insideColby we took you on a never-before-seen-tour of the independent study. 250 words. 1 professor. 1 student. Welcome to the Octagon.
So what does an independent study entail? Having taken one independent study for each my major and minor, I have a bit of perspective on what they can be for liberal arts or economics. You’ll have to ask someone else about science.
Right now, I am in an independent study for my administrative science minor (the department has since been renamed managerial economics). For my independent study, I am essentially creating both the formal business plan and the Kickstarter campaign for my family’s jam business, Bleuberet. The great thing about this is that it is not just a giant research paper that may have no bearing on the real world. I am actually creating a tangible deliverable for a/our family business.
Because I am taking this independent study for four credits as one whole class, my final requirement is a 40 page paper. It will encompass the business plan as a whole, a strong focus on an overall marketing plan, a specific Kickstarter plan to be run in the next few months and financial projections.
Every few weeks this semester I have met with my professor to discuss what I am working on. This has meant creating an outline or template for a specific part of the plan in some cases, or developing a Powerpoint deck of the capital expenditures the company needs to raise money for through a Kickstarter campaign.
While the project is essentially as simply formatted as it sounds, it is not something for those who want to take a break. Yes, I do not have formal classtime or any grades due throughout the semester. However, there is a 40 page paper looming. You have to have done your research, compiled your data, and have a strong idea of how you will fill 40 pages – because that is a lot of pages. Of course, if you take a third class and an IS, you can always make the class worth 1 or 2 or 3 credits, in which case the paper will not be as lengthy. As it is essentially designed by the student for the student, you can essentially do whatever you’d like within the guidelines. It’s a pretty cool transition from the classroom to the real world.