The newest addition to our course writing team, Benjamin Orr, talks about his experience developing his first course at THORS.
When I think back to the first course I worked on, I remember my job interview. In it, I was asked “Well, are you good with deadlines?” to which I said I was. One thing I pride myself on is my punctuality. The first course in this case was the biggest test of how things would go for me. I won’t lie— it was a scary time. This was my first job out of college and being a perfectionist, I gave myself little to no room for error. In hindsight, I probably should’ve eased up on myself, because I always tend to set the expectation bar a bit high.
The first course
My first course didn’t feel daunting, but I definitely felt the challenge of making a deadline. To me, hitting deadlines is not an issue, but then again, we often forget how many detours life likes to throw our way. Roadblocks arose and I figured that the eventual hang-ups would weave their way in. Despite that, I was reassured and helped tremendously by my teammates who obviously wanted me to succeed. That’s really what I remember about my first course, that there were inevitable issues, but we as a team overcame them.
At first, I felt as if I was miles behind a lot of what was being done at THORS, and the truth of it is, I was. However, that’s part of any novice experience. Learning how to make up that ground to get to a level where you feel comfortable is normal; we can’t forget that starting at zero is a ritual that everyone goes through. I would look at a different course and think to myself that the work being done was incredible and I wasn’t entirely sure how I could match it.
The thing is, you can’t get hung up on those details which is something I eventually taught myself. From deadlines in high school, through college, even at the workplace, it’s the same process—you’re always learning. You’re learning what works, what doesn’t, and maybe some thinking outside of the box is required to complete whatever it is you’re working on.
Once the issues were resolved and the course was on track to release, it felt good. Within the first three months of being hired, I had already released my first course and helped THORS continue to grow. Of course, I cannot take all the credit for that, as there was a lot of time invested by many departments. The others who helped me with this course put me on a track to realize what it is I needed to do to succeed, and that made all the difference in the world. Going forward, roadblocks and detours will happen, but now knowing that we combat these issues as a team is what truly leads us to success.