If you ever find yourself with nothing to do on a Saturday night, search “Turnitin” on Twitter and scroll through the thousands of Tweets that pop up: it will keep you entertained for hours. Many students view Turnitin as public enemy #1, and this image is one that is not easy to shake. However, having the opportunity to work for Turnitin while I am still a student has gifted me with very unique insight into what this company is all about.
With ever-increasing workloads and deadlines being placed on students, many feel pressure to compromise their academic integrity and turn to plagiarism to meet these rising standards. The way in which teachers use Turnitin directly influences student opinions, and though they have good intentions, teachers often misuse Turnitin’s technology because they lack the understanding of how to properly use it as a tool to enable student growth.
I had very little knowledge about Turnitin throughout my high school years. Naively, I viewed them as a company profiting off of students’ lack of motivation and their inability to keep up with a growing workload. Though I never felt the need to plagiarize, many of my classmates fell victim to Turnitin’s originality checking algorithm, which more often than not resulted in disciplinary action against them. Students were always looking for ways to beat the system and it appears that nothing has changed since I left high school. A big part of my mission here at Turnitin has been to help reshape this negative image and show students that Turnitin is invested in their success and is dedicated to helping them reach their academic goals.
My time at Turnitin has taught me how passionate this company truly is about education and how committed they are to improving the lives of students around the world. Their technology, if used correctly, enables students to get the most out of their education and emerge equipped with essential tools to thrive in their careers. Many of the people with whom I have had the pleasure of working closely are former educators themselves, who understand the value of academic integrity and of building a classroom culture that encourages it. They have an in-depth understanding of the struggles and challenges faced by both students and teachers in the modern-day classroom and are dedicated to helping tackle these challenges and find solutions. Their compassion and empathy for teachers and students alike are very inspiring to me and exemplify what this company is all about.
I have learned so much about integrity and honesty and how priceless these values are when ingrained in a student’s moral code at a young age. I have found that my view of education has changed drastically during my time at this company because I’ve gained a greater understanding of how our education impacts our future. It is something we cannot take for granted, and the people with whom I work are committed to bettering the student experience for children around the world. The lessons I have learned here are ones that I will carry with me throughout my life, and I know they will continue to hold great value to me, even after my educational journey is complete.