The "Communicating Across the Curriculum" initiative strives to improve the communications skills of business students. Starting freshman year, all students in Business Management become familiar with communication technologies, co-curricular assignments, and use communication skills throughout the curriculum. Continuing through to the Strategic Management course, students are expected to develop professional writing skills, oral presentation skills, and small group interaction skills. Business faculty teach and evaluate communications in virtually all courses using case analyses, individual and group presentations, and other techniques. This innovative program has resulted in substantial improvements in the skills business leaders deem essential for success in business. Consistent feedback from internship supervisors, employers, and recent alumni confirms the value of these skills.
The dominance of technology in interpersonal communications has nearly robbed today's students of the simple skills of interacting one-to-one with other people. Therefore, an etiquette seminar is a required component of Organizational Communications and open to all department students. Students, in professional business attire, attend a mock reception, learning how to "work the room," engage in multiple conversations, and contribute to the effectiveness of the reception as if it were a real social-business setting. Immediately following the mock reception is a formal dinner and entertaining presentation of the "ins and outs" of all the silverware, glassware, dinnerware, and other elements of a formal dinner. The "diner" involves a host, a guest of honor, and other guests seated eight to a table.
Management Communications students participate in a Day of Observation, shadowing a career professional for a full work day. Students observe communication in the business world/work environment, including any barriers that cause problems, how those problems are solved, and who solves them; apply theories and communication concepts learned in the classroom to a work environment; practice communication skills; and build their professional network. Our students say this is a worthwhile experience–many have received internship offers and summer job opportunities during their observation.
The Department of Business and Economics, in association with Career Services and the Job Center website, offers a number of seminars aimed at helping students gain a competitive edge in their job search. Seminars cover such topics as business attire, living and working as a professional, networking skills, writing résumés, and preparing for interviews.