Teaching Communication Students How to Consult Aaron Cannistraci Gonzaga University September 21, 2010
Being a teacher, the aspect of consulting and training I find most interesting is teaching the subject.
Hines & Basso (2008) posit that young professionals have been graduating without the skills to be effective and entering the workforce only to disappoint their superiors.
The communication professor must work to instill specific skills into their student in order to prepare them for the workforce.
Skills for teachers to emphasize
Consider their audience
“ All three academics/consultants I interviewed emphasized the importance of conciseness (specifically, using bulleted lists) in business writing”
(Dave, 2009, pg 2)
“Two of the academics/consultants I interviewed gleaned important insights by simply listening to their clients”
(Dave, 2009, pg 3)
Consider Their Audience
Communication graduates need to think about how to craft their message to fit their business audience
For-fee academic consultancy service
Classroom project model
“ Clemson University’s Multimedia Authoring, Teaching, and Research Facility (MATRF), which operates as an academic consultancy service that matches students with industry projects on a for-fee basis”
Gives students the ability to put something other than their degree on their resume.
Potentially a chance to develop a relationship with a future employer.
UNT’S classroom project model
Brings client’s projects into the classroom to be worked on throughout the semester
Offers a realistic workplace experience
Safer environment because all of the problem solving takes place in the classroom
“ Both [business communication] teaching and research may gain from a greater engagement with business academics/consultants”
(Dave, 2009, pg 4).
Consulting as Teaching
“The consultant is not only researcher and communicator, but also, and perhaps more important, teacher”
(Dallimore, 2002, pg 8)
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Hines, R., & Basso, J. (2008). Do Communication Students Have the "Write Stuff"?: Practitioners Evaluate Writing Skills of Entry-Level Workers. Journal of Promotion Management , 14 (3/4), 293-307.
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