KU Professional Communication

PART 1

In this week’s discussion, you will read selected passages in your book and reflect on professional communication and technology within your career. We will also think about how technology will shape the future of your field. Finally,you will discuss professional email and best practices and errors to avoid.

READ

Module 1, pp. 2-14

Module 13, pp 217 – 226

Reflect

When you start a job, you may not be require to write reports or paper documents,  but most employers will expect you to be able to write effective emails. Consider key questions such as “Will I really have to write?” (p. 5) and “What makes a message effective?” (p. 9).  Consider Email “netiquette” rules to follow. p. 226

https://youtu.be/JiUUQafcsqc

https://youtu.be/M6Sh6Hdsf0I

After watching the videos (above) and reading the required pages,  respond to the following questions. Reference your book at least once (and cite it in in-text and a full APA reference): 

-What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses in writing skills?  What skills do you think you will need in the future? Why is professional writing important to your career?

-How would you rate your professional e-mail skills?

-What area mentioned in these resources could you improve? What is the one e-mail error you see most often?

While no specific word count is required, this is a Upper level class, and you are expected to provide full, meaningful responses.  A recommendation of 300 words minimum is a benchmark.

REPLY

Respond to two peers by considering the following questions: 

-How does your peer’s comment about writing compare to your experiences?  

-What aspect of email communication did your peer mention or forget to mention that is important important? 

-Share one thought about how to strengthen your professional writing skills. 

PART 2

Blog: Professional Philosophy Statement

For this week’s blog, you will compose a Professional Philosophy Statement, sometimes referred to as a work statement. This can be a valuable document to include with an application or portfolio, but it is also helpful preparation for interview questions.  This statement will be included as part of your final e-Portfolio that is due in Week THIRD. Your Professional Philosophy Statement should be 250-500 words.

As you consider what to include in your statement, keep in mind the things that employers find valuable: organization, resourcefulness, work ethic, creativity, motivation, perseverance, adaptability, strong written and verbal communication, and so on. You can address technical skills that you possess, but do not overlook “soft” skills like solid time-management and those listed above. 

Do not simply detail your work experience; that is what your resume is for. Instead, the Professional Philosophy Statement should encapsulate your personal perspective or approach to work—any kind. What do you believe in? What do you bring to the workplace? What is unique to you? What will you do to help you and your colleagues succeed? 

See some of these examples:

This I Believe: That Through Hard Work, Anything Can Be Achieved

A Duty to Family, Heritage and Country

We Make Our Own Destiny

You may also consider touching on current trends within your field and how you keep up with such trends. For example, do you belong to a professional organization? Do you subscribe to a specific trade journal, or have you been to any professional conferences or workshops? If so, what is one piece of knowledge or a specific skill you acquired that you have utilized, or plan to utilize, in your day-to-day work? 

PART 3

Writing Assignments

This week, you will be asked to put together a series of written communication that focuses on positive messaging for a variety of audiences. You will write 

1. Write a Formal Letter

Write a Formal Letter to a Supervisor or Office. See Unit 1, Module 2, p. 36

Imagine that your organization has a generous tuition reimbursement program, but currently employees must take classes outside of regular business hours. You’ve noticed that many classes you want or need at the local university are offered infrequently during evenings or weekends. Address your letter to the correct person or office.

For Additional Guidance:

-Present a logical case with clear facts.

-Even though form letters can save money and time, do not use one in this case.

-Consider some of the questions found on p. 36 under 2-16.

-Reference pp. 19-24 for guidelines on writing and positive messaging.

-See p. 129 for an example letter.

2.  Write a Formal Email

Write a Formal Email Persuading a Lender to Defer Paying a Student Loan (LO 2-2)

Many college graduates today leave school with large debts from student loans. Though the loans must be repaid, the time to do so and the monthly payment are determined by the lender. With a touchy economy making it harder to find a job, students may also find it harder to repay loans. Many lenders, however, expect them to start doing so upon graduation. You plan to request a deferral to start paying back your loan.

To do so, answer the following questions about your audience:

-What is at stake for the lender if it defers the loan?

-What regulating bodies (e.g., state and federal government) govern how a lender may alter the terms of a loan agreement?

-What objections might a lender raise to deferring the loan?

-What other resources might the lender suggest tapping in order to repay the loan?

-What might the lender expect from you as a guarantee that you will repay the loan after the deferral?

-What channel is the best way to reach the lender?

-What tone will work best in the message to the lender?

-How long of a deferral are you requesting? 

Your organization has traditionally given employees several holidays off: New Year’s; Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; Independence Day; Veterans’ Day; Thanksgiving; and Christmas. Employees who celebrate other holidays (e.g., Good Friday, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, the Hindu Holiday Diwali) have been able to take those days off with the consent of their supervisors. But some employees have complained that it is unfair to depend on the goodwill of supervisors. And now a few other employees have complained that people who honor other holidays are getting “extra” days off since they take those days in addition to the standard holidays. 

Therefore, the executive committee of your organization has decided to allow employees any 10 days off for holidays. They will have to tell their supervisors which days they plan to take off. People will be asked in December which holidays they want to take off in the following year. People can change their minds during the year as long as they have not yet taken off the full 10 holidays. Any religious, ethnic, or cultural holiday is acceptable. (Someone who wants to take off Cinco de Mayo or Bastille Day can do so.) Vacations, personal days off, and sick days are not affected by this policy. 

As vice president for human resources, write a memo to all employees, announcing the new policy. 

Hints: 

* Pick a business, government, or nonprofit organization that you know something about. 

* Will the office be “open” every day? If not, do all employees already have keys, or will they need to pick them up so they can get into the office to workdays that few other people work?

* See www.holidayfestival.com for a list of holidays in various countries. 

* Use the memo format found on page 138 or 139. 

4. Write Interview Questions 

Interview Questions: Importance of Written Communications in Your Field. See Unit 3, Module 13, pp. 217-227; Unit 7, Module 30, pp. 507-512

“Recent research proves that written communication skills are at the top of employers’ wish lists. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers want a candidate with strong written communication skills. Written communication was the number three most desired quality overall, behind leadership skills and ability to work as a team member.” (Moore, 2017, para. 2)

For this assignment, you will explore the importance of written communication in the workplace by interviewing a professional, ideally in the field you wish to enter upon completion of your degree, a series of questions on the role of writing in the professional world. This is NOT a mock interview. You must interview a person that represents a true “professional” to you. You may ask an employer or supervisor, a professor, a mentor, or someone on your campus. Try to pick a person who you would like to imitate in the future, such as someone who holds a position you wish to have. Do NOT interview a family member or your instructor for this class. You may interview the person on the phone, via email, or in person.

You must ask a total of FIVE questions. Be sure several of the questions deal with writing and communication within the person’s professional career field.

You may use a MAXIMUM OF THREE of the questions found on pp. 70-71. Reference p. 69 and p. 441, LO 26-4.

Include a paragraph (250 words) on what you learned from the interview and how it will help you in the future.

Format this assignment as follows:

Interviewee Name:

Position:

Company:

Contact Information (email is acceptable):

Question 1: Include Your Question Here

Response:

Question 2: Include Your Question Here

Response:

Question 3: Include Your Question Here

Response:

Question 4: Include Your Question Here

Response:

Question 5: Include Your Question Here

Response:

Remember to include your reflection (250 words) on what you learned from the interview and how it will help you in the future.

PART 4

Final Portfolio

For your final project for this course you will create a professional portfolio. A professional or career portfolio is created to help you stand out from the crowd. The goal is to personalize your resume, education, philosophy and artifacts to leave a positive impression on the those who view your work. Portfolios can be posted publicly or privately depending on your goals. For this course, the portfolio will be privately posted in the Portfolio area in the classroom on the Blackboard platform or via Wix, a free platform for creating personlized spaces.

Requirements:

The following pages are required for the Portfolio. Some of the content had been submitted in the course but should be revised based on feedback provided by your instructor and enhanced with graphics or photos for the Final Portfolio. In total, 10 pages should be contained in the portfolio. The list below shows eight pages plus artifacts. Artifacts are letters, memos, emails completed in your weekly writing assignments. You should choose two artifacts that reflect the areas such as positive messaging, promoting diversity, you attitude and positive emphasis. Stars * indicate items you will complete during Weeks 1, 2, and 3.

Requires Pages in the Portfolio:

-Introduction*

-Resume*

-Goals, Achievements & Community Service

-Professional Philosophy*

-Ethical Philosophy*

-Research*

-Communication: Positive & Negative Messaging

-Leadership: Working in a diverse world: Non-sexist, non-racist, non-ageist and bias free*

-Artifacts (a minimum of two, your choice of which ones; align with the positive messaging, diversity, you attitude)* 


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