What kinds of things did you learn about communication and workplaces?

Part 1

For some of you, Technical Writing is a requirement for your major; for others, it is the option you chose to fulfill the University 202 requirement. In either case, the course is an opportunity for you to practice some of the kinds of communication expected in the work world. While there are some standard formats and expectations for effective communication, the most important skill to cultivate is judgment:

  • What is the occasion prompting communication?
  • What is the purpose of the communication?
  • Who is the audience for the communication?
    • What do they already know and value?
    • What do they need to know and be persuaded of?
  • What kinds of evidence, in what kind of organization, would be most effective?

This Final Reflection assignment asks you to use your judgment in relation to what real CEOs, CFOs, and CCOs have to say about leadership and management issues in the contemporary workplace. To do this, you will use interviews conducted by Adam Bryant in “The Corner Office” column found a couple to time a week in the Business section of The New York Times.  You can access the column by this link: http://www.nytimes.com/column/corner-office (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. or use the Search function of The New York Times (you may need to sign up for a free subscription) or search ProQuest or Lexis-Nexis using the author and column name.

You are looking for three (3) different interviews, one each to meet the following criteria:

  • One in which the interview is with someone in the general industry you are interested in
  • One in which the CEO’s undergraduate educational experience is not traditionally matched to their current job (the industry doesn’t matter). Ex: majored in anthropology and runs a social media company called “gotcha”.
  • One in which the CEO says something about leadership or the kinds of employees he/she looks for that really surprises you (again, industry doesn’t matter).

Find those now, and feel free to go back a year or so. You will probably read far more than three (3) to make your final choices. No worries—they aren’t very long.  You will be using these for Part 2 of the Final Reflection.

Part 2

Using specific information from at least two (2) of the three (3) interviews between CEOs and Adam Bryant in his “The Corner Office” series AND specific information from your personal experiences with the course throughout the semester, write up a 2-3 page Final Reflection memo in which you address the following (not necessarily in this order):

  • What kinds of things did you learn about communication and workplaces?
  • What kinds of things do you think you need to further learn or develop?
  • What is your plan for learning or developing skills you lack or don’t yet feel confident about?
  • What kinds of things do CEOs seem to care about and how well do you think you are positioned to meet those?
  • How likely is it that you’ll be in a different field, working on a new credential, or pursuing a graduate degree 10 years from now?  Be honest here.
  • Anything else you’d like to contribute?  Feel free to let me know whatever’s on your mind.