soft skills

Ten Tips for an Engaging Lecture

As you seek to increase student engagement and involvement in your classes, you may also be striving to be a more engaging lecturer who draws students into a topic and inspires them to embrace the learning process. Given that most of us aren’t natural-born speakers, we all benefit from some pointers that help us polish our lecture and presentation style. In their book Business Communication: Process and Product, Eighth Edition, Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy provide a list of ten suggestions for gaining and keeping your listeners’ attention; we’ve adapted them below. Keep these points in mind as you prepare your next Read More…


Engaging Your Listeners: Points to Consider

For many reasons, and on many occasions, you may need to consider the way you’ll set about engaging your listeners. As one example: at the start of each term, you may reflect on what worked, and what didn’t work, as you delivered your lectures to your students. Perhaps you’ve been invited to speak to a community group that wants to learn more about your area of expertise, and you’re concerned about presenting your material in a way that’s relevant to their particular interests, while also taking their current level of knowledge into account. Or, you may be scheduled to present a research paper during a conference session attended by your colleagues Read More…


Tips for Students: Identify Skills that Transfer to the Workplace

As students get ready to embark on their career paths, they’ll make special note of the specialized skill sets that pertain to the type of job they want to earn. (After all, how profitable is it to seek a job as a lawyer if you haven’t passed the bar, or to apply for a stylist position at a salon if you don’t know the first thing about cutting hair?) But as they prepare for their careers, they’ll also benefit from assessing other types of skills that transfer to the workplace—many of which they’ll already have gained through college and other life experiences. In their Read More…


Preparing Students for Successful Careers

Instructors and administrators recognize the important role they can play in preparing students for successful careers. No matter what they teach, all instructors contribute to their student population’s success through their reinforcement of intellectual skills such as critical thinking, information literacy, and communication, as well as the specialized knowledge and skill base associated with their fields. If you’re hoping to provide your students with additional guidance as they seek to make the transition from school to the workforce, you will benefit from Angele Blackshear-Brown’s presentation “From College to Career: Teaching Skills to Transition Today’s Students Into Tomorrow’s Professionals,” given during the 2014 Read More…


Career Opportunities Start in the First Year

Guest Contributor: Britt Andreatta, MA, Ph.D.   First-Year Experience instructors have a tough challenge when it comes to talking about post-graduation career opportunities. On the one hand, first-year students (and often their family members), come in with some set goals and strong opinions about how to get that “high-paying job” at graduation. On the other hand, most of their opinions are based on misinformation, and can actually undermine students’ educational experience. We have all seen the myopic focus on two or three fields like medicine, law, and engineering, which narrows intellectual exploration and may disregard a student’s natural interests and aptitude. The Read More…


Five Ways to Explore Professional Development Opportunities

As an educator, you also possess an affinity for learning, and recognize that the pursuit of increased knowledge and skill keeps you on a continuous path of growth and development of great personal—and professional—value. On the path towards professional development in particular, it helps to explore a number of different means that can help you make the progress you’re hoping to achieve. In his book 101 Ways to Find Work… and Keep Finding Work for the Rest of Your Career!Dr. Charles Michael Austin shares five ways to explore professional development opportunities. We’ve summarized them below. You might also consider Read More…


The Personal Budget: A Value-Added Tool for the Managerial Accounting Class

Students often need activities to help them process and understand accounting concepts. This is especially true for managerial accounting, a course offered to accounting and nonaccounting (including non-business) majors. One such activity is the personal budget. It’s a simple value-added activity that is used to demonstrate key course concepts such as cost behavior, profit planning, and variance analysis in the managerial accounting course. This paper describes the personal budget exercise and provides accounting instructors with a template for use in their own course. Read More…


Innovative Verbal Communication Workshop: First Year of Employment

Communication is a central competency that all accounting professionals should possess. According the AICPA, “individuals entering the accounting profession should have the skills necessary to give and exchange information within a meaningful context and with appropriate delivery.”1 This workshop is a unique approach to exposing students to verbal communication challenges in their first year of employment while giving them feedback on their own verbal communication skills. The workshop involves four role-playing scenarios and can be implemented in senior-level accounting classes, graduate-level classes, or accounting club meetings. Read More…


Developing Your List of Professional References

When you’re preparing to interview for new positions, you need to submit a number of items to the organizations where you’re hoping to be hired. Of course, depending on the position for which you’re applying, different institutions will ask for different types of documentation. However, most will require a list of professional references who can speak about the nature and quality of your work. Given the influence that these individuals may have on interviewers’ perception of your experience and character, it follows that you should take great care in developing your list. In their book Creating Career Success: Read More…


Tips for Students: Expanding Beyond Your Comfort Zone

As we mentioned in our previous post on seeking out the commonalities we share with others, college does provide students with an optimal setting for meeting new people and exploring new ideas. However, as much as some students may want to step outside of their relational comfort zones, they may be unsure of the best way to go about doing so. If you’d like to offer your students some direction, offer them these tips, which we’ve adapted from Christine Harrington’s Student Success in College: Doing What Works! A Research-Focused Approach. Share or discuss them with any students who might want to Read More…