Soft skills are an important part of the career preparation that students at Minnesota School of Business receive regardless of the program they are enrolled in. Four medical assistant degree program students in the Introduction to Clinical Skills class at Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee recently took a field trip to a local retail store to interact with various customer service employees in an attempt to experience the different ways in which they deal with customers
As medical assistants, the students will be responsible for interacting with patients on a daily basis and it is essential that they display stellar customer service. By leaving the classroom and speaking with retail employees the students were able to identify examples of interactions that left them feeling positive or negative about their experience at the store. The exercise gave the students insight into how to be a better employee overall.
During the field trip students asked employees a variety of questions, gauging their willingness to help and also observed their demeanor while on the job. Students found that most employees they spoke with were able to adequately assist them with their needs, but some employees had more enthusiasm and ultimately created a better experience for the customer.
“The goal of the field trip was to get the students thinking about how to be a good employee,” Michelle Galloway, medical assistant program chair, said. “In class we have been discussing the importance of professionalism and what behaviors are appropriate and inappropriate while on the job. By having the students reflect on how employees make them feel about their experience at a store, they are able to apply those behaviors to their medical assisting career.”
The students took time after the field trip to reflect on what they experienced, identifying ways in which they can create a professionalism strategy for their career.