Communication is an important aspect of our lives, especially as it relates to our career fields, whether we work with people, children, animals, technology, etc. This need is explored through discussion and action by students in the Professional Communications classes at Minnesota School of Business.
Recently, students at Minnesota School of Business (MSB)-Elk River completed an applied learning project which allowed them to focus on specific areas of communication and learn about its importance in a variety of industries. Students were grouped into teams that concentrated on five main areas: meetings, customer service, verbal and nonverbal communication, team dynamics and written communication.
Each group chose a community partner either in their chosen career field or a partner that they felt would help them to learn more about their area of focus. They then interviewed each partner and did research about their specific topic to prepare a presentation to the class and the full panel of community members at the end of the quarter.
Sara Gillman and Corey Norton, students in the class, chose to work with Decklan Group, a local consulting firm, and MSB-Elk River, as they focused on the many important aspects of written communication.
“The project went smoother than I anticipated. I had a good group and we worked very well together,” Gillman said.
“We had an awesome group,” Norton said. “I am also glad that we chose to focus our project on written communication because it made us think about it in a different way and how important all of the modes of communication are in the workplace.”
Other community members who were involved in the projects included representatives from the North Memorial business office, AmericInn Hotels and Suites, and the Becker police department. One group was fortunate to work with Mary Valentine and her mother, Rose. Mary has Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder which has caused many physical and mental impairments, including the inability to speak.
“This was an amazing experience and networking opportunity for the students,” explained Nicole Rasmussen, community manager and instructor for the course. “I have had students complete this project each time that I’ve taught the class, and I am always impressed by the direction that they take it and the community members that they collaborate with,” Rasmussen said.
Applied learning has been and continues to be a focus at MSB to help our students to apply crucial concepts to real world situations. We look forward to the opportunities that our students continue to have with applied learning both in and out of the classroom.