The School of Business at Oswego State is now requiring freshmen to take COM 211: Strategic Communication in Business as its first choice course, which teaches students writing and speaking skills.
Professor Sarah Bozek created COM 211 after the Business and Department of Communication Studies required a class focusing on communication skills earlier on in students’ college careers.
“I was hired to develop the course,” Bozek said. “I developed it last year and had a chance to teach it one time in the spring and then have the opportunity now to have 300 students take it.”
According to Bozek, a record 300 freshmen enrolled in the School of Business this fall, an increase from 230 last year.
A School of Business panel discussion was held on Wednesday, which opened with a talk about the class. The discussion then featured an opening session by School of Business Dean Richard Skolnik and three senior MBA students who discussed the importance of good communication in college and in the professional field.
Dianora De Marco interned at KPMG in New York City as an auditor.
“I had a week of training and during that week of training, I learned a lot,” De Marco said. “I learned that you do learn in the classroom, but it reinforces it and it’s more in depth. And now, going into my senior year, I feel really ready to start as an associate.”
Brian Moore interned at Institutional Investor in New York City and worked directly with the chief financial officer. He helped him prepare financial documents.
Jason MacLeod worked in environmental engineering as part of Oswego State’s cooperative education program. After that, he worked for IGT, a non-profit geospatial information technology firm founded by NASA.
Bozek and the three seniors spent the panel discussion giving advice from their time in college and talking about their experience during their internships. The School of Business urged that communication in many forms is an essential skill to master in the business world.
“The classes you’re taking right now are very important,” De Marco said. The three seniors agreed that starting as soon as possible helps students connect networks with professors, programs and eventually the workforce.
The seniors stressed getting involved in clubs and organizations and they also discussed how time management is important, saying how striking a balance between schoolwork and extracurricular activities is difficult.
Moore said that he uses Google Calendar to keep his work organized.
“You have enough time of day to do everything you need to. You just need to plan it and figure it out that way,” Moore said.
Above all, the seniors urged the freshmen to go above and beyond with any opportunity and show off their abilities as much as they can.
“Do things outside of what people are asking you to do,” MacLeod said.
The panel discussion ended with a question and answer session.
“I was happy with it,” Micaela Dobereiner said. “I asked a business club question and it was answered successfully, so I thought it was good.”
Some students said that though the information was good, it seemed like general common sense.
“I don’t know, I’ve pretty much heard all that in my class,” Skylar Unger said. “It was still important though.”
COM 211 has 16 sections open this semester for freshmen business majors, and all are taught by communication studies faculty.