“When you get to the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on” – Franklin D. Roosvelt
Tomorrow is the last class for ES2007S Professional Communication. It makes me feel sad. For four hours a week through out the semester I actually felt like a I belonged to a class. In all my other modules, as an exchange student, I have been more or less by myself. Looking through the schedule reflecting over the elements we processed, the assignments we submitted and the presentations we performed I have been trying to figure out what developed my skills the most. Together it all creates a completeness and understanding of communication, so it is difficult to pick only one focus.
If I have to pick, I think I developed the most when we were working with the cover letter, resume, and mock interviews. Looking back at my initial attitude towards the topic, I realise it was very naive. I thought I had a “strong” cv. But after lessons, processing of material, evaluation and viewing class mates work I understood that I would end up in the “throw away”-stack straight away in a job interview situation.
My cover letter did not show enough passion, it was just a repetition of what my resume already told the reader. My resume was unstructured, hard to follow and did not display the relevant facts and dates. I managed to rewrite my material in time for the mock-up interviews, which was another cold shower. An eulogy to Eunice and Rui being excellent actors making me leave the set up job interview on shaky legs, absolutely convinced I did not get the job. They asked relevant questions with high frequency and flipped my resume against me so it indeed felt like a real life experience. This is invaluable and I definitly feel more confident and prepared for my next (real) interview. Being put in the position of the inerviewer was also very instructive, it gave me an insight in what the interviewer are looking for, which I found very useful when making final changes to my own set of material.
I have been reflecting on how similar it is to sell yourself (for example in an job interview) and to sell something (for example as we did during the oral presentation of the project proposals). Do we have to learn to sell ourself before we can sell something? It boils down to having good presentation skills in both scenarios, this module have given me a great ground to keep developing from. With more confidence, awareness of the the 7 C’s (clear, courteous, complete, concise, coherent, concrete and correct) and a smile I feel ready for the challenges ahead.
Although, I will follow the words of Franklin D. Roosvelt and tie a knot and hang on to Mr Blackstone’s world without walls for a little longer. Because with invaluable information when it comes to all kinds of communication I will surely return to the materials to improve further or when stumbling in expressing myself.
Finally I would like to thank Brad for an amazing committment, an innovative modern way to teach a modern topic and an open mind to new ideas, improvement and feedback. More professors should take after you and learning will become easier, funnier and better for many students. Also a huge thank you to my class mates for your valuable feedback and hard work, it has been a pleasure working with all of you.
Practice makes PROFESSIONAL!
But first Christmas Holiday: