theolynn

Time to Communicate – The DCU Business School Next Generation Management Immersion Course: Day Three

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Day Three of the DCU Business School Next Generation Management Immersion Course focused on presentation skills.

We decided this year to use an external specialist to deliver the session – Adrian Munnelly from Carr Communications, one of the leading communications training companies in Ireland. I have to say it was a great experience. We wanted it to be somewhat unique to the group and so we cajoled three of our recent graduates in to going to Carr Communications’ offices to give a 4-minute presentation which was then recorded. These graduates got one-on-one feedback from leading advisors and we had some raw material to evaluate during the workshop.

The workshop itself was based on correcting common misunderstandings around:

  • the definition of communication
  • preparation, content and design of communication
  • the delivery and absorption

This was delivered in an engaged and informative manner and the students had the opportunity to interact through analysis of the aforementioned graduate presentations. Through evaluating these videos, I think a greater understanding of the opportunity and challenges in developing good communication skills was established.

Given a large part of the three programmes involved in Next Generation Management –  MSc in Business Management, MBS in Marketing and MSc in E-commerce programmes – will depend presentation and communication skills, this set the tone just right and maybe in a way faculty might not be able to. By bringing in external specialists, it reinforces how important and valued these skills are both within DCU and without.

The day ended with a recap on some analytic tools and a general discussion on the major research assignment that every student must complete MSc in Business Management, MBS in Marketing and MSc in E-commerce programmes. For the first time, MSc in Business Management and MBS in Marketing will be able to choose between an individual dissertation or a group practicum. The former is a major piece of academic research written by an individual – typically one who wishes to explore something specific very deeply, by themselves and is interested in keeping the door open for a future academic research career. While the group practicum also can contribute to these objectives, the output tends to be more practical or applied in nature e.g. a business plan with a working prototype or a piece of major primary research etc. Practicums are often done in conjunction with industry and this lends itself to future employment. Unfortunately, MSc in E-commerce students have no choice currently and must do a group practicum – we are exploring changing this next year but for this year, it stands. I am always excited about practicums because I believe wholeheartedly in business schools preparing graduates for the real business world and this is often the purest form of such engagement we have but it is not without risks (see https://theolynn.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/honesty-merciless-robust-expertise-reflections-on-postgraduate-e-commerce-practicums/). The choice of academic dissertation or group practicum represents the underlying tension in any business school, academia or industry, but I think maintaining the balance in these things is what defines a good one.

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