One of my goals is that students do work that can be used to showcase their skills to future employers and/or graduate schools. Skills developed include digital literacy, case writing, and academic research.
How do Employers view Grades?
In Winter 2019, I have students in Recruitment and Selection going out to talk to employers to find out how they process the grades on student transcripts - do they care about A+ versus A- and would they consider a candidate with a C average? Before they do that each student will examine their own attitudes towards a 12 point grading scheme and propose hypotheses about employer attitudes. The results should help students to gain some perspective, possibily reduce anxiety, and hopefully influence university grading schemes.
Out with PowerPoint, In with PechaKucha
Having taught presentation skills for years I was tired of formal front-of-the class presentations, so I switched over to PechaKucha presentations (20 slides @ 20 seconds each) in my Strategic HR Planning course and took them online. The presentations are mostly visual with recorded narration. This forces students to think about storytelling and to develop technological skills in creating a product that can be shared via the Internet. The first year we did this the focus was on Issues in Strategic HR Planning, the second year on Workforce Issues Around the Globe, and this past year they tackled Technology Changes in Jobs. I have examples avaiable for which intellectual property releases have been obtained from students.
Workplace Health and Safety Case Studies
In Fall 2018 students in Occupational Health and Safety wrote two-page case studies on an injury suffered by a young worker. These came out of their own experiences or those of friends or co-workers. They also wrote Teaching Notes to accompany each case study. In Winter 2019 the next class has taken over and will be editing, publishing, and marketing these cases for free to health and safety associations, employers, and other stakeholders.
A Comparison of Management Consulting in Hamilton, ON, Canada with Guiyang, Guizhou, China.
Towards the end of the Winter 2017 term, Xiao Yao from my Management Skills Development course came in to talk to me about the course and then transitioned into asking me about my past consulting experience. He was planning to set up his own small business consulting firm in his hometown of Guiyang for Summer 2017. He wasn't going to make a lot of money and I wanted him to have a way to leverage this initiative, so I proposed an Independent Study where he would extend his work through a structured research project. He completed the Independent Study in Winter 2018, comparing the availabilty of managmenet consulting services in the two cities and interviewing business owners in Guiyang about their knowledge and attitudes towards managment consulting. The resulting paper plus his own initiative helped him obtain a contract position with Grant Thornton in China after graduation in April 2018 and a permanent position with Deloitte China, starting in July 2019. The paper has also been submitted to the Management Consulting Division for the 2019 Academy of Management conference.