BUSA 3701 Professional Development
Professional Development is simply education about the business practices and culture of one’s field. It is the development and realization of how personal interests, values, and skills influence career development and job search. It is also the development of an understanding of the workplace, industry, and career options. Finally, it is the development of effective written, oral, visual and non-visual communication as it relates to career/job search behaviors and strategies.
WSOB students better themselves through knowledge learned of the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace, but not traditionally taught in a classroom setting. Many of these skills impact our society as well as the workplace by giving students opportunities to interact with the community. Students participate in volunteering with the local Junior Achievement Discovery Center, share a meal with community members as they learn and practice etiquette in a business setting, and experience a mock interview with community partners and leaders within their major who can offer advice and guidance as students navigate the complex job search process.
Students have a free professional photo taken to use on their HandShake and LinkedIn professional profiles. Students learn to dress in boardroom attire which they wear for the photo, mock interview, etiquette training, networking, and future job interview opportunities. The Nest, the DSC clothes closet provides free boardroom attire to all students thanks to the generosity of community donors.
Personal financial planning is incorporated into the professional development learning process so students understand how their financial stability can affect their career choices including credit worthiness which is required for working in a bank or investment firm or as a manager responsible for a budget where a credit check is required as part of the hiring process.
Etiquette Training and Meal
Business Advisory Council members join junior-level students at The Farm Golf and Country Club and dine with students in small groups after students complete training on proper etiquette to use during a business meeting or interview. BAC members engage students and guide them through the conversations typical of a business interview. Students practice the proper way to cut their food, to hold their utensils in both the American and Continental formats, and how to interact during a meal. Students gain valuable experiences and skills. BAC members ask to come back each semester, as they enjoy speaking with our students, and mentoring them to career success.
Volunteering at Junior Achievement at the Discovery Center
Dalton State College’s WSOB is honored to partner with Junior Achievement of Georgia (JA) at the JA Discovery Center of Greater Dalton, together, inspiring the next generation of student leaders towards their future success. In a typical year, Dalton State WSOB Professional Development students volunteer and to work alongside middle school students over two days to fulfill the class service-learning requirements.
WSOB students have the opportunity to:
- Engage in professional development, practicing critical employability skills
- Learn about Junior Achievement and careers, industries, and businesses local to Northwest Georgia by participating in an activity facilitated by JA staff in the JA Discovery Center of Greater Dalton. Students learn more about businesses including Engineered Floors, Dorsett Industries, Shaw Industries, and more! For a full list of JA Discovery Center partners, see https://www.georgia.ja.org/ja-discovery-center-dalton.
- Train 6-8th graders how to balance a personal budget and to make choices that support their future goals by participating in elements of the JA Finance Park simulation. This hands-on experience provides a solid foundation for middle school students’ future decision-making and develops money management skills.
- Answer the middle school students’ questions about DSC, business majors, and various career opportunities and serve as mentors and role models. All WSOB students wear their WSOB logo shirts, so they are clearly designated as DSC college students.
Students practice interviewing skills in a Mock Interview setting with an assigned area business professional. Before meeting with a business professional, students learn the STAR Approach to interviewing and prepare for questions by using the My Interview Skills software that allows them to answer questions on camera and view their virtual performance. Students are better prepared for their actual job interviews because of the mock interviews. They perfect their resumes and cover letters as well as introductory emails and writing final thank you notes.
Students are taught networking skills including formal introductions, how to start a conversation, how to join a group already gathered and how to leave an existing small group. Business community members participate in our Schmoozapalooza networking event each semester where students come professionally dressed carrying padfolios equipped with business cards and resumes. Students interact with the community guests and become comfortable with networking. Many business community members comment on how well students handle themselves in this practice setting. Some students are even offered an internship or job at these “practice” events.
Career Fairs/Internship Fairs/ Graduate School Fairs
Students also attend business targeted career fairs, internship fairs, and graduate school fairs as they explore options for their future. WSOB students have a number of choices for their MBA or MAcc graduate education. See https://www.daltonstate.edu/academics/graduate-school-partners.cms.