Readings and activities

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Contents

Pre-Course: Preparation & Guidance

Required Text

Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu, The Business Writer’s Companion, 8th edition (2017), Bedford/St. Martin’s
http://www.digiwisecareerservices.com/smlr-books.html

Readings (Throughout Semester)

  • Alred, Chapter 11 - Grammar
    • "Dangling Modifiers, p. 349
    • "Person", p. 360
    • "Sentence Construction to Sentence Fragments", pp. 370-377
    • "Tense, Verbs and Active Voice", pp. 377-385
  • Alred, Chapter 12 - Punctuation and Mechanics, pp. 388-423
  • Alred, Chapter 10 - Style and Clarity
    • "Business Writing to Loaded Arguments", pp. 306-319;
    • Tone to You", pp. 328-334.

Week 1: Course Intro / Review Syllabus

Activities (in class)

  • Course / Assignment Review
  • Writing AS / IS a Craft
  • Mini-Introductions
  • 3Ps activity

Readings (Throughout Semester)

Writing Guidelines: Grammar (G), Sentence Construction (SC) & Punctuation (P)

Watch / Listen

Homework

  1. For Week 1, DO NOT UPDATE / REVISE YOUR RESUME
  2. When you name your document, add the Version Number - V1.0 - For example, "Shawn_Fisher_Resume_V1.0"
  3. Bring two (2) printed copies to class (see below)

Bring to Next Class

  • Transferable Skills document (completed)
  • Original / Current Resume + Advertised Job in Your Profession / Field - PRINT TWO (2) COPIES OF EACH DOCUMENT
  1. DO NOT UPDATE / REVISE YOUR RESUME. You will receive feedback in class to help you do that.
  2. The Job Description should be for a role you want to apply for, after graduation
  3. Save a copy of the Job Description (as a PDF - because the ad may not always be available).
  4. You will need to submit the Job Description for Assignment 1

Week 2: Effective Writing for Job Applications I (CAR Stories + Resumes)

Activities (in class)

  • Transferable Skills
  • CAR Stories Make Compelling Reading / Resumes
    • CAR Stories & Feedback (call and response)
  • Resume Review + Job Ad (Remember to bring 2 copies of each)

Readings

  • Alred, Chapter 9, Job Search and Applications - Resumes, pp. 282-300.

Watch / Listen

Homework

  1. Aligned to your desired job / Job Description
  2. Based on what we learned / covered in class
  3. Based on your Partner's / Table feedback / suggestions
  4. Name it with your First Name and Last Name and Assignment Name (i.e., Shawn Fisher_Resume Version 2).

Week 3: Effective Writing for Job Applications II (CAR Stories, Research + Cover Letters)

Activities (in class)

  • Learning Review
  • Review Resumes + CAR Stories (DRAFT)
  • Research Job Ad, Company, etc.
  • Following Directions / Instructions - HR / Govt Forms

Readings

  • Alred, Chapter 9, Job Search and Applications - Application Cover Letters, pp. 260-272.
  • Application and Cover Letters, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Homework

  • Weekly Discussions
  • Revise Cover Letter - with feedback received
  • Assignment 1 - Resume, Cover Letter & Job Ad DUE Next Class (Week 4)

Week 4: Labor Themes - Changing Nature of Work & Universal Basic Income

Activities (in-class)

  • Resume Assignment Review - Highlight Changes to Revised Resume (V4.0)
  • Cover Letter - write Cover Letter (DRAFTS) - aligned to Job Description & Industry
    • (Comment.gif: Professor to provide Cover Letter example / template)
  • Bullets (bullet points) & Big Words - Kickstart Your Writing!
  • Peer GROUP Worksheet

Readings

Watch / Listen

  1. Andrew McAfee: What will future jobs look like? TED 2013 (14:21) - https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mcafee_what_will_future_jobs_look_like
  2. Erik Brynjolfsson: The key to growth? Race with the machines TED 2013 (11:53) - https://www.ted.com/talks/erik_brynjolfsson_the_key_to_growth_race_em_with_em_the_machines
  3. Wingham Rowan: A new kind of job market TED Salon 2012 (12:13) - https://www.ted.com/talks/wingham_rowan_a_new_kind_of_job_market

Universal Basic Income

The Importance of Unions & the Union Movement (according to Bernie Sanders)

Homework

Week 5: Labor Themes: Labor Standards, Risks & Research - Guest Speaker: Prof. Naomi Williams

Activities (in-class)

  • Revised DUE Dates for Assignments - Memo - 2 pages / Progress Report - 5 pages
  • Peer GROUP Review

Readings

Watch

  • TBD

Labor Readings & Resources

Labor law, standards, regulations - for employment information, unemployment numbers, and updated legal information

  1. US Department of Labor - https://www.dol.gov
  2. New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development - https://nj.gov/labor/

Historical overviews:

  • Philip Dray, There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America
  • Priscilla Murolo & A. B. Chitty, From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend

Economic & Labor Policy & Implications:

  • Economic Policy Institute, https://www.epi.org/about/ - good source for ideas on how to think about projects’ broader implications
  • New Labor Forum – https://newlaborforum.cuny.edu/ - A labor journal of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies that deals with new research and debates on working-class issues

Watch / Listen

Homework

Week 6: Sentence Construction; Grammar & Labor Themes: Gig Economy; Temp Work, Automation & Anti-Unionism

Activities (in-class)

  • Assignment 1 - Cover Letter & Resume Review
  • Grammar, Sentence Construction, Punctuation
  • Guest Speaker - Heads-Up
  • Memo Assignment / Template, Due Date
    • Memo Template Example - Peer GROUP Review

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Write Context / Organization Type, Products / Services - Name of Company, What is Changing / Proposed / For Whom? Why? When? How?
  • Write 3-5 bullet points for Each Group BELOW
    • Employees / Labour; Customers; Suppliers; Investors; Government/Regulatory; Community; Other Impacts
  1. Who is affected? How? Where? Why?
  2. Who is responsible? What will you be asking of him / her to help you make decisions
  3. What is their likely response / challenges / resistance / motivations
  • (Comment.gif: You Can and Should show PROs & CONs in a bulleted list (i.e., Make a heading for PROs, and add the corresponding bullet points below; then make a heading for CONs, and do the same. See the example below:)

PRO"'

  • Faster call handling after hours

CON

  • Impersonal service that might cause the organization to lose customers}}

Readings

  • Alred, Memos, pp. 99-102
  • Alred, Chapter 11 - Grammar
    • "Dangling Modifiers, p. 349
    • "Person", p. 360
    • "Sentence Construction to Sentence Fragments", pp. 370-377
    • "Tense, Verbs and Active Voice", pp. 377-385
  • Alred, Chapter 12 - Punctuation and Mechanics, pp. 388-423

Changing Nature of Work

Questions to Consider

  1. What impact will automation have on work?
  2. What are possible scenarios for employment growth?
  3. Will there be enough work in the future?
  4. What will automation mean for skills and wages?
  5. How will automation affect Labor and Employment Relations?

Watch

Homework

  • Write and Submit MEMO (Draft / Version 1) - 5 Bullet Points for each Stakeholder Group on the Template: Employees / Labour; Customers; Suppliers; Investors; Government / Regulatory; Community; Other Impacts
  • Weekly Discussions

Week 7 - Amazon, NYC Pushback and the Media - Guest Speaker

  • Instructions for next draft / version of Memo Assignment - Write one (1) paragraph for each stakeholder group: Employees/Labour; Customers; Suppliers; Investors; Government/Regulatory; Community; Other Impacts

Activities (in-class)

  • Guest Speaker - Jon Sarlin, CNN Producer

(Comment.gif: Jon Sarlin is a producer with CNN Digital covering big tech. Sarlin’s coverage has included reporting on antitrust, misinformation on digital platforms, and Amazon’s HQ2 search. Prior to working at CNN, Sarlin worked for HLN, Al Jazeera and BBC America. He is a graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio and a New York City native. )

  • Peer GROUP Review (for content the speaker presents)

Readings

Watch

Homework

  • Write and Submit MEMO (Draft / Versions 2 + 3)
  1. Arrange the five (5) Bullet Points into a logical sequence and write concisely including all of the points in a single paragraph. 1 paragraph per Stakeholder group: Employees / Labor; Customers; Suppliers; Investors; Government / Regulatory; Community; Other Impacts
  2. PRINT THREE (3) COPIES OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT - AND BRING TO NEXT CLASS. Make sure your first name, last name, phone number and Rutgers email address are at the top of the document.

Week 8: Memo Assignment Review & Feedback; Final Assignment (Parts); Curiosity & Empathy to Solve Challenging Problems

  • Memo Assignment Feedback
  • Final Assignment - Progress Report (Parts)
    • Responding to Change - Internal - Training / Support
    • Responding to Change - External - Communications / Advocacy
    • Financial - Budget - Revenue / Expenses
    • Developing a Plan & Reporting Results
    • Evaluating Success & Continuous Improvement
  • How to Find Solutions to Challenging Problems
  1. Primary Research - Finding Information & Insights - "Curiosity & Empathy + Discovery Interviewing" - Get Out of the Building - Rutgers I-Corps Site (see reading below).
  2. Secondary / Literature Research (Library)

Activities (in-class)

  • Peer Group Review
  • Lecturette: Rutgers I-Corps Site Experience / Entrepreneurship / BMC / PMFit
  • Curiosity Audio (Brian Glazer - A Curios Mind)
  • Empathy & Stakeholder / Customer Needs Discovery Videos
  • Video - Vanessa Encarcion Wedding - https://vimeo.com/325041636/3658a9bba3

Readings

Watch / Listen

Two (2) Kinds of Empathy

  1. Listening with Understanding and Empathy (3:32) - Caring Perspective, Wondergrove Video on Vimeo
  2. Customer Discovery - Customer Empathy (2:25), Lean LaunchPad Series (Steve Blank)

Be Curious - Have Curiosity Conversations

Talk to People & Listen for the Answers

Business Model Canvas

Homework

  • Make a 15-minute appointment with Prof. Fisher - https://calendly.com/customerdiscoverypros (you will need a computer - and download Zoom video conference application)
  • Identify and contact AT LEAST TWO (2) PEOPLE (STAKEHOLDERS) who you can do a "Customer Interview" with, regarding THEIR Training Plans - Make Your Appointment for AFTER Next Week's Class.

(Comment.gif: BE SURE TO MENTION THAT YOU ARE DOING A RESEARCH PROJECT for RUTGERS UNIVERSITY)

  • Keep Accurate Records - You are Required to Submit these with your Final Assignment
    • Date Interviewed; First Name; Last Name; Role / Position; Organization; City; State; Country; Email Address; Phone Number (with area code); Skype Address (if used)
  • (Comment.gif: FOR EACH ASSIGNMENT DRAFT - PRINT THREE (3) COPIES & BRING TO CLASS. Make sure your first name, last name, phone number and Rutgers email address are at the top of the document.)
  • Weekly Discussions

Week 9: Stakeholder Training, Communications & Budgeting (Financials)

Activities (in-class)

  • Lecturette(s) - Training; Communications; and Budgeting
  • Who are You Going to Talk To? - Person, Role / Responsibility, Company / Organization
    • Discovery Questions
    • Customer Archetype(s) - optional
  • Lecturette: Evaluating Success & Continuous Improvement (1/2)
  • Lecturette (Guest): Cost Breakdown

Readings

  • TBD

Watch / Listen

  • TBD

Homework

  • (Comment.gif: FOR EACH ASSIGNMENT DRAFT - PRINT THREE (3) COPIES & BRING TO CLASS. Make sure your first name, last name, phone number and Rutgers email address are at the top of the document.)
  • Submit Stakeholder Training, Communications and Budgeting DRAFT 1
    • Be sure to indicate how you are going to "Report Results"
  • Conduct Customer Discovery Interviews with at least two (2) people related to THEIR Training Plans
    • Incorporate your insights and learning into YOUR Training Plan
  • Weekly Discussions - NONE THIS WEEK

Week 10: Stakeholder Training Plan: Evaluating Success & Continuous Improvement

Activities (in-class)

  • Feedback - Stakeholder Training, Communications and Budgeting DRAFT 1
    • We will also discuss "Reporting Results"
  • Debrief - Customer Discovery Interviews
  • Lecturette: Evaluating Success & Continuous Improvement (2/2)

Readings

  • TBD

Watch / Listen

  • TBD

Homework

  • (Comment.gif: FOR EACH ASSIGNMENT DRAFT - PRINT THREE (3) COPIES & BRING TO CLASS. Make sure your first name, last name, phone number and Rutgers email address are at the top of the document.)
  • Submit a Summary of Customer Discovery Interviews DRAFT 1. Write 1/2 page for each Interview - you can write more if you need to. (Comment.gif: Be sure to include the Date Conducted, First Name, Last Name, Role / Title, Organization, City, State, Country, Phone with area code, Email Address and Skype address.)
    • Incorporate Best Practices & Ideas from Customer Discovery Interviews with Your Stakeholders into your Briefing Note
  • Submit Evaluating Success & Continuous Improvement DRAFT 1
  • Weekly Discussions - NONE THIS WEEK

Week 11: Stakeholder Discovery - Review Best Practices, Evaluating Success & Continuous Improvement

Activities (in-class)

  • Review + Discussion - Customer Discovery Best Practices DRAFT 1 and Ideas from Your Stakeholder Interviews
  • Review - Evaluating Success & Continuous Improvement DRAFT 1
    • Also discuss "Risk Management"

Readings

Watch / Listen

Homework

  • (Comment.gif: FOR EACH ASSIGNMENT DRAFT - PRINT THREE (3) COPIES & BRING TO CLASS. Make sure your first name, last name, phone number and Rutgers email address are at the top of the document.)
  • Submit Briefing Note DRAFT 1 - All Sections
    • Be sure to include your TRAINING PLAN - that includes training intervention to the problem, communications and financials (budgeting), duration / timeline
  • Weekly Discussions

Week 12: Briefing Note DRAFT 1 Review & Feedback

Activities (in-class)

  • Review Briefing Note DRAFT 1

Readings

  • TBD

Watch / Listen

  • TBD

Homework

  • (Comment.gif: FOR EACH ASSIGNMENT DRAFT - PRINT THREE (3) COPIES & BRING TO CLASS. Make sure your first name, last name, phone number and Rutgers email address are at the top of the document.) Submit Briefing Note DRAFT 2
    • Optional: Recontact the People you did Customer Interviews with - Share Your Plans & Insights - Get Their Feedback and Incorporate into Briefing Note DRAFT 2
  • Weekly Discussions - NONE THIS WEEK

Week 13: Briefing Note DRAFT 2 + Course / Instructor Evaluation

Activities (in-class)

  • Review Briefing Note DRAFT 2 - Final Revisions BEFORE Submitting Final Assignment
  • SIRS

Readings

  • TBD

Watch / Listen

  • TBD

Homework

  • Weekly Discussions - Course Learnings & Takeaways - (400-500 words)
  • Conduct a full review and copy edit of your Final Paper. (Comment.gif: Here's the Link to the Final Paper Sections and Requirements.)
    • Get someone else to proofread it.
    • Excellent grammar makes a big difference to the success of your proposal and your grade.
    • REMEMBER TO PROPERLY NAME YOUR BRIEFING NOTE.

Remember: Writing Guidelines: Grammar (G), Sentence Construction (SC) & Punctuation (P)

  • Clarity of Thinking
    • No stream of consciousness, rambling, lack of specificity / details
  • Short Sentences
    • No run-on sentences
  • Grammar, Wordiness, Better Writing Construction
  1. Alignment between Cover Letter & Resume
    1. Extraneous / Strikethrough
  2. Redundant Words / Phrases
  3. Watch Verb Tenses
  4. Judgment / Claims in Writing - should, could, would
  5. Active vs. Passive Sentences
  • Watch for Typos, Big Words (don't use them!)