ASK Experience Series: Communication

In the newest HireDePaul Blog series, the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Program will be hosting interviews with alumni designed to bring DePaul students access to unique career advice and professional insight. In the first installment, we spoke with Margaret Batkiewicz (‘74) about her career and the importance of good communication in the workplace. 

Margaret spent most of her career in global employee communications, creating internal messaging to keep employees informed and up-to-date. When asked about the importance of effective internal communications, Margaret told us that “a company that communicates well with its employees is going to do better, [improve] morale, and have less turnover.”

This messaging came in many forms, one of which being a regular newsletter sent out to an international audience of employees. With such a diverse audience, it was important that she communicated consciously, ensuring awareness of cultural and linguistic differences. By consulting with company leaders from the various geographic regions she was communicating with and sending out surveys to employees, she was able to successfully navigate this unique challenge throughout her career. With that, however, comes the joy of communicating globally. 

“I met so many wonderful people and learned so much about their cultures,” Margaret said. 

From there, Margaret went on to discuss communication as a whole and how it can make or break a company. 

“Communication is essential to the success of a company,” she said, “whether it does business locally or globally.” 

But what is good workplace communication? Good communication skills vary by industry, position, and workplace culture. However, there are some good practices that can be applied to any professional environment:

Tone and Volume

Be conscious of the tone and volume of your voice when communicating with colleagues. There is some truth to the old saying “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Pay attention to your tone, watching out for any unintentionally negative, unenthusiastic, or accusatory intonations. As you get more comfortable in a workplace, continue to practice respectful and sincere communication. 

Be Concise and Definite

Avoid any superfluous information. Communicate with definition, avoiding language that may unnecessarily extend or worsen periods of uncertainty like “maybe” and “probably.” In some instances, informing your coworker that you are unsure of an answer is equally appropriate to providing that answer, as long as you come back to them with that answer once you have it.

Practice Good Listening Skills

Listen closely and attentively while showing interest in the topic and respecting the speaker. Ask questions to clarify information you may have missed. Paraphrase what you have heard and repeat it back to the speaker to ensure understanding. 

Give and Receive Feedback

Be descriptive and clear, while avoiding judgmental language. Be open to receiving feedback without defensiveness, allowing for the other person to address all of their points before responding. Remember: address modifiable, not unchangeable behavior. 

For more information on career readiness, make sure to explore the HireDePaul Blog. To connect with alumni like Margaret and practice your communication skills online, check out the DePaul ASK Network!

DePaul Career Center May Programming

We are excited to share our May 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills, and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Mark your calendars: The Virtual Spring Interview Day is on May 21st!

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.


Register for the Job Search Summit for Underrepresented Students on May 7th

Register for Spring Interview Day on May 21st


May 19: Careers in Law



May 25: How I got this Job: Lionsgate


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May 26: Preparing a Pitch Deck



May 4: Tech & Design Career Community Pop-Up Event: Playing Codenames

May 5: Case Interview Prep with Huron Consulting

May 11: Women in Business: Overcoming Challenges in the Workplace

May 12: Business Not as Usual

May 12: MCEA: Pop-Up Event

May 14: Signature Event: Explore Your Impact

May 19: HCS Community Pop-up: Healthcare Thank-a-thon

May 19: Let’s Talk Graduation: Recent Alumni Panel on Life After Graduation

May 20: Center for Sales Leadership Art of Persuasion

DePaul Career Center April Programming

We are excited to share our April 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Mark your calendars: The Virtual Spring Career Fair is on April 8th!

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.

Register for the Spring Career Fair on April 8th

Register for ASK Oasis on April 5th


Apr 14: Careers in Film

Apr 20: Careers In Cybersecurity



Apr 21: CEO

Apr 29: Physician’s Assistant (PA)


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Apr 12Social Media Strategy & Nonprofits

Apr 13: CITI Training & Research Careers



Apr 6: How to: Serve in the Peace Corps

Apr 6: DePaul Design Internship Program Presents: Design Portfolio Showcase

Apr 9: Finding & Interviewing for Research Opportunities

Apr 20: Women in STEM Virtual Panel Discussion

Apr 23: Make $ Traveling

Apr 29: Center for Sales Leadership Alumni Panel

DePaul Career Center March Programming

We are excited to share our March 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.


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Mar 5Skills Lab: Design Thinking Basics

Mar 11: Skills Lab: Agile Project Management (Not Just for Software Developers)


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Mar 2: Interviewing 101



Mar 3: How I Got This Job: Paramount Pictures

Mar 4: How I Got This Job: UX Design


Mar 4: BEC Community Pop-up : Game Night Edition

Mar 18: ENPG Trivia pop-up


Mar 3: Honors Students: Exploring Careers in Social Sciences and Humanities

Mar 3: Bringing Diversity to the Workplace

Mar 3: Industry Insights: Non-Clinical Hospital Careers with Rush

Mar 3: Just ASK Dialogue Series: Latinx Identity and Influence on Career Journey

Mar 4: Nursing Resume Workshop

Mar 9: Alumni Masterclass: Using Your Strengths at Work

Introducing: “How I Got This Job” Event Series

Have you ever encountered someone in a cool job and wondered how they got there? 


It’s this very question that led the Career Center’s Health Care & Science Community team to create the new quarterly “How I Got This Job” series.  Each quarter, current students will sit down with a DePaul alum or professional in the health care and science field to learn about their career journey, ask questions, network, and connect with fellow students who have similar career interests.  

Join us for the series’ inaugural event on Thursday, February 27, as we welcome back Ciera Hester-Smith (BS ’14), Senior Manager of Operations at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, to share her journey from hospitality leadership to health care administration and an MBA.  

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How I Got This Job: Ciera Hester-Smith, BS ‘14
Senior Manager of Operations at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush
Thursday, February 27
1:00 – 2:00 PM
McGowan South 107
Free lunch provided

 

As Ciera’s story shows, major does not always determine your career, and you can use your education in a variety of fields and industries.  Students from all years and majors are welcome to attend.

Interested in other opportunities to connect directly with alums like Ciera?  Check out the DePaul Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Network to connect with DePaul alumni for career insight and conversations.

 

Your Guide to Connecting with Alumni on Linkedin

By: Gracie Covarrubias, DePaul University organizational and multicultural communication major ’18 and Career Center communications assistant

Scoping out potential contacts on LinkedIn can feel like a never-ending quest—the options are literally endless. There is, however, an art to finding that perfect connection on LinkedIn and sparking a conversation. Check out our guide to connecting with alumni on LinkedIn.

The Search

Crafting a LinkedIn search requires a few critical filters. Start off by typing in ‘DePaul University’ in the search bar. Once you’ve clicked on DePaul’s official page, click on the ‘see alumni’ button and you will be presented with a detailed breakdown of alumni interests, places of employment and fields of study.

Now it’s time to narrow your search. DePaul University’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Associate Director Leslie Chamberlain has a few pointers for students:

“Decide why you’re looking to connect with alumni. If you’re looking to explore a specific field or if there’s a city you’d like to be in, this is going to influence the keywords in your search for connections.”

Once you’ve used a couple of keywords and identified a potential connection, it’s time to actually hit the ‘connect’ button and send a message.

The Ask

This initial message is key to ensuring you get a response. Leslie advises that your message follows this classic, business outline: Them. You. Time-Bound.

Let’s break that down.

Them: Your first line should be a sentence about them, recognizing a particular involvement or position that caught your interest. For example, you could say, “your work as a social media analyst with the American Red Cross looks exciting.”

You: Your next two sentences should introduce you and provide some background. Think of it as a shortened elevator pitch. For example, you might say, “as a current public relations student at DePaul, I’m interested in working in the nonprofit sector. I’ve had the opportunity to take courses where I’ve constructed social media campaigns for companies and I’m looking to expand my knowledge in this sphere.”

Time-Bound: Finally, your last sentence should be time-bound to solidify a time to talk. “Fifteen to twenty minutes is the perfect amount of time to ask for. It’s enough time to get a feel for the person. If you vibe with the connection really well you can always ask for a follow-up meeting and if you don’t then you’re not trapped in a long conversation,” Leslie explained.  For example, you could say, “I would love to chat with you about your experiences as an analyst. Would you be available to talk over the phone for 15-20 minutes sometime in the next two weeks?”

The Follow-Up

Once you’ve sent the message and had the opportunity to talk over the phone, follow up with a simple thank you message.

This thank you should follow the Past. Present. Future. outline. First, acknowledge your previous interaction with a simple line, such as, “thank you for taking time out of your day to discuss your career.”

Next, bring up an insight they mentioned that you’re going to take action on. For example, “I picked up a copy of the branding book you mentioned and I’m looking forward to reading it.”

Finally, if you’ve really hit it off, the future portion of this thank you should be focused on a second meeting. For example, you might ask, “could I reach out to you next month? I’d like to talk to you about this book once I’ve finished it.” If you didn’t quite hit it off, a simple, “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors,” will work.

Easy as that! Connecting with alumni is a great way to learn more about your industry and develop a mentorship with someone who shares common interests. Curious about other ways that alumni can help you? Check out the Alumni Sharing Knowledge network for more information on connecting with alumni.