The Tutorial Level

ISM is slowly starting to pick up its pace. We’ve peer edited our resumes, learned about writing research assessments, discussed how to talk properly on the phone and how doing so is different from talking in person. This week in ISM, we’ve gone over many topics, but all of this is just an introduction. Yes, everything Mr. Wysong has taught us is to build up or basics.

Résumés are the basics of job-searching. A résumé contains the highest achievements and skills one has earned and is pitted against other résumés much before the actual interviews. However, what exactly is a résumé? It is simply a sheet of paper with words written on them, these words carrying differing values. These sheet of paper have to stand out in order to gain the reader’s attention. While it should be noted that a résumé should look professional, different occupations might be looking for different things in one. For example, jobs that require constant creativity don’t want to see a cookie-cutter résumé that doesn’t stand out; they want a résumé that has a flair of creativity while still maintaining proper professionalism. For jobs that require proper management and high levels of professionalism, the criteria are different. The résumés for these jobs are made to be organized, terse, and should show only the biggest reasons that you should deserve the position. However, we were making a résumé, not for a job position, but rather to apply for a position underneath a mentor, therefore our criteria would be somewhat different from the previously stated résumés. In such a résumé, one should apply the most important, interesting, and appealing aspects of oneself into one’s résumé because a mentor or instructor is looking for not just any kind of person, but for the type of person who is most compatible with them. Therefore, one should try to express as much of himself as he can in order to appeal to the mentor. By reading over my peers’ résumés, I can see what I need to do in order to show who I am. Revising others résumés, I can learn what categories I should put in order to display character the most.

Research Assessments are deceivingly useful in trying to learn about a certain field or subject. Anybody can read an article or textbook chapter and say, “I now know this.” However, assessing the knowledge of an article against your knowledge or another article on the same topic is beyond helpful. Doing so will show exactly what you knew versus what you have learned. A research assessment is not a form of note-taking; it is a way to tangibly measure one’s growth. As one hungers and thirsts for knowledge, one will venture out on his own to learn something new. Therefore, the first step in writing a proper research assessment is to find a new topic because there is no use in researching a topic if you know everything about it. When writing a research assessment it is important to know that one should not take a general summary of the topic. For example, the very first proper research assessment I did was over open heart surgery, and while I knew how the actual surgery works, I didn’t know about the planning and care that goes before and after the operation. This means that instead of focusing on the operation itself, I should write about the various procedures that happen prior to and after the surgery. While doing that, I should compare the various things back to my own knowledge and various experiences to show that I am indeed growing from reading these articles. While I may not know how to write the perfect research assessment, I do know what I should do to attempt at writing an even remotely good one. Over the course of the school year, I will gradually get better and better at writing research assessments, and I look forward to the day where I can write such an assessment flawlessly.

Talking on the phone is very different from talking face-to-face. If one would argue that the only difference is that there is no actual visual contact, I would simultaneously agree and disagree with him. Sight is the strongest sense; it is the sense that we rely the most on. Taking that away means that the only way to communicate with someone via phone is by sound. Every sound we make will be picked up by the receiver. In a way, it is more stressful than an actual face-to-face talk because your voice, attitude, tone, bad habits, and hesitation all comes out at once to be observed. Therefore, one must be prepared to battle once he calls someone as a professional. The first thing one must do is create a proper outline of how the conversation may unfold, how he would answer various questions and, how he would speak when given unusual circumstances. This is done in order to allow one to direct the flow of the conversation without stuttering or hesitation. The second thing one should do is to hone one’s etiquette when talking, take notes on what the receiver is saying quickly, and properly enunciate words as to not give the receiver a bad impression of one’s talking skills. Basically, try to practice the art of talking properly to people while also taking notes on how the conversation is going. The third thing to do is to take out a physical calendar and mark EVERY single event going on for the next month or so, including school work. This is done to prevent double-booking events, give substance to your days of absence due to a meeting, and to allow the conversation to keep going without being awkwardly halted. Furthermore, one can set up his or her voicemail and input a proper message that shows how one can get back to them. This is also supplemented by making a set voicemail message that you can say to the caller if they do not pick up. A proper message will concisely say who you are, your purpose for calling, and one or two methods of communication that can be used to keep in contact. While these instructions help one get better at speaking on the phone, there are various things that affect the conversation, such as the mood of the receiver and the style by which one speaks. It’s also important to keep in mind that the conversation should flow smoothly; if one shows to take control of the conversation too much, it leaves a bad impression that one is egotistical and overbearing. Meanwhile, leaving the control of the conversation will ultimately result in one’s downfall because the objectives of talking to one properly will not be achieved. In order to maintain a proper flow, one must always respect the receiver and try to gently direct the flow by proactively asking questions and letting the receiver speak.

These skills are essential to communicating professionally with others. Right now, I have just begun learning professional communication; however, by the end of this school year, I will have grown by leaps and bounds in the field of professionalism, and I will have a clear goal in sight. For now, though, I will learn as much as I can. After all, this is just the tutorial for my future journey.

See y’all next week,

Saif Haque

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