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Fordham juniors ARE the “Workforce of the Future”

Areas of Study , Communications/Media Management , Coursework , Management , Personal & Professional Development Stories | Dec 10, 2012 |

Everyone wants a job after graduation.

But which job?

Juniors in the Integrated Project course, developed and taught by Dr. Meghann Drury, were challenged to research a career they’re considering. Through a mix of online research and interviews with people employed in the field, they put together a clear picture of what might lie ahead for them.

Their “Workforce of the Future” presentations asked them to clearly communicate, to an audience of their classmates and professors, what they had learned and why — or why not — the field investigated felt right for them. Their 12-minute presentations detailed:

  • Important basic definitions: What is financial services? What constitutes entrepreneurship?
  • Niches within the field: Inside sports business, for example, might lie sports marketing, management or communications.
  • Advantages and disadvantages: the greatest boons and biggest pitfalls of a certain position.
  • Key data: how much money a person stands to make in his or her first year, for instance.
  • Why is this for us?: a question that called upon students’ reflection and self-awareness as much as their research.

Among the highlights of the final presentations was the clear communication of facts that not everyone might know.

A group investigating financial services pointed to pop-psychology author Malcolm Gladwell’s theorem that 10,000 hours is the amount of time needed to master something — and that junior finance analysts, with their crazy office schedules, reach that number in their first two years out of college. (Note that this information did not deter the six students that finance was the path for them!)

A team focused on accounting learned that the U.S. unemployment rate in accounting is only 2 percent, compared with 8 to 10 percent across all job fields.

A group of entrepreneurially minded students discovered that 600,000 new businesses are launched every year, but that to succeed, the people running them need passion, energy and the willingness to do even a business’s smallest tasks — including getting your own coffee.

The project came at a good time in the juniors’ college trajectories: This past semester and next, they will be seeking out the pivotal summer 2013 internships or work experiences that may shape their post-graduation plans. Chris Grande (GSB ’14) said he expects this course will help him down the road, especially because it provided the opportunity to work in, and lead, a team.

“These project-management skills will be an advantageous tool going into the workplace that will set me apart from others,” Chris said.


Photographs by Jenna Goitiandia.

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