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Program Advances Look, Behavior for Business Careers
Learn how to dress and act for the job you want through a new program called, "Fit for the World of Work."

April 21, 2005
By Pam McLaren

Imagine walking into a business meeting being held over dinner in addition to knowing the subject that will be discussed, you need to know how to dress for the function, how to introduce yourself and which fork to use with which course.

How about making that oral presentation before a group of administrators? Or writing a business letter?

College courses can provide the knowledge and skills to get the job done but there are other skills that college graduates need in order to advance in their chosen careers. It's those skills that will be featured through a new program called, "Fit for the World of Work."

Thanks to a $20,000 grant from Bank of America and $5,000 in support from the College of Business and Economics, Dana Loewy and Gayle Vogt, both lecturers in business writing, are developing a series of seminars to guide business administration students through the intricacies of business beyond "book learning" and practical experience. The pilot program kicks off in the fall.

"Businesses have known for a long time that deals can be made or broken by how well a letter or an e-mail is written, how someone dresses or speaks," notes Loewy, adding that Bank of America believes so strongly in the program that it will be including its own employees in the seminars. "It's vitally important that young people entering the business world understand what is expected of them in any situation.

"What is the appropriate behavior and apparel for a formal function, a cocktail party, or a business meeting on a yacht? Working without this knowledge can diminish the value of what you do," Loewy adds.

"We want to teach students what used to be called comportment or demeanor," says Vogt. "We want to help students look, speak and act the job they want, rather than the job they have. We believe that this program will offer the skills students need to attain that goal."


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