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Extra Credit: Miriam Finch

Crafting Communication

In the 1950s, a new field of study emerged in the academic world. It was known as industrial communications, and was designed to help businesses communicate internally and externally. That field is now known as organizational communication, and its popularity continues to grow. Miriam Finch, chair of the department of communication arts, talks more about this field.

How is the field used every day?

“Research shows that 80 percent of a business professional’s day is spent communicating with colleagues and/or clients. Organizational communication equips people to become more effective communicators. As organizations become more team-based, and as individuals are called to interact cross-functionally, the need to communicate well is essential.”

Why is this important to employers?

“Top executives consistently indicate that oral and written communication skills are critical success factors, not only in particular positions but in an individual’s ability to get promoted. Potential employers say it’s easier to equip individuals with job-specific skill sets than with communication competencies. Therefore, graduates are finding employment in numerous and varied areas.”

What type of jobs are graduates getting?

“Corporate communications, human resources, marketing communications, management, public administration, consulting, promotions, special events planning. Middle- and upper-level managers recognize the need for people who are trained in communication and understand team-based approaches. I would be hard-pressed to name an occupation whose success is not dependent at least in part on the skills and knowledge learned in organizational communication classes.”

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