Term One Syllabus–2016-2017

Business Communications Term 1 Syllabus

General Communications and Job-Getting Skills

  1. A basic calendar made on a spreadsheet showing when each assignment for Term 1 will be completed (20 pts.)
  1. A memo informing your classmates that they must submit their yearbook photos by October first. You are the editor of the yearbook.  (20 points)
  1. An email to me in which you explain which career you are interested in and a list of three of your strengths as an employee and three weaknesses that you will try to improve upon. If you don’t have a precise career that is fine, but please choose a general area like business, art, criminal justice, education, the trades (plumbing, electrical, automotive, etc.) the  military, etc..  You will not be graded on the content of what you know, but rather on how your email is formatted and your proofreading.  (20 points)
  1. A perfect college essay, even if you don’t plan to apply. (150 points)
  1. An Excel spreadsheet which depicts your class schedule for this semester. (50 points)
  1. A home page for the career you chose in assignment 3. Make it appeal to people who might be interested but undecided.  I want you to think very deliberately when you choose font styles, images, sizes, colors and content.  I suggest that you use wix.com. Be sure to include items like daily responsibilities, education needed, salary ranges, types of work environments, etc. (50 points)
  1. An email asking an employer or recruiter from a field in which you are interested to interview you. This should be done at their place of work, and it must be completed before the end of the term, so be sure to have this assignment approved by the teacher very early in the term.  (25 points)
  1. A PowerPoint presentation that serves as an advertisement about you to a potential employer (me). Pretend that you are on a job interview 5-10 years from now and the employer asks you to describe yourself.  How would you depict your family, personality, work ethic, work experience, education/training after high school, big setbacks and/or accomplishments, hobbies/interests and three short- and long-term goals?  It must include a cover and closing slide.  (100 points)
  1. A cover letter to a potential employer. You must find a real job opening that you might like to have five years after high school.  Devise some skills and experiences that you would likely have had by that time.  (100 points)
  1. A realistic resume to accompany the cover letter. (150 points)
  1. A mock job interview with the teacher in which you convince him that he should hire you, or you must do it again until you do convince him. (25 points)
  1. A list of ten good questions for you to ask your interviewer at the end of the interview. (25 points)
  1. An interview with the person to whom you wrote for assignment 7. He or she will grade you according to a rubric that I will give you to bring on the interview.  Prerequisites–#7, 8, 9, 10 (100 points)
  1. A thank-you letter to your real interviewer. (50 points)

Assignments 1-7 must be completed by the end of class on Friday September 23rd or they will earn a maximum of half credit if submitted by the end of the term.   All other work must be perfected and submitted by the end of class on Friday October 28th  or it will not be accepted or graded.

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Business Letter Template–No Letterhead

Note that the font is size 12 Times New Roman.  Also you must use “block” format, which means everything is left justified and paragraphs are not indented.  The larger spaces after the date and after the closing are 4x and the smaller spaces are 2x.  There is a colon, not a comma, after the greeting.  The large space between the closing and the sender’s name is for the sender’s signature in blue or black pen after the letter is printed.  We will learn about letterheads next quarter.

 December 25, 2013
 
 
Mr. Santa Claus, Chief Merrymaker
Toys Corporation
123 Reindeer Way
North Pole, AK 01111

Dear Mr. Claus:

I have both seen and heard great things about the quality products that you churn out at Toys Corporation.  My company is eager to do business with you because we’re one of the largest toy retailers in the country and we are always looking for high quality products to sell.

If you’re interested in a business relationship that could be profitable for both of us please contact me soon.  I’d love to visit you at your office or you’re welcome to come here to sunny Florida.

Thanks for your time and interest.

Sincerely,

 

Buzz Lightyear, Head of Sales and Marketing
Tegrat Department Stores
115 Target St.
Del Boca Vista, FL 09929
blightyear@tegrat.com
1-800-229-1221

 

Memo Template

Memos are becoming more and more obsolete since people tend to use email for more formal purposes at work, but it is good to know what they are in case you run across them in a work environment.  I also want to see how you follow a template as practice for the business letter format that is a little more complex.  Memos are a little more formal than emails but less formal than business letters, so the body of the memo should be brief and you can use the abbreviated format for the date rather than writing out the name of the month.  Check out the template below so that you can complete assignment #2.

 

TO:  All Business Communications Students

FROM:  Mr. Goldschmidt, Teacher

DATE:  8/26/15

RE:  Memos

I wanted to inform all of you that this is the proper format for a memo.  Notice that it is in block format, meaning that it is all justified to the left margin (rather than anything being indented) and that the headings are all capitalized.  Note too that all of our typed work must be done in size 12 Times New Roman font.  “Re” is short for the word “regarding,” so this should be the title of what the body of your memo is about.

Remember that your syllabus spells out who you are writing to and what your job title is (not teacher), and the subject of your memo is not “memos” as it was for mine.

Enjoy your day!

 

Term 3 Syllabus, Spring Semester 2015-2016

Business Communications Term I Syllabus

General Communications and Job-Getting Skills

  1. A basic calendar made on a spreadsheet denoting when each assignment for Term 3 will be completed (20 points)
  1. A memo informing your classmates that they must submit their yearbook photos by September first. You are the editor of the yearbook.  (20 points)
  1. An email to me in which you describe your career interest/s—even if they are very general like business, education, medicine, law, sports, construction, law enforcement, etc.—and why you are interested. You will not be graded on the content of what you know, but rather on how your email is formatted and your proofreading.  (20 points)
  1. A perfect college essay. (150 points)
  1. Create an Excel spreadsheet which depicts your class schedule for this semester. (50 points)
  1. Create a home page for a favorite class you’ve had–either this year or in the past. If you want, you can even surprise the teacher once you’re finished.  I want you to think very deliberately when you choose font styles, images, sizes, colors and content.  I used WordPress.com to create my web site/blog but you can choose any free site that you choose, including wix.com.  (50 points)
  1. An email asking an employer or recruiter from a field in which you are interested to interview you. This should be done at their place of work, and it must be completed before the end of the term, so be sure to have this assignment approved by the teacher very early in the term.  (25 points)
  1. A PowerPoint presentation that serves as an advertisement about you to a potential employer (me). Pretend that you are on a job interview 5-10 years from now and the employer asks you to describe yourself.  How would you depict your family, personality, work ethic, work experience, education/training after high school, big setbacks and/or accomplishments, hobbies/interests and three short- and long-term goals?  It must include a cover and closing slide.  (100 points)
  1. A cover letter to a potential employer. You must find a real job opening that you might like to have five years from now.  Devise some skills and experiences that you would likely have had by that time.  (100 points)
  1. A realistic resume to accompany the cover letter. (150 points)
  1. A mock job interview with the teacher in which you convince him that he should hire you, or you must do it again until you do convince him. (25 points)
  1. A list of ten good questions for you to ask your interviewer at the end of the interview. (25 points)
  1. An interview with the person to whom you wrote for assignment 7. He or she will grade you according to a rubric that I will give you to bring on the interview.  Prerequisites–#7, 8, 9, 10 (100 points)
  1. A thank-you letter to your real interviewer. (50 points)

Assignments 1-7 must be completed by the end of class on Monday February 29th or they will earn a maximum of half credit if submitted by the end of the term.   All other work must be perfected and submitted by the end of class on Friday April 1st  or it will not be accepted or graded.

The Starting Line

Welcome to Business Communications.  This class will probably be unlike any other English course you’ve taken in high school because we won’t be reading any novels or writing 5 paragraph analytical essays.  Instead, we will be tackling assignments that help to prepare us for the “real” world of work after high school.  In fact, many previous students have told me that they found some of the skills they learned useful DURING high school, especially on job interviews.

In addition to job-related skills, I also want to help you learn to edit your own writing.  I believe that if you submit a piece of writing and I simply slap a grade on it and return it, then you will have no incentive to learn what your errors were or to avoid them in the future.  To that end, you will create documents on your computer and submit drafts to me.  Once I have them I will comment on them and return them without a grade and you will then edit and re-edit the draft.  Only after a piece is “perfected” will I put a grade on it.  After all, would you really submit a C- grade project to your boss???  I have found that students tend to make fewer and fewer errors as the term passes because they are catching more and more of their own errors before they submit them the first time.

Theoretically, then, everyone in class should earn an A each term, but that depends on whether you complete all of the assignments by the deadlines–one at mid-term and the other on the last class of the term.  I have found that as long as students work steadily and don’t get distracted they are able to finish everything on time, so just like on the job you must budget your time well, and remain focused and goal-oriented.

All of the assignments for the term will be delivered via a syllabus, which I will post here on the blog and I will give you a hard copy.  This way there is no reason why you can’t work on assignments at home, during Study or Study Skills, in the library, etc.  I will also post templates here for you to use as resources, so if you’re not sure how to format a business letter or resume you can look here.

I also strongly urge each student to stay with me for extra help, especially as we approach the deadlines.  I am available in the Resiliency for Life room, E119, almost every Monday through Thursday until about 3:30pm and sometimes I can even meet during lunch periods if I have advanced notice.

My job for this class is to float around, guide you, answer your questions, and especially LEARN from all of you.  Unlike the traditional classroom where asking a classmate for help is considered cheating, we operate like people do in the business world–if we all collaborate well then everyone wins.  So peek at your classmates’ work, ask them for help, and offer them suggestions.

Good luck!

-Mr. Goldschmidt

mgoldschmidt@framingham.k12.ma.us

508-782-7583