Career Communications and Ethics


Communications Philosophy


Professional career communications (written, verbal, and electronic) are an integral part of Business X420.


The lectures, projects, and reading assignments all relate to

professional career communications: verbal and written.


Communicating an accurate picture of ideas, past events, goals, and potential contributions is fundamental for long-term career success and for obtaining the perfect initial assignment. What you share and how you deliver your information creates an impression that is used by others to evaluate your talents and motivations.


Communications abilities are always among the highest factors evaluated

by employers of college graduates in all employment sectors.


Leadership skills also rank very high on any employer’s list of desired competencies, but leadership almost always come back to effective communications. College graduates are increasingly criticized for their poor written and verbal communication skills. Faculty, in conjunction with employers, supports an increased emphasis on developing undergraduate writing skills. As a means of enhancing these skills, the faculty teaching X420 requires you to write brief (3- to 5-page) reports not unlike what would be expected of you in a professional career work setting. The word “project” will be common terminology in your future work life.


The goal is to present a real situation and require you to address specific topical areas. In many courses faculty often stress teaching cognitive and technical knowledge without attention to communication skills. Business X420 teaches technical knowledge on career planning and job search concepts in professional business settings. By their very nature this body of knowledge requires strong communication abilities.


How can we help you improve your communication and leadership skills? The discussions and lectures will help, but experience shows that nothing surpasses writing and speaking in order to enhance your communication skills.


Outstanding communication skills often translate into highly successful job searches and extremely enriching career endeavors. A very important element of career advancement is the ability to communicate effectively in both written expression and verbal articulation of thoughts and ideas. Successful managers are required to express thoughts to superiors, peers, customers, and subordinates in a highly professional manner every day.


Career planning, professional communications, management, and

leadership knowledge thrive on each other.


A major criticism on hiring Recommendation Forms, Evaluation Forms, and Performance Reviews relates to the label of “poor communicator.” College graduates are as prone to receive that remark as any other group. No longer can the professional hide behind the “secretary” excuse because more communication is done via instant messaging, email, telephone, direct contact, and personally word-processed memos, projects, and reports. No one else will be there to polish your written and spoken words.


One method—probably the best method—of  improving communication is practice. Perfection cannot come without regularly writing out your thoughts and ideas. In X420 you will present your communication abilities to your personal Career Counselor in anticipation that you will subsequently present the same information to employers before interviewing and after you are hired.


Most college graduates have spent years learning spelling, grammar, diction, style, outlining, and related skills. Successful communicators become better only by honing their skill through constant and extensive use. Business X420 is only one of several Kelley School of Business courses to respond to the call of faculty and employers requesting better writing skills by requiring more written work. Regardless of your endeavors after graduation, you will find yourself doing extensive writing. Quality verbal and written communication skills will surely enhance your career advancement.





All students should be familiar with the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. We take a very serious approach regarding unethical student behaviors. We are obliged to follow up on all reported cases and do so in accordance with University guidelines for due process. Students whose behaviors are determined to be unethical are assigned academic sanctions and a report is filed with the University. A copy of that report is sent to the Kelley School of Business Undergraduate Program office. ANY CHEATING IN X420 IS GROUNDS FOR FAILING THE COURSE OR, AT THE MINIMUM, RECEIVING A REDUCED COURSE GRADE.


While we will follow up on all reported cases of a number of possible kinds of infractions, all students should be aware of the two most common problem areas:


1.      Grade coupons. Because this is a large class with a number of components which bear credit toward a grade, we use lecture bonus point forms and discussion activity point forms to record attendance at lecture and discussion sessions. Submitting a form for an event you did not attend or when you left a session early will result in initiation of the academic misconduct procedures described in the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.


2.      Submission of written work. Submitting work that is not your own will result in initiation of the academic misconduct procedures described in the Indiana University Code of Students Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. Additionally, as noted in the Code, no work done for another class may be submitted in whole or in part without the prior consent of the instructor. You may NOT turn in work for the X420 class that you previously submitted for the X220 class. It is always best to consult your Lab Counselor when you are in doubt.


3.      Plagiarism of any kind will result in a significant academic penalty in this course.


Any cheating or unethical behavior will be addressed in a timely manner. The faculty is serious about the ethics topic! Don’t do anything that others can interpret as questionable. You will find this stringent policy in effect in your next career experience.