Students applying for the UW Oshkosh College of Business starting in fall of 2011 will find an additional set of standards required for admission. The Professional Development Standard works to engage students in the COB from the beginning of their college careers.

Professional Development Director Jessie Pondell said, “We want students to understand that being a COB student is more than just coursework in order to be competitive.” The Professional Development criteria gives students the opportunity to get involved in activities, participate in student organizations, network with future employers and explore their future career options before being admitted to the COB.

Admission Standards for Professional Development

Standard 1: Self-Awareness
Develop business and interpersonal skills by taking an interest profiler survey and reviewing career matching clusters.

Standard 2: Market Awareness
Strengthen business skills and analytical thinking by conducting future career research and submitting a short summary of the desired career path.

Standard 3: Professional Connections
Increase business knowledge and introduce students to the business environment by attending at least one career fair and at least three business student organization meetings.

Standard 4: Communication Skills
Foster business and communication skills by completing a 250-word essay answering specific career development questions.

Complete and submit an online portfolio

The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has been working on implementing this into the curriculum for the past two years. The idea came from feedback from employers who participated in mock interviews. The employers noted that students were not able to explain their career goals nor could they articulate what value they would add to a company in the interview process.

Since both of those questions and the interview process in its entirety are not going away anytime soon, Associate Dean of the COB William Wresch said, “We would like students to start practicing the answer.”

“This gives our students better practice at articulating their skills. We expect them to present themselves better and have a far larger personal network that other college students have,” Wresch said.

Furthermore, the new standard will help students explore and experience different opportunities and education paths at an earlier time in college. Having explored their options early, students will be able to be confident when they select their desired COB major.

Workshops have been held to help students setup their online portfolios. Several elements of the Professional Development Standard will be tracked using Titan Jobs and Wresch will personally read the required essays.

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