The University of Hartford’s business school is upping its game in preparing students for the job market by giving all of its students free subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), sending them for practice job interviews with company human-resource managers, and teaching them how to communicate better with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.
Martin Roth, dean of the University’s Barney School of Business, says Barney has always been career oriented. But now, the business school, along with the rest of the University, is putting even more emphasis on getting its students career ready, whatever their career path may be.
Barney decided to provide students with free access to The Wall Street Journal this year after Barney board members, most of whom are business leaders, said students need to be more informed about current events. When students eventually go to job interviews, they need to be prepared to answer questions about interest rates and other business and economic news, Roth explains.
“The faculty is taking advantage of this resource and structuring it into their classes,” Roth says. “They are requiring that students use the Journal to prepare for guest speakers and corporate visits that classes make. Students are getting used to the idea that reading the daily news is something business people do, so that it becomes part of their daily ritual.”
Barney student Henry Kajura ’17, a sophomore, says it helps him connect classroom lessons to the real world.
“In class, we learn kind of abstract concepts, and the fact that we have access to the media informs us about the actual business environment and prepares us for the outside world,” Kajura says. “We are able to apply what we’re learning to what we’re reading in the Journal.”
In addition to providing the WSJ, Barney has significantly expanded weekly professional-development workshops. Students, for example, can learn how to land an internship, dress for success, and communicate effectively across generations. The goal is for them to become confident in their business communication and professional presence.
They can also go to an area company to have a mock interview with HR and other managers, then get feedback on what they did well and where they need to focus so they’ll do better during the real thing. These experiences also connect students to business leaders, thereby helping students to develop their professional networks.