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Archive for April, 2010

Letters of Recommendation

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

From time to time, colleagues at work and students at school will ask for a letter of recommendation. I am always happy to accomodate these types of requests. Having been on the “asking” end of these letters, I know that it is sometimes difficult to decide who in my circle of influence can provide the most effective letter.

If you are a student, do not assume that your professor is always the best source. Unfortunately, sometimes this person may not know you as well as others! Pick someone who has seen you perform as a student. Have you considered your academic counselor or your dean? Provide some information so that the person can write an effective letter. To be honest, I have a one-size-fits-all generic letter that I can write for you, but if you tell me what masters or doctoral program or school you are applying to, I can tailor my letter to increase its impact.

If you are looking for a work-related recommendation, consider asking those in other departments or work groups that have been on the receiving end of your work. For example, suppose you work in the billing department; consider asking a credit manager or account manager to write a letter. Your boss is sometimes too obvious; of course you let your boss see how hard you work – but what about people you are not obligated to? A powerful recommendation can come from someone who is on the receiving end of your work!

When I write a letter of recommendation, I turn it into a pdf file; I do not give out an easily editable MS Word document. I always include my contact information and date the letter. I also date the information (such as “I worked with John from 2008-2009…” or “Trish was a student in my GEN/300 class in the fall of 2009…”).

Remember, pick your letter writer carefully and be specific as to the purpose or recipient of the letter.

A Vision of Students Today

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

This video brings education into sharp focus: what are we doing to educate our students? When I watched the video for the first tim, it hit me hard because I am a TEACHER as well as a STUDENT. I am asking what is my classroom like? Do I meet my students’ needs? Are my classes meeting MY needs?

Watch the video and share your comments.

 

Academy of Management & DPE Committee

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I decided to join the Academy of Management, an organization devoted to advancing management research and scholarship. Dues are $140/year so you can see why I had to weigh my options carefully. In addition to the obvious benefit to having AOM on my resume, I want to become more involved in research and publishing. Membership includes subscriptions to five journals. Of course, I have access to journals on the school website, but I am so very “old school” that I enjoy sitting and reading a real magazine!

This week, I was also asked to serve on the Delta Pi Epsilon (DPE) Research Projects committee. DPE is an honor society for those who support business education. Delta stands for Scholarship; Pi for Leadership; and Epsilon for Cooperation.

Membership in both of these organizations is one way to keep education and research a priority. It also gives me the opportunity to network in the business and higher education community. I recommend these two organizations as well as the National Business Education Association (NBEA).

Good progress

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I made good progress on my topic revision, in prep for turning in the second assignment in RSH9104B. The more I work on this topic, the more I believe it is do-able. It is not my first choice of topic, but my goal is to get my PhD, and then I can work on other topics that interest me. I ordered some books this week and will be working to publish some reviews. I finished up Environmentalism and the New Logic of Business by R. Edward Freeman, Jessica Pierce, and Richard H. Dodd as well as Writing Your Dissertation by Derek Swetnam.

Environmentalism and the New Logic of Business was interesting because it spelled out some of the critical problems facing us on the environmental front. I particularly like the “Shade of Green” idea; firms might be “legal green or light green,” “market green,” “stakeholder green,” “dark green,” or any combination of those.

Writing Your Dissertation was such a high-level overview of the process that it was not relevant to me in my situation. I should have read this book two years ago. If you are a new graduate student or considering grad school, the book may interest you. Otherwise, choose another book. In contrast, I am now reading Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guid to a Done Dissertation, and I am finding this book much more relevant.

Tomorrow morning my goal is to grade papers for the GEN/480 class I am teaching now, and finish up the second assignment in RSH9104B. I hope to also start and finish the first assignment in that class as well.

Taxes “Almost” Done

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

I started working on my taxes back in February but then I had so many school assignments and other life events that I did not finish them. My taxes are complicated and I have to file in three states. I keep great records so pulling together the information is not the problem. The difficulty lies in making sure that I have everything in the right place on the form.

I use TaxAct and that helps a good bit, but sometimes their explanations are not clear. Clicking the help link takes you to the IRS explanations, which as we all know, are phrased like muddy water. I also have the Earnst & Young Tax Guide that is much easier to read and follow. The Guide has examples and a good index making it easy to find answers to tax questions.

I keep track of school expenses and in 2009 I bought many more books than usual in prep for the RSH and DIS classes. I highly recommend getting all of the books plus several more. I am compiling a list of additional books to recommend to my readers. I am expecting a couple of new ones from Amazon so I will review those and add to the list.

I am “almost” done my taxes; my daughter has a few of my receipts to send to me that classify as expenses on a piece of rental property we have. Once I have those receipts, I can add them to TaxAct and finish my return. I always feel relieved when I get my taxes finished because they take so much time to complete. I can get started back on my school work and freelancing again!

Have a blessed Easter!