January 14, 2019 2 min read

I know I should not admit this, but I have wanted to slap a lot of my students up-side-the-head during my teaching career. There have been many catalysts for this desire, but a common one is a student opining thusly: “Well, if you want to get X done, you just have to walk into the CXO’s office and say ….”

 

Most of my students who have laid out such a course of action were in their 20s; they were not going to be walking into any CXO’s office anytime soon.  But after months of business school case studies that that asked them to make CEO-level decisions for a company, they seemed to believe this is the way business life works … even for new graduates.

 

And the worst part is that professors let them get away with it. Because most professors (even business school professors) have never spent a day in a company job in their lives … and even if they did early in their careers, either have forgotten how it works or never had a positions where they really needed to learn how to act on the job. Yet they teach business.

 

Sigh.

 

In our Interactive Learning eXperiences (I-L-X) if a student says something stupid to any co-worker, they may get a response like:

 

  • “I honestly don't even know how to begin to think about what you just said.”
  • “That question may sound smart to you, but it's kind of the exact opposite.”
  • “I would imagine you haven't been in the industry long.  Even so, there are basic things people will expect you to know…”
  • “I'll pretend you didn't ask me that.”

 

So, students have to figure out who they might realistically be able to contact and how to talk to them and, most importantly, how to prepare before walking into a meeting; all of the organizational, power-structure, and communication contexts that a young employee really should know before they graduate with a business degree. 

 

image:flickr/e-lame