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Indiana University Bloomington

Communication, Professional & Computer Skills

Managers Typically

Managers typically spend up to 80 percent of their time engaged in some form of written or oral communication.

Spotlights

Target: Teamwork

Nate Baim
Senior, Finance; Yorktown, Indiana

“The skills I learned enabled me to effectively work in a team, develop an argument, and create presentations and reports like I would in a professional setting.”

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“Going into X204, I thought I was a decent communicator,” says Nate Baim, who took a public speaking class in high school. “I quickly realized I had a lot of room to grow.”

After a semester spent improving his writing, oral communication, listening, and interpersonal skills, Baim was ready for the course’s final challenge: the Target Case Competition. Baim and his classmates divided into teams of five. Their goal: devise a strategy to help the retail giant move into the urban market.

Dozens of X204 teams created 20-page reports and presented their plans to judges at Kelley. Baim’s team was selected as one of four finalists that presented to Target executives. “It was really rewarding to see our team come together,” he says.

The competition helped Baim understand the connection between good communication and good teamwork. Because each team member has a different specialty and set of responsibilities, it’s vital to share information and establish a unified strategy. “Poor communication is a barrier to people working together and reaching their goals.”

“I use my communication skills in all of my business classes,” says Baim, noting that they were particularly useful in his Integrative Core (I-Core) classes, which culminate in a team case study. “The skills I learned enabled me to effectively work in a team, develop an argument, and create presentations and reports like I would in a professional setting.”

A research assistant in the Department of Finance, a member of Kelley’s Toastmasters International club, and a member of the Pershing Rifles military fraternity, Baim plans to hike the Appalachian Trail after graduation and then serve in the U.S. armed forces. One day, he hopes to open his own financial advising business.

Whether an army officer or a financial advisor, Baim knows that communication and teamwork are essential to any field: “You need these skills to be successful.”

In Brief

Public speaking tips: “Practice, take risks, and be open to criticism.”

Focused but relaxed: “I like going to school at IU because I’m comfortable here. The atmosphere is relaxed but there’s still a strong focus on academics.”

Pastimes: Hiking, biking, hanging out with friends

Web sites I visit every day: Greg Mankiw’s economics blog and WSJ.com

Published June 30, 2008