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It's time once again to check in with our intrepid Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, alum Mackenzie Wieder, as she hiked through Vermont on her trek north. Amid the trail mud and steep hills, Mackenzie took her time to avoid a hiking accident, but was on hand when another hiker suffered a fall and probable broken ankle, rendering him unable to walk any further. Constructing a splint and searching for help, Mackenzie later wrote, "Our only option at this point was to call EMTs to perform a mountain rescue. By this point a bunch of other hikers we know had caught up and were trying to help in any way they could." After a few hours, the injured hiker was transported to safety, and Mackenzie's trek continued.

She writes: "It has rejuvenated my spirit to be out here and reminded me how lucky I am to be doing something I love every day. It is easy to become jaded by the rain, bugs, mud, rocks, and lack of views, but then I remember that I am surrounded by a community of people who banded together to help a fellow hiker in need. I remember that soon this adventure will be over and I will want more than anything to be back out here. Thru-hiking is tough but it is the most rewarding experience. And with that, I keep moving forward." You can read more about Mackenzie's journey here. It appears that Mackenzie has under 500 miles left to hike along the 2190 miles of the trail. You go, girl!

Business Communication alum Dave Steinwedel will be calling games for the Maryland Dynasty, part of the Women's American Basketball Association, the sister league to the American Basketball Association. The first game is August 4 as the Steel City Queens take on the Maryland Dynasty at 4 p.m. Games can be watched on I-95 Sports Network. Click on the link to learn more. The Maryland Dynasty is based in Harford County and plays some of their games at The Highlands School, 2409 Creswell Road in Bel Air.

Congratulations, Dave!

A random search of LinkedIn has revealed that the field of real estate has significant appeal to Business Communication alumni. Among others, Morgan Buckingham, Lauren Shapiro, Matt Staud, Melinda Kane, Patrick Marsiglia, and Kelly Taylor have chosen this field or at least practiced in it for a time. What draws the Business Communication majors to this career path? An article in the Real Estate Express notes five characteristics of the most successful real estate agents. Let's see how the BizComm major addresses this career path.

#1: A desire to help people

Real estate agents are in a service profession. Their careers depend upon their ability to serve others, and classes like Interpersonal Communication and Small Group Communication target and develop the skills necessary to succeed in a service-oriented profession.

#2: Enthusiasm for real estate

The most successful agents love the entire business of real estate, including the sales and negotiation aspects. Business Communication students take courses in Conflict and Negotiation, Marketing, Survey of Accounting and Integrated Marketing Communication -- all of which help students to understand and compete in the world of business.

#3: Energy and drive

The world of real estate professionals demands energy, drive, and organization. Relying on well-developed interpersonal skills, event planning techniques, management abilities, and public relations expertise, the Business Communication graduate is well-prepared for the demands of the job.

#4: A winning personality

Clients are looking for a real estate agent with whom they feel comfortable, and Business Communication graduates have learned the necessity of being good listeners and clear communicators. They pay attention to their clients' nonverbal indicators and are tuned in to other interpersonal signals. Personality depends on relationships, and BizComms are terrific in that area!

#5: Strong business acumen

Real estate professionals not only have to understand complex transactions, but they also have to be able to explain them to clients. So being a clear communicator who understands the world of business and sales is essential -- and that's exactly what Business Communication graduates have learned.

Business Communication adjunct instructor Chris Daley, who works full time for Maroon PR and will once again teach Event Planning and Publicity at Stevenson University in the fall, has joined the Front Office Sports team as a contributor. He will be writing an occasional article focusing on horse racing, and potentially other sports in the future. Check out his first piece about the strong attendance at Saratoga Race Course and how valuable that is to sponsors. Here's the link to his article.

We've noticed that quite a few Business Communication grads have chosen careers as recruiters in a variety of industries. Charlie Taylor (in the photo at left during his internship experience) is working as a technical recruiter at TEKSystems; Julia Cooke has worked as a recruiter for Baltimore Research; and Tiera Willey currently is a talent acquisition specialist for Network Building and Consulting, previously in the same position with MGM National Harbor.  Jess Demko, Frederick Terry, Mike Edwards and Matt Bratter are recruiting for Aerotek, and Travis Douglas is working as a recruiter for StaffEx -- just to name a few! What is it about the Business Communication major that prepares students so well for a career as a recruiter? Let's take a look at what LinkedIn describes as the most essential qualities of a a modern recruiter.

The 9 Essential Qualities of Modern Recruiters, from LinkedIn's Talent Blog

1. Is a good listener and clear communicator.

       For Business Communication majors, this skill is taught from the first day of Public Speaking, and reinforced in Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, and a variety of other classes in which communication skills are stressed.

2. Creates a sense of urgency so that matches actually get made and no time is wasted.

       Two semesters of Journalism are instrumental in teaching students the importance of meeting deadlines, getting interviews completed in a timely manner, and turning in homework and research on time.

3. Has a keen sense of timing, patience and the ability to act quickly when the time is right.

       The faculty in the department hold their students to standards regarding assignment dates, and the curriculum in Business and Professional Communication, as well as a required internship experience, help students to develop these skills. Internship site supervisors help their interns learn the rhythms of the business world.

4. Can filter through a laundry-list of requirements and decipher which are truly motivating factors -- aka. the must-haves vs nice-to-haves.

       Learning how to prioritize is taught in Organizational Communication, and is a skill most interns develop during their experiential learning semesters, when multi-tasking is often demanded on a daily basis.

5. Can motivate, support, and whip someone into shape when needed.

      An interesting fact -- many BizComm majors are NCAA or club sport athletes, so they understand the importance of motivation and support. Their ability to communicate clearly and effectively helps them with interpersonal relationships.

6. Understands available recruiting tools and ability to identify the right bait to lure your catch.

       Majors graduate with a clear understanding of the many tools available to them, whether on a MAC or a PC. Their knowledge of Microsoft and Adobe software prepares them for transfer learning as well, and they graduate adept at picking up software demands.

7. Creates an optimal process that can be customized for individuals.

       Courses in Conflict and Negotiation, and in Public Relations, for instance, teach students in the major how to address the needs of specific audiences. They have learned that language can be adapted to meet the demands of others and know how to do so.

8. Manages egos and expectations.

      By the time Business Communication majors are ready to graduate, they have become exceptional listeners and are able to peel away any interference in the communication channels. They understand the importance of realistic expectations and are able to communicate directly about their ideas.

9. Pays attention to the details. All of them.

       The demands of the major's many writing courses teach students how to be careful readers and writers. Additionally, in Intercultural Communication, students learn to pay attention to the details of their language choices and assumptions.

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