MTSU students continue gaining valuable hands-on experience through its Experiential Learning program, a recent project allowing them to collaborate with state of Tennessee human resources professionals.
EXL students in the Organizational Communication program’s Conflict and Organizations class (ORCO 3650) created and delivered a training program on conflict associated with Alternative Workplace Solutions, or AWS, initiatives to members of the Tennessee Department of Human Resources during the fall semester.
They provided tools to help employees that are working in either home-based offices or in traditional workspaces to work together for eligible state of Tennessee workgroups.
“As a political science major, this class was extremely beneficial to me! I got the opportunity to see how a departments trains at the state level,” said MTSU senior April Carroll. “This is what I would like to do as a career, and this experience helped me tremendously.”
The EXL students used the tools learned in class to create four mini-workshops for the state’s human resources department. The tools were explained, customized for the state employees and AWS, and presented to the human resources department in downtown Nashville in early December.
“We enjoyed the exposure to new information and new methodologies to approach conflict resolution,” said Kevin Wesley, a learning facilitator supervisor in the state human resources department. “The information presented was relevant and on par with what HR professionals are currently developing in this field. The student participants in this presentation seem well prepared for a future in the HR industry.”
In previous semesters, other EXL students presented training programs to employees of Bridgestone Tire and CIGNA Insurance.
This experience gave the communication studies students the opportunity to research an organization and a problem that occurs in the workplace, and apply the knowledge gained in the Conflict and Organizations course.
“Experience is truly the best teacher. Having an opportunity to present information in a professional environment to senior level executives will be a memory that many of us will never forget,” said MTSU senior University College major Micah Wilson. “This is a great foundation to build on as we begin navigating our professional careers.”
Dr. DeAnne Priddis, assistant professor and course instructor, walked the students through how to create a training workshop, which provided a great package for this EXL project. Students now have the ability to share this knowledge gained throughout the project with potential future employers.
“This was a great experience! It was rewarding to have our hard work pay off and to also have this experience under our belt. It will be very beneficial for our future careers,” said Jordan Sullivan, a senior liberal arts major.
For more information about the MTSU Department of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication, one of the departments in the College of Liberal Arts, go to http://www.mtsu.edu/communication/.
For more about the Experiential Learning program, part of MTSU’s University College, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/exl/index.php.