Back to School #3: PACE

PACE = Professional & Career Essentials

These are a series of workshops for students to provide them with the necessary skills to succeed at school and at work. They offer a wide array of topics ranging from communication skills to networking to learning how to use Excel.

I would highly encourage students to take as many as possible because they really are valuable practical skills that you will use at school and at work.

Last year I attended many of the technical Excel courses and learned not only basic functionality but how to use advanced functions and create financial models. What I especially liked about the sessions was that they touched on other aspects of using Excel that are not often taught in Excel training courses such as ensuring that your worksheets print properly when you share with others and just setting up your workbook so that it is easily understood by others. I learned this on-the-job (i.e., the hard way) and it’s those little tips that really help your project to succeed.

This year I took one on creating effective presentations, case analysis and collaboration. The last two are from an MBA Boot Camp program that the full-timers go through. I’m not familiar with all the content but it sounds like the full-time students are put through an intensive time to learn skills that they will need in the MBA program. I am really glad that these sessions were offered to part-time students this year as both the sessions helped me a lot.

I am not used to using case studies and many of my courses use them heavily. They require a lot of prep work and it is easy to spend a lot of time on them and not focus on the right thing. Also, I’m currently working on a group paper for my Global Managerial Perspectives course so the collaboration workshop helped provide a framework for this project. It can be difficult to produce a strong coherent research paper with four different authors.

I’m looking forward to other PACE courses that will be offered this year. Best of all, they are usually free for students or at a subsidized price compared to what you would normally spend for this type of training.

Now off to my group paper!

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