Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Business reading: It's not just for breakfast anymore

Not long ago, I was speaking with one of our MBA graduates and he mentioned a book he'd read in one of his courses that really influenced his thinking. In turn, I shared a recommendation for a book I read as part of my Master of Education program.

About a week later, I was standing with some colleagues at a non-business-related function and someone recommended another book, the content of which has been rolling around in my head ever since. Although I've exchanged book recommendations with my friends and family members many times before, it has been particularly fun to talk books with others who actually get excited about business-related reading.

So, I thought I would share some book recommendations from my recent reading list. Given the way technology has changed where, when, and how we read, I also thought it would be fun to include the platform used to do this reading. Currently, the top five books that have influenced the way I do business include:

"A Whole New Mind" by Daniel Pink. Any book that focuses on tapping into our inner creativity and valuing the creative among us works for me! I also really enjoy books that shed light on the different ways people think. With more than seven billion people in the world, it helps to understand a little more about where some of them are coming from. Platform: Kindle.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Focusing only on STEM education will leave America with the short end of the stick

Science, technology, engineering, and math, also known as STEM, is a fundamental part of the American education system. However, it's just one component. Fostering creativity and innovation is another crucial piece. And in our opinion, it's what we need to emphasize to help America stay competitive in the future.

That's also the perspective of Fast Company writer Anya Kamenetz. She recently wrote an article about why education without creativity isn't enough to help America stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What's your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Post updated 11/23/11.

Many Post University students, faculty, and staff are looking forward to their time off next week for Thanksgiving -- a nice long weekend to relax and feast with family and friends.

Just today, I was talking with a group of colleagues about Thanksgiving traditions, and the conversation quickly led to reminiscences about great Thanksgiving feasts of the past and plans for the coming week. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie ... mmmm, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

It seems everyone has a favorite Thanksgiving food, and we thought it would be fun to hear what it is!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What happens when academia and Facebook collide?

If you were to poll a classroom of students right now about their use of social media, I'll bet nearly all of them would say they've used it to communicate with their peers about a school-related topic.

Maybe they've updated their Facebook status with the latest homework they're doing. Perhaps they've tweeted about a grade they got on a test. Or maybe they've IMed with a classmate about a group project. Whatever the tool, social media is an integral part of most college students' lives, so it's natural that they'll integrate it with their academics.

In fact, a new study by the Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) looked at just where this trend stands today among America's undergraduate students. Its researchers found academia and social media -- Facebook in particular -- are merging on a widespread basis.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you're trying to decide if an online education is right for you ...

The latest issue of Hispanic Executive has a good feature to take a look at, especially if you're a working adult. The editors asked four university professionals from around the country to respond to the question, "Is an online education a smart choice?" (See pages 48-49.)

They featured the perspectives of Liberty University en Espanol's Orlando Lobaina, Walden University's Ivonne Chirino-Klevans, Regent University's Carlos Campo, and yours truly.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Does your assessment of our online MBA degree program agree with your peers'?

Any good business person will tell you continuous improvement is fundamental to success. Many of our MBA students tell us that's a major reason they enrolled in our online MBA degree program.

They say they want to continue to flesh out their ideas, experiment with their approaches, and seek and make changes based on feedback from their peers and professors.

This is also why we have made a habit of asking for student feedback on individual courses and our MBA degree program as a whole. We make changes to the program based on that feedback, so we can continue to help our students meet their education and career goals.

There are several ways we gather student feedback. One is through end-of-course surveys, which let us gauge student satisfaction and identify strengths and weaknesses. We also ask students to write reflective papers as part of their Capstone Projects (BUS698) to collect qualitative feedback on the project's value to them.

In addition, we conduct external academic peer reviews of professional experts in the field that give us valuable insight into what's working and what needs to be worked on within our program. Basically, we conduct a regular 360-degree review, which results in a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of our program, and then make changes accordingly.

After completing this process, students often ask to hear about what actions are taken as a result of their feedback. So, we thought we'd share some of the changes that have recently been implemented based on student feedback and the peer review process.

Strengths

The applicability of our MBA program is something our students continue to focus on as a positive -- both while they are students and after they graduate. Our program is designed to meld academic theory and best practices with the practical application of the content so that students can put it to work right away and in the future.

That's one benefit Jean Fredrick, Director of Marketing for Sloan Consortium, said about her MBA education from Post University. Many other students often comment that they learn something one day, apply it the next day, and then have the opportunity to refine the tools and techniques covered in class while gaining valuable feedback from professors and peers along the way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Four types of contacts you need to build a valuable LinkedIn network

A few days ago we told you about a new webinar we're presenting to our blog readers on how to use LinkedIn as a professional networking tool. Space is limited and seats are going fast, but there's still room to reserve your spot. The webinar will be this Wednesday, Nov. 16. See our previous post for all the details.

Our presenter is Robb Pardee, founder and President of Strategic Leadership Coaching and one of LinkedIn's recommended experts. He contributed this post to us to give you a sneak peek into what he'll be presenting in his webinar. Read on for a preview of what you'll learn if you attend.

And don't forget we're also giving one webinar attendee a free, one-on-one LinkedIn profile coaching session with Robb. So be sure to sign up and attend!



LinkedIn expert Robb Pardee
Growing your network on LinkedIn is a little bit like going fishing. If the thought of putting a worm on a hook makes you squeamish, bear with me for a moment.

I have done two types of fishing in my life. The first type was fishing for bluegill with a line and some bait, with my boyhood friends in Ohio. The bait of choice for bluegill was actually American cheese smashed onto the hook.

The second type of fishing was on a freshman biology class field trip to the Ohio State University extension on Lake Erie. They were researching the effects of pollution on the fish population. We went out on one of their research boats and trawled for fish. Trawlers drag a large net behind the boat and scoop up anything in their path in the water.

That day we hauled up every kind of fish that made a home in the murky waters of Lake Erie. The reason I say that networking on LinkedIn is like fishing is because members tend to take either a trawling approach or the line caught approach.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Is Election Day for lovers or haters?

Many Americans have a love-hate relationship with their government. On one hand, we believe that the best government is one that stays out of our lives as much as possible. We treasure our personal freedoms and liberties, and resist anything that comes along to compromise it.

On the other hand, we also have a lengthy list of things we believe government ought to be doing for us -- such as keeping us safe, making sure our roads are paved and plowed, and our schools educate our children.

We have mixed feelings about government, and they're probably no more apparent than on Election Day. As Americans go to the polls today, one of the major thoughts running through our heads is, at what point is government enough and at what point is it too much?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Learn how to use LinkedIn to advance your career

Win a chance at a profile coaching session with a LinkedIn expert!

Public administration professionals, raise your hand if you've set up a LinkedIn account, but haven't really taken the time to fill out your profile completely or build your network. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. But you are missing out on a big opportunity that no public administration professional should pass up -- a networking community of 120 million members.

We know you're probably busy balancing a career, family, and everything else on your plate these days. That's why we want to help you understand how to minimize the time you spend on LinkedIn while maximizing the impact it can have on your career.

If you want to learn how to use LinkedIn to network with other professionals in your field and boost your career development, now's your chance!

We've signed on with one of LinkedIn's own recommended experts, Robb Pardee, to present a free webinar on how to use LinkedIn as a professional networking tool.

Even better, we're going to give one lucky webinar attendee a free, one-on-one profile coaching session with Robb.

If you win, he'll spend 60 minutes with you online going over your current profile, what you're doing right, what you're missing, and how you can improve. Robb will advise you on crucial profile aspects, including keyword choice and branding message.

This session is valued at $115, so don't miss out on your opportunity to get expert advice to make your LinkedIn profile work better for you! 

Here are the details on the webinar and how to sign up: 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Retired Navy Seabee charts new voyage with his Post University MBA degree

When we interviewed Kenneth Tolley a couple weeks ago, I thought he gave a lot of important guidance on entering the civilian workforce after serving in the military. Kenneth spent 20 years as a Navy Seabee before retiring in 2009. He's now Assistant Program Manager for NCI Information Systems outside of Washington, D.C.

As a former Army lieutenant colonel myself, Kenneth's perspectives struck a chord with me. I wanted to make sure you didn't miss one piece of his advice, so today I'm posting the transcript of our interview so you catch every word. Read on to learn:



Janelle: Hi everyone. I'm Janelle Kozyra, your host for a Post University podcast. Today, we are joined by Kenneth Tolley. And Kenneth is the Assistant Program Manager for NCI Information Systems in the Washington, D.C. area. He has had a long and impressive career with the U.S. Navy and he recently earned his MBA from Post University. So it's good to have you with us today, Kenneth.

Kenneth: Hello, everybody. Good to be here.

Janelle: So let's get to know you a little bit better. Why don't you tell us about your professional and military background.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Behind the competition: What helped power RoboBowl Pittsburgh

You don't get to be a fast-growing, 120-year-old university without knowing a little bit about innovation. So, when we were asked to help contestants in this year's RoboBowl share their creations virtually with a panel of judges, we quickly put a plan in place.

RoboBowl is a series of robotics competitions organized by the Robotics Technology Consortium and Innovation Accelerator. The goal is to identify and support start-up and early-stage companies seeking to develop next-generation products and services that address unmet needs in industries such as health care, assisted living, national security, manufacturing, and logistics.

Carnegie Mellon University played host to the final competition in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Post University sponsored and supported the virtual competitions that took place along the way.

With the help of Post University's Instructional Design and IT departments, we made it possible for RoboBowl contestants from around the country to showcase their ideas in front of a panel of judges, also located around the country.