The Communication and Business Leadership Experience (CABLE), made up of a select group of around 12 business and communication students, is a two-credit class that focuses on professional development through site visits, class speakers, and case studies.
This past semester I was fortunate enough to be a part of this group. I can already see the impact it has had on me from just one semester. I am a marketing and communication major and have known since I started college that I want to work in the marketing field when I graduate. Almost every company has a marketing department so there are many options out there. One of the main reasons I was excited about being involved in CABLE was being able to visit a variety of different companies to get a feel for what type of field and environment would be best for me after graduation.
This past semester we went on three different site visits in Springfield, Columbus, and Dayton. During the Springfield trip, we went to TAC Industries, Springfield SBDC, and Speedway’s headquarters. It was cool to see companies that are right down the road from us making such a big impact.
In Columbus, we started the day at Bottoms Up Coffee where we met with two CABLE Alumni, Allie Beebe ’15 and Francine Marzynski ’14. It was a casual environment with open discussions about life after Witt and career advice. Next, we went to Raising Cane’s where we first stopped at a restaurant and then visited Tim McCarthy ’02 at RCO Limited, which is the headquarters for all the Raising Cane’s franchises in Ohio. The Columbus trip ended at Alliance Data with a recent graduate panel and a tour of the campus.
We had a fully packed day in Dayton with four site visits. The day started at Dayton Freight, followed by Reynolds and Reynolds, Care Source, and Northwestern Mutual. What really stuck out to me about this day was how different of a personality each company can portray.
Employees at each of these companies stressed the importance of finding a company that fits you and your values. This was the first time that this idea really stood out to me, and I started to fully understand the concept of finding a company that valued me as much as I valued them. We had the amazing opportunity to grow our networks by meeting at least one Wittenberg alum at almost every site visit. These are connections that I know will be extremely important especially when I start my own job search next year.
Our case study for the spring semester centered around strengthening these connections with our CABLE alumni. The problem to solve with the case study was finding a way to keep CABLE alumni up to date so there are more opportunities for them to interact with current CABLE students. We had two different teams for the initial part of the project. One team was tasked with updating our current CABLE database. The other, which I was a part of, focused on coming up with a plan for how we could actually make and keep connections with our alumni. We essentially came up with a plan to use social media and a newsletter to engage our alumni, families, and the Wittenberg community.
The project then broke down even farther, assigning two students to run every social media platform and another few students to track the engagement with the pages. I was really excited to be tasked with running our LinkedIn page. A third part of the project will continue into the summer with a schedule and what we are responsible for posting and when.
Aside from site visits and case studies, the first semester in CABLE was also made up with class speakers. While there is a list of about 11 different presenters and visitors, there were two in particular that really stood out to me. Megan Ameen and Mark Synder, both 2010 Wittenberg graduates and TEK systems employees, gave a presentation on developing your personal and professional brand. The two of them offered practical tips on how to build your network. They also gave advice on what it means to show up every day, which led into the personal branding exercise. Prior to their class visit, we were tasked with asking five people that are close to us to tell us our strengths, along with three words that describe us. This gave us concrete words to describe ourselves, which led to the first part of the exercise: creating a list of our strengths.
Next, we were given a list of potential core values and tasked with narrowing this list down to three that we thought fit us best. Then we were asked to define our big picture and day- to-day passions. A list was also given to us to define our core attributes and our work styles. We were then asked to describe our specialty. Finally, we included all of these aspects that we previously defined into a multiple sentence brand description.
I personally found this exercise to be incredibly helpful in evaluating myself and how I want to present myself as a professional. Being able to have a concrete description of what I find most important about myself will be very helpful when applying and interviewing for jobs. In fact, I have already used my statement on LinkedIn as the description of myself. I also find this useful to have in my everyday life as a reminder of what is important to me.
CABLE has taught me so much more than what I expected going into the program. I expected to learn about different businesses from on-site visits and networking with alumni, but I was not expecting to discover so much about myself as an everyday person and professional. I have grown so much in just one semester than I ever imagined possible. It was recently revealed to us as a CABLE class that we will be traveling to New York City for our case study trip next semester. I am so excited for the opportunities to learn and grow even more in this upcoming semester.
By Megan Selby ’20
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Major: Marketing and Communication