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Webinars: Online Business Programs

Gain valuable insights from faculty, staff, graduates and other subject matter experts in OHIO's Online and Hybrid Graduate Business Programs as we discuss key topics that are relevant to you!

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Navigating Imposter Syndrome for Graduate School

“I shouldn’t be here” “I don’t deserve this” “Someone will find out I’m a fraud”

As we challenge ourselves to grow and succeed in our careers, how loud is that voice inside telling us we shouldn’t be where we are, or doing what we are doing? More importantly, how correct or true is that voice? Join us as we learn about the origins of Imposter Syndrome and explore a new model for quieting that voice while staying focused on our own career success. 

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Speaker 1: Well hello everyone. Welcome to the unlock your confidence navigating impostor syndrome syndrome for graduate school webinar. We're excited that you're here with us today. My name is Stephanie. I'm one of the enrollment counselors with the online programs supporting Ohio University. The session will contain about 30 minutes of information along with a brief Q&A at the end. But please feel free to post your questions in the chat and we'll answer those as we go along. Today's webinar is hosted by Professor Elizabeth Marino. Professor Moreno brings extensive experience in human resources to her role as Associate Director of Graduate career management and engagement at Ohio. She earned her master's degree at Ohio State University in higher education higher education. With an emphasis in career counseling and management. Elizabeth offers practical real world guidance for career success at all levels of an organization. Her former roles include Chief People Officer for raising cans of Ohio, and senior ROI analyst for JW T diamond promotion service. Elizabeth also started, owned, operated and sold a 15 year consulting practice in the HCM, human capital management space. She's passionate about cultivating joy at work, and leading strategic initiatives that bring human goodwill, straight to bottom line business results. With that, I'm pleased to introduce Professor Elizabeth Moreno.

Speaker 2: Thank you, Stephanie. And hello, everyone. I'm glad that you're here joining us this afternoon, we're obviously going to talk about some of the material related to imposter syndrome. But if this is your first time interacting with anyone from Ohio University, I thought it might be fun for me to serve as an ambassador, and teach you just a couple of things about what it's like in Bobcat nation. So Ohio University bobcats, right, one thing to teach you first, and that is the saying that all of the say, when you encounter someone, so you say to someone Oh, you and the person respond. Oh, yeah. So that's one of them. And then the second one, you'll notice on your screen, I put that oh, you kind of large in the middle word there on the title slide. And that's because it Oh, you you'll often see that will change words. Anytime there's an O you in a Word will tend to capitalize it just because you know, well, you Oh yeah. So cute, fun thing about what it's like to be at ODU.

So let's get into the material. We're here to talk obviously, about imposter syndrome. And we'll start off by learning some of the origins of where did this come from? As I was doing research, for our material, one of the things that I found was very interesting is the term was actually born in the late 70s. So it's been a while that the term has been around, there were two psychologists, clamps and IMEs were their last names. And they actually were doing the study with people that were in a higher education setting. So it's interesting that the term was born on the campus. They spent a lot of years talking with people who were highly accomplished professors. So these were people that were known in their area, they have done research, they've done talk, they gotten branch and awards, that type of thing. So professors, administrators and students that were in a higher education setting. And the one thing that all of them shared was, they were worried about being found out as a fraud. So they had all these accomplishments, but they still were kind of feeling like, yeah, somebody's going to expose me as someone who doesn't really know the topic or the material. So they would attribute all of their success to things like working really hard. So that 24/7 You know, kind of live your life for your topic or your material. Or they attributed their success to having mentors, or people that kind of helped bring them up in their profession. And they all would say, I wouldn't be here if not for them, bringing me along. So people with impostor syndrome, in its very most basic level is people who struggle to internalize accomplishments. So even though they may have done all this great stuff, right? They wrote a PhD dissertation. They they got the awards, they got the accolades, but they still would say, yeah, these aren't important accomplishments. All right. So hang on, I'm getting my mouth situated.

So a little further into understanding impostor syndrome work to kind of go deep into what it actually is, so that we can understand it. And then we'll work toward ways that we can address it and kind of turn it around as well. So obviously, this describes a condition where people find it hard to believe that they deserve any credit for what they may have achieved. Whatever the person's outward appearance, they still remain internally convinced that they are fraught. So we might be able to, to look at some of the current top celebrities, right, that are there in sort of our world. Names like Kim Kardashian, we've all heard that name, we may or may not like the person that that name represents. But that person is someone who has been very clear and pretty open about how much they struggle with impostor syndrome. So the little graphic that you see there on the slide, as you start to look at it, you might come to notice or understand that at all times, sometime, in most of our lives, we've kind of felt like, Oh, I really shouldn't be here, or I shouldn't be the one deserving of the recognition that I'm getting. So everybody feels like an imposter at some point in our lives. The question is, does that get in the way of us doing things that we want to do for our lives? So for example, would imposter syndrome get in the way of wanting to pursue graduate school? So here are some favorite phrases of people who struggle with impostor syndrome, you may see some of those phrases and perhaps pick out ones that may have crossed your mind. Or perhaps maybe you have even said those out loud. On occasion. The reason that this happens is because people don't feel confident in taking the credit or saying, yeah, it was me. And it was my hard work that got us where we wanted to be.

So in graduate school, you'll find that there are many models, right theorists have developed models, economic models, sometimes social models. Sometimes it's even organizational or leadership types of models as well. So this is an example of the model that was actually developed by the people who coined the phrase, impostor syndrome. So this is class's model, this was in the mid 80s. So after some years of them developing this concept of impostor syndrome, they then started to put some structure around it. So you'll notice with the model start in the upper left corner, that achievement related task. So usually the prompt for the thing that begins those feelings of impostor syndrome, and for some, it could actually be a trigger as well. It's a path that I need to demonstrate something that I am seeking to achieve. So if you follow along to that arrow, you can see that the response is anxiety, self doubt, or worry. And the psychologists who develop the model found that there were two basic tabs that someone might choose, they don't usually choose both. They tend to choose one or the other. And sometimes they'll they'll switch back and forth between the two. But we either procrastinate. And if we procrastinate, if you follow that dotted line down, we'll attribute our success to luck. We'll say Yeah, boy, I really pulled that off, kind of thing. On the left side, instead of procrastinating then we get into that hyper preparation mode, right? We're hyper vigilant, we hyper prepare. We actually spend effort we're studying for a test. We've gone through everything that the instructor says we need to. But somehow we think, well, maybe I need to read the book, that was the origin of this thing that the professor says I need to know. So then we kind of get in the weeds, right? We go into a tangent, where we're over preparing for the test, or whatever it is that we need to do. So we get to the thing, right? We have a feeling of relief about it, like, Oh, thank god that's over, right?

Speaker 2: Someone says that, Hey, you did a pretty good job with that. If we are struggling with imposter syndrome, what happens is all that stuff that can that box will think, oh, boy, thank God, they didn't find out that I was a fraud. Or, yeah, maybe that was okay. But I could have should have would have done something else to make it better or different. Or perhaps it's done, now we're spent. Now we're not sure where we want to focus our energy afterwards. So perhaps we kind of go into a depression. Or it might actually make us feel even more anxious, because we did that thing. It turned out, okay. Somebody said it was okay. Now, we have to keep that up. Right? So the whole idea, when you call something a syndrome, the whole idea is that it's, it's a set of behaviors and thoughts that get in our way, from where we want to be or who we want to be kind of in our daily life. All right, so what are some possible routes, that could have perhaps been that fertile ground, where those imposter thoughts may have kind of taken hold for us?

So we might see in our early development, so this is ages seven or earlier, okay, we might see that maybe somehow we were identified as the smart person in the family, this one I can really identify with. Because people might say, yeah, you seem so intelligent. And I'll think, oh, my gosh, I have so many smart people in my family, right? In my, in my larger family. However, in my immediate family, I had a parent who did not value education. So I would actually get mocked in the kid when I would show up with age, or if I would show up with, you know, something that I did in school. So for some of us, it could be that anytime that something doesn't go exactly perfectly, that's our proof that we really are the fraud, right? And we really are the imposter. Maybe you may have been the person that worked really hard in your family. So things didn't always come easy to us. So we came to understand that if we ever really wanted something that we valued highly, we had to work so hard, in order to get it that we wouldn't get something that we wanted to achieve if we just kind of walked into it. Right? It required that extra extra effort. And then the third one is, perhaps there might be parental or adult figures in your life that weren't necessarily supportive of those achievements. Right. So if we decided that we wanted to try to accomplish something, that perhaps our family or our family of origin, or the folks that were around us that were raising us didn't necessarily value, we came to understand that that accomplishment was our way forward for the life that we wanted to live. So we became kind of survivalists in our perspective about how much we needed to work or how hard we needed to work in order to get to that. I know I'm spending a lot of time on the definition. The reason I'm doing that is obviously it helps first to be real clear about what that definition in as we move forward. And in graduate school. That's something that people spend time on. So in undergrad and perhaps the grades coming up before college. There's a lot of pressure about pacing and timing and getting things done and productivity in graduate school is where you find that yes, there's still that expectation.

For the work to get done for the assignments to be completed, but the difference now is the caliber of thought. How clear are you? How convicted? Are you in your bleach by conviction? I mean, how strong are you in your belief? And where are you getting those beliefs? What's your research that's leading you to that conclusion? So graduate school becomes much more about the caliber of thought, or the caliber of knowledge. All right, continuing on our imposter syndrome and understanding. So there are generational dynamics, your posture syndrome, as well, about seven out of 10 of us experienced impostor syndrome at some point in our lives. But it might be brief, it might not be something that sticks with us for a long period of time. But we do know that if you happen to be a first generation college student, or college attender that came up in the research a lot. So first gen, students were highly cited in the initial research.

There's also a very high occurrence of impostor syndrome in marginalized populations. So women, black indigenous people of color, the LGBTQ plus community, so any population or group that has been kind of marginalized to set aside, historically tends to do that really intense self examination that can sometimes lead to impostor syndrome as well. Millennials, if any of you attending happened to be millennials, boy, you're the generation that got it the most. And the reason for that, we'll get into a little bit more detail in a second. But the reason for that kind of goes back to that trophy generation label that has been put on millennials, as well. I'm a Gen XOR. Thankfully, my generation struggling the least with it, I think we've become kind of a war veterans of the landscape of work and education. So we just kind of tell it like it is. And in Gen Z. Very interestingly, it's almost non existent. Because Gen Z hasn't been raised with that tech stuff all over life, in school, out of school at work out of work, and so Gen Z understands that the answer exists, somewhere. So there's a little bit less from to imposter syndrome, if you're Gen Z. I'm gonna stop for just a moment so that we can all just kind of take a look at the slide and read this is from the voice of a millennial. And if you happen to be tuned in and you happen to be a millennial, how much does this sound like you?

Speaker 2: So do you still feel like a neophyte? Are you accomplished in what you've done so far, such that you've reached a certain level, and you say, You know what, I think furthering my education is going to help me become even more of an expert. But do you have that little voice kind of back there going? Yeah, but to really cut it. Yeah. But could you really make it through graduate school? Can you really picture yourself with a master's degree, for example? That's what that imposter syndrome voice sounds like. The good news is, I think the model and the condition has been around enough that now there are challenges to it. So I do lots of webinars because my role at Ohio University is to provide career services, including coaching and webinars to undergraduates, as well as graduate students that are enrolled in all online programs. If you follow me, or you start to follow me there, there are students that kind of come to every webinars that I do, you start to understand that one of my disciplines is information. So information must be very relevant, very recent, in order for it to have weight in the career world, because our life and landscape has changed so much, especially with the pandemic right.

So you'll notice that all Many of these articles have happened in the last two years. One of the sources is Harvard Business Review. The second is New Yorker. And then the third came from a forge podcast as well. So people are starting to challenge impostor syndrome. So I'm looking at our time. And this is where we get into kind of the the reality of knowing that we've got 30 minutes together, this is part of a larger webinar that I would have that I would deliver, actually, I'm going to deliver it tomorrow night. And it would be an hour of content, and then we kind of discussed, so we're going to quickly to sort of break down this model, you've seen it already. And I'm going to go through the concepts that will help you understand where and how you can begin to kind of reverse those effects of imposter syndrome. So if we take the model and we break it down, you'll notice I've given some color coding to some of the things that exist in the model. Some of them are the situation, that kind of orangish goldish kind of color is, what are the responses of the person that is experiencing impostor syndrome? And then the green bluish color is what is the perception of the person that's experiencing it? So you'll notice we know that achievement related tasks for the prompt? Look at the responses, look at how much of that and variety self doubt worry, we over prepare, right? We attribute it to the effort, or we don't prepare at all we're like fan? Yeah, yeah, I'm just kind of blocking this out. And then we attribute our success to luck, right? We discount any positive feedback, and it can cause us to get into depression, or perhaps contribute to a depression. So I'm gonna just kind of skip this, I think I've made the millennial point.

So the themes that we see, with someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome is they're not real sure they get these mixed messages. So they're gonna, a person who's really struggling, is going to hear some words. And they're not going to let those words in, Hey, you did a really nice job, right? Those words are pretty straightforward. Someone with impostor syndrome is going to hear those words and not let them in and say, yeah, no, that's, that's not true. Something is going on, this person is saying these words, but it's not really true. Our default mindset, we have been to choose stress, anxiety, depression. And anytime there's that positive feedback, we're saying no. So obviously, if we continue in this type of cycle, in graduate school, or in our careers, we are going to lead ourselves into burnout, or we're going to limit the type or frequency of opportunities that might be presented to us or that we take advantage of. So for example, some of the Graduate Programs here at Ohio University, have overseas travel, associated with them their projects that you do as you're overseas. So if that's something that kind of gets in your way, if you think, yeah, I couldn't possibly do that. That could be something that could literally kind of be in your way. So what's the antidote? We're gonna go through this real quick, you know, like three minutes or less. So the antidote, again, very recent, in the last 90 days in April. So the irony about struggling with impostor syndrome, is you you have to be successful in order to have it right in order to have it as it is intended or diagnosed, so to speak. So, if you have not had many accomplishments in life, chances are you're it's not an imposter thing. It's more about support and confidence. Or likely, or similarly to that, if you didn't care, you wouldn't be in throes of the impostor syndrome struggle, right? If you just kind of show up and you do your thing and you say, here it is, take it or leave it, you're not agonizing. So that also kind of helps you not be in the imposter syndrome way. So what we need to do is we need to break the cycle. This is where our mean life, right?

These are two means that for me, I find a lot of value in them. So they're, you know, the one on the left, what really matters versus what are we obsessing about? And how possible it is to succeed, even if we have doubts, or even if we haven't done it before, or even if we say, Yeah, I don't think this is for me, we still can accomplish things. Two interventions are needed. First one is, we have to look at the physical manifestation of what happens when we're in the throes of impostor syndrome, we have to understand that stretching and breathing, that maybe we have a little something, a trinket or something that we hold on to, and put it in our pocket, we have it on our desk, we looked at it when we're on camera, whatever that might be. Sometimes, truly, it can be what you're wearing, if what you're wearing is uncomfortable, it will stress you out, because it's going to say you're not where you should be, you're not where you shouldn't be, you're not where you should be over and over. So check what you're wearing. The way that you hold yourself physically the way that you breathe, and also harbor that anxiety, or that that depression. So sometimes we need to stretch, sometimes we need to just go wash our hands in cold water, washing our hands, and cold water kind of stalks our system, we go, Oh, that's cold. And it helps our brain kind of rewired into new and different thoughts. So physical, I'm really watching, I know I've got a minute. The second way that we might need to intervene with ourselves is mentally with our mindset as well, right? Maybe we need to read our resume, maybe we need to have a mantra, something that we repeat over and over the one I use for myself, I am here. Now, there's a whole story behind that. We don't have time to get into it. But use a mantra, something that you can repeat over and over and over. That replaces that voice of doubt.

Speaker 2: So here's our model. Again, we've seen this right? Now, let's say we're successful in intervening in some of these patterns that are not helpful with us. So instead of looking at all the responses that we have, that aren't helpful or productive, what if we say I'm going to have new ones, instead of worrying? Or instead of, you know, working over overboard, maybe what if we do say, Okay, I'm nervous about this thing, worried about whatever it is, that's coming up. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to do some really good, deep stretching, and I'm going to focus on my breathing so that I can get the oxygen that I need to help my brain and my body feel a sense of calm as I am going through it. I also am going to help myself understand that I'm here because I deserve it. I'm going to grad school, because I want to help my life and those in it. Move ahead. So then what happens is, when I get that positive feedback, instead of saying for this job well done, instead of saying, no, no, no, no, no, that can't possibly be me. What if I say, Oh, wow, this person is telling me that I did a good thing. And I really valued this person opinion. And I'm going to accept their opinion. To start with that, don't have to let it all the way in which just accept that. So then, if we look at that, instead of the old model, we might find a new one. Achievement related tasks come up, we stretch and breathe a little bit. We help ourselves understand that we are here now. We do the thing. And then we let that feedback yet and we absorb it. Now, this takes practice, obviously. But if we do it over and over and over again, we are going to experience more positive emotions will be more present. And if we're not able to do it for ourselves, if we can think of ourselves as a really good friend. So think of a great friend or someone that you love, that you'd be willing to go to bat for. Right all the things that we are willing to do for our loved ones. If we Don't do it for ourselves. Think about doing it for a loved one, and then put yourself in that place. And I know that's a hard thing to do. So, all of that hard to do three minutes over, sorry, Stephanie, I, it's hard for me to sometimes be brief. But if you have further desires to pursue graduate school for you, this is what you do next, either call the number that's on the screen your email to And you talk to Stephanie, or a member of the team, about how you can help yourself, move forward in your life as you desire.

Speaker 1: Professor Green Oh, that was a wonderful wealth of information. Again, thank you all for joining us here today, we do hope that you received some great takeaways and learned a bit more about impostor syndrome. Again, we'd love to hear from you with additional questions for our team. So please feel free to reach out to online admissions at 740309. Sorry, 740-924-5725, or email us at

Unknown Speaker: Do we have any question?

Speaker 1: I haven't seen any in the chat. But I do know there's a frequently asked question that does come up with students wanting to know what guidance would you provide someone who's new in a leadership or management position, and they struggle with guiding their team while also experiencing their own challenge with impostor syndrome?

Speaker 2: What advice would you give? Thank you? Yes. So we do see this come up. Especially in the graduate program, where students are advancing in their own career wanting to be in leadership position, or perhaps they're new in a leadership position. So in those cases, if you find yourself wondering, how am I going to help somebody when I myself, am not feeling very confident about something, the first thing that you can do is just disclose that a little bit to the person or the team that you're working with. So you can say to them, this is the first time I'm doing this, or I don't already feel so confident when I'm working on this thing. You don't have to say, Oh, my God, I'm a total match. And I shouldn't be here, right? You don't have to go that far. But if you can share just a little bit of insight about your own feelings sort of faltering a little bit your own confidence, faltering. It's amazing how much the brain does two things. One is the brain's Thank you for saying it out loud. And the second thing that it does is it rallies to help you to succeed. So just saying a little bit, and then of course, staying on course, right? You're not a machine. But you you might say, This is really hard for me, let's figure out what we want to do for whatever part of the project we're focused on. That, as simple as it sounds, is a huge help to your brain. So that's the advice I would give.

Speaker 1: That is excellent. Thank you so much. Another question that we often get is does imposter syndrome ever fully go away?

Speaker 2: That's as unique as the person who struggles with it. With experience, it does subside. The research that I did, says that it's completely conquer a bowl. But for some people, especially millennials, it takes a very concerted effort in order for it to get away to go away completely. Excellent.

Speaker 1: Thank you so much. I am not seeing any further questions here in the chat. So on that note, again, thank you for joining us all today. We again hope that you received some great information and have a little bit more insight into how you can overcome impostor syndrome especially in looking at graduate school options for yourself. If you are looking at next steps, please don't hesitate to contact us at 740-924-5725 or email the team at and we'll get you in contact with one of the enrollment counselors thank you again for joining us have a great day thanks bye

Personal Branding 

Branding is important in the corporate world and your personal career. Preview concepts in the MBA program that you can immediately put to use in your own personal career. Learn how to use tools such as mission statements, SMART goals, positioning, brand identity and developing the marketing mix. Professor Marchese will draw from his 30-year corporate career to help you develop and market your own personal brand.

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Tom Marchese is an executive in residence here at Ohio University. Tom joined Ohio University and fall of 2014, along with his wife, Lori Marchese, who was an instructor within the College of Business MIS department. They both live in Athens and have four kids who are working and living in Columbus and Cincinnati.

Prior to coming to Ohio University, Tom worked in senior level marketing roles with some of America's strongest brands in both the consumer-packaged goods and restaurant business. Tom's restaurant experience includes vice president and officer level roles in marketing and innovation at KFC Yum Brands, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Bob Evans restaurants and Wendy's restaurants. Tom's consumer packaged goods background includes roles as vice president of marketing and innovation for Elmer's and brand management roles with Crayola, Nestle© and Hershey.

Tom currently teaches marketing within the College of Business Integrated Business Cluster Program and Marketing Strategy in the College of Business, Online Professional MBA and Residential MBA programs. Tom also serves as the director of the MBA program. He also stays busy consulting and doing executive education with his creative logic consulting business.

Hi, I'm Tom Marchese, and I'm going to talk to you today about personal branding, and I've been very fortunate in my career throughout my 30 plus year corporate career, I've worked on building some of America's greatest brands, you know, brands like Wendy's or like Hershey, Nestle©, Crayola, al-Marri's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Bob Evans and an Ohio University.

And these are all really great brands, and they're great brands that make great promises. They make important promises about what they're going to do for the consumer. They make promises about what they're going to do functionally for the consumer and what they're going to do and what they're going to bring them emotionally. Take Hershey Chocolate Company, for example. What Hershey does functional is they make a great chocolate bar, but what do they do emotionally? They make you smile. You know, we used to have when I worked there years ago, we had an ad campaign. There's nothing like the face of a kid eating a Hershey bar.

And that's true. There's nothing like it, right? It makes you smile. You're smiling. Now I can see you. You are smiling right now. I know it. That's what Hershey does. You see this great feeling, this nostalgia and everything else that comes with it.

Elmers was a great brand, too. It also made a great promise. Functionally, we add here things you could trust us down here. I hear things, but emotionally, what do we do? We make you feel creative. We bring you back to your childhood. We even help you make slime now for crying out loud. Great. It's a great brand. It brings. It makes it great promise, both functionally and emotionally. That's what great brands do. And these brands, they don't get there by accident.

Corporations put a lot of time and effort and thought and planning into building brands. And what do they do? They start out, they've got a mission. They define what it is they want to accomplish and then they set objectives.

We're going to talk about those smart goals. And then what else they do, they hire a lot of you folks to do great analysis, right? We analyze everything. We analyze our situation. We try to determine where the opportunities are in our business, where our threats are, and then they really spend a lot of time on the third thing.

This is the key to marketing strategy is developing and we'll talk more about this. But you're positioning your unique point of difference in the marketplace for that brand. And they develop that an entire brand identity that the consumer will know them for. Well, when it comes to building your own brand, wouldn't it be great if we just did what the corporations did do?

Let's follow their precedent. Let's follow what they do, those steps to build our own brand. That's what I'm going to talk to you about today. How do you follow what the corporations do to build your own brand?

And that would start just like they do by establishing a mission. Only this time it's a personal mission and setting your own smart goals. And then we're going to analyze our situation. We're going to take a look at what we do well, what we don't do well, what our opportunities are. And then this third point is really critical, and I don't people I don't think people give this a lot of thought. We're going to develop our own personal positioning on our show, you how to do that in our own brand identity.

So let's start with this mission statement. What is the mission statement? It's a formal summary of your purpose, your goals and your values. It's and every one of your companies has this, every one of the organizations you work for. They've got a mission statement. It's probably hung on a plaque somewhere. Some I know I've been with companies where they made you carry it and in your and a card in your wallet, it's important they put it down on paper. It's important, and it defines their purpose and when they and their goals, their values. Lot of companies now, a lot of organizations, very value driven, and you know what it does, it holds us accountable. When we put it on paper, it holds those, those companies accountable. It gives them something to benchmark against when they're making decisions. It helps them to guide those decisions. Well, if that works for the companies, for the corporate world, shouldn't it work for us? Shouldn't we hold ourselves accountable? Shouldn't we have our own purpose and define it and define our values? And when we get into tough times, we've got to make a decision. We go back and we look at that mission statement.

This is my mission statement; I wrote this when I was faced with a pretty tough decision. I was I had spent 30 plus years in the corporate world, and I was kit since considering completely changing careers and going back to teach here at Ohio University. And I remember having some sleepless nights where I just kind of lay down and I and I sketched out this mission statement to help guide me, what do I want to do with the rest of my life? And I defined my purpose to live with integrity and make a difference in the lives of others. Now that's a different purpose, probably then than it was maybe when I was, let's say, twenty-five.

You know, I think over time we evolve, and at that point in my life, at that point in my career, what I really cared about, what I really wanted to do was to make a difference to other people. And then I started playing around with this. And I listed my relationships. What do I want to be as a husband? As a father, I as my kids are down below in the picture there is a brother. I've got my siblings down there. As a friend, I got some of my good friends in there as a teacher with my students. And then I laid out my values, family, friendship, honesty, exercise.

So let me tell you why I do that. Number one, let me tell you about the relationship piece. Why do I think that's so important? Well. This was my house when I when I worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken, I had a big job vice president of Marketing Innovation, KFC. Man, I bought the biggest house in the county. It was one of the biggest in the state. It was the biggest in Oldham County. I'll tell you that over 7000 square feet. It had seven bedrooms, six fireplaces. That driveway actually had almost a little bridge there that you went over to get to the house. Just an absolutely crazy house. I mean, it had everything. The spiral shaped staircase incredible. Wayne's coating was beautiful picture windows. It had a kitchen that's as big as my house is now. Giant, giant kitchen. All the latest appliances are sitting room, a fireplace and it just it had everything and every room in the house was special.

It had we had Italian marble floors when you came in and Big Crystal Chandelier, those are Brazilian cherry wood planks there for the wood. I mean, it was it. It was something in the basement alone. I want to call. Our basement is three floors, three floors, 14-foot ceilings on the first floor, and that had a complete media room that you could sit. And we had media chairs. Man, it was. It was cool. I'm not going. It was really, really cool. But you know what? I didn't come home at night and sit down on my couch and say, Man, I'm so happy. I got Italian marble floors. I got I got Brazilian cherry. What flight this is? I am so happy. You look at my crystal chandelier. It doesn't work that way.  It's cool. It's cool, but it doesn't make you happy. That's not. That's not what makes it. You know what makes you happy when it was free? You feel good. Your relationships, the strength of the relationships in your life. So that's why I built my mission statement around my relationships and what I want to accomplish with those relationships.

And then I also focused on my values. You know, you could see them their family, as you can probably already get that out of me family, friendship, honesty, exercise. And so now I'm making this tough decision. Do I want to leave the corporate world and go to work and teaching? Well, let me tell you, at the time I was living in Vancouver, Washington state that's right across from Portland, and it was three thousand miles almost away from where I lived in Columbus, Ohio. And when I moved out there, I moved myself. I told my wife, Lori, we sold our house. You get you get an apartment here; I'm going to apartment there. Let's see if it works. I don't want you to come out yet, and I'm all by myself and Vancouver, Washington state and I got this family back in Columbus, my wife. And then, you know, stuff was just happening. And my mom was ninety-three and I couldn't fly back and see her. It was too far and my son, my oldest son, broke up with his girlfriend and I couldn't be there for him. Two of the kids moved and I wasn't there. One of the kids, I had to miss their graduation, and this was just so against my family values. And you know, at the time came, I thought I was going to get rich because the company went public, and I had a bunch of stock. But I didn't read the contract really well and basically had a vest for five years, I be there five years like I can't do this for five years. This is not consistent with my mission, it's not consistent with my values. And it actually turned out to be a pretty easy decision to say, yes, I'm going to leave this behind him to leave the stock behind.

I'm coming back to Ohio and I'm going to teach. And then I look at the other values I talked about family friendship. I've always been that one to because it's important to me, so I'm going to initiate those conversations. Honesty. You know, it's just a quick story. But when I worked at KFC, when I left KFC, I actually made it. I went to work for Bob Evans, and about a year into Bob Evans, I came home from work one day and my wife, Laurie, says, Tom, we just got seventy-five thousand dollars deposited into our checking account from KFC. Like, what's up with that? I was gone a year and I thought about and I remembered, you know, in my severance agreement, when I left there, I made a deal with them because it was during the housing crisis.

What? You got to protect me, you know, if I lose money on this house, you protect me up to seventy-five thousand dollars of the loss. And they said, Sure, we signed it all contract. Everything was good. Well. Turned out I'd actually lose $75000 when I went to work for Bob Evans, I said, Look, if I'm going to come here 2008, you know, terrible. I got a giant house in Kentucky. You got to help me. You got to buy my house. You've got to make me whole buy for what I paid. And they did. I actually made a tiny bit on it. So, you know, this was my values. I called up KFC and I said, Look, you guys made a mistake. I didn't actually lose money on the house. So, here's your seventy-five grand back and you probably think some of you were thinking, I'm crazy and I'm not saying that has to be your value, but live your values, live your mission statement, and I think you're going to be a lot happier if you do that.

So, we went through the second piece of this is setting up objectives, we got a mission. What about objectives? What we learn in our MBA program about smart goals, specific goals, measurable goals that are attainable, that are very relevant and have a timeframe to it. And corporations are all over this man, right? You know, whatever organization or company you work for, they set smart goals at every asset and every aspect of their business. They set these goals and it holds them accountable. And shouldn't we do that to? So here I talk to my son about this, he's a young professional, he's 30 now. We did this couple of years ago and he was considered know some career moves and so forth. And we defined some goals for him. We said, short term, I'm going to become an area sales representative by 2020. And he did it medium term. He wants to be the regional sales manager by twenty twenty-five and long term, he wants to be in the top 10 percent of performers and become a vice president by 20 30. And so that's good. Now that you've got those goals, they will guide your your action steps that in the mission statement will help you to make decisions. And, you know, we set a final goal. I encourage people to make a breakthrough goal, a really big goal that will drive actions. And we talked about, he said, You know, Dad, I love to do what you did. I'd love to make enough money at 50 so that I can get out of sales and maybe have a second career teaching. So, OK, well, then you're going to have to that's going to drive actions. You're going to have to get your MBA because you have to have that as an entry level to teach and you're going to have to get some adjunct experience. So it drives action steps when you do that. So we've got our mission, we set our objectives, and I think it's especially important for you guys because you're at that stage of your life where you're are making big decisions.

Should I take this career or that career, this relationship, should I move? Yet that mission statement down on paper, get those objectives down to paper. Let them guide you. The second piece. What the companies do is, Oh my gosh, we spent a lot of time analyzing things. And when we enter, after we analyze it, all we do like our sixth analysis and everything.

We wind up with a SWOT analysis. You've done this by now. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. Every organization, every division of every company does this, and we should do it too. And take an honest look at yourself, get some help from people. And then the really important piece of this is how do we leverage our strengths? How do we minimize our weaknesses? How do we take advantage of those opportunities? And what I encourage people to sit down and make an action plan right now. Once you list those, make an action plan, what am I going to do specifically in the next three months to take action on this? If one of your strengths is planning, then OK, leverage that leverage that within your organization and become part of a committee of some sort where you can organize things for them. If one of your weaknesses like my weaknesses when I was younger was this, I was deathly afraid of public speaking, deathly afraid of it.

I joined a group called Toastmasters that helped me overcome my fear of speaking for you. What might be TEDTalks? I don't know what it is but make it specific. If you don't do that, you're not going to take action. Make a specific list of things you're going to do in the next three months, the next six months. So now you've done with the company's Don, but now you got to get to the really tough part. And a really important place developing your positioning and your brand identity. So, if you've had marketing before you know this, if not, you're going to get to this positioning is the act of designing the companies offering any image to occupy a distinct place in the mind of the target market. There are so many brands out there, so many products we're bombarded by. But you've got to have a distinct place in the mind of that consumer for you to stand out. That's what makes for a successful strategy, makes for successful brands. And there's a thing we call the brand positioning statement, and there's different elements that help define the brand. We define very carefully the target market, the people most likely to be interested in our brand. We look at a thing called the competitive set, the frame of reference that what brands can be substituted against, and we look at, very importantly, their unique value proposition. What's the primary benefit that we want consumers to associate with our brand? We don't get 12.

What's the one primary associate association we want to create and maybe a reason to believe why people should believe that, why we have credibility. That's what a brand positioning statement is. It looks like this to the target. Snickers here is the competitive set that does what while Snickers is a great brand and for years, they really define their brand so well and they've got that distinct place in our mind to anyone looking for a snack to get them through the day. Snickers is the snack that really satisfies them because it's packed with peanuts. All right, it's very clear they've been telling this for years. You can go back on YouTube and check it out. 30 years ago, 40 years ago, they've been telling us this and they have different campaigns. The new one I love with the Betty White and people like that, you know you're not you unless you had a Snickers bar. They just do a wonderful job. It's a very clearly defined brand. Well, people should do that too, because it's a competitive marketplace out there for whatever role you're looking for within your company or outside your company. I wrote this several years ago. I sat down, I'm look, I'm a marketer. I got to write a positioning statement for myself, and this is what I wrote. Two companies looking to transform themselves and grow in new areas. Tom Arcade's is the senior marketing executive who thinks strategically but acts with the speed, passion and creativity of an entrepreneur that defines me.

And when I sit down and when I when I go into an interview, you know, for Papa Murphy's say, for example, you know, I was able to say, Hey, look, I know you're talking to some great people here. You've got some people with all them have MBAs. What a great experience. Good companies. Let me tell you what makes me different. You know, I grew up in the business with Hershey and Nestle©, a largest food company in the world. So, I learned it. Thanks for stage. But I also spent a lot of time with some smaller, more nimbler companies like Elmer's and Crayola, where I learned how important speed and creativity as I learned to act like an entrepreneur, OK? I've now differentiated myself in their mind. They're interviewing all these people. I get time. I get him. Now I'm building my brand.

What do I do? Well, there's my LinkedIn. If you LinkedIn with me, you're going to see my about my profile. Tom Bar-Kays is a visionary marketing executive who thinks strategically and then acts with the speed, passion and creativity of an entrepreneur. What differentiates Tom is his ability to create a clear vision and then passionately build and lead teams to execute on that vision at the tactical level. And then look at my resume at the top of my resume. A visionary marketing executive who thinks strategically and acts with a speed, passion and creative interaction or creativity. And again, it's consistent. This is my brand. People get it and they know me. They know who I am when we get into that interview type situation before the interview, and then they're going to know about it when we get into the interview as well.

This is my wife's positioning statement, my wife, Laurie is an instructor at Ohio University, also had a long corporate career. Laurie was the classic overachiever. Oh my God, she had a 4.0. You know, I think a three nine undergrad, 4.0 MBA passed the CPA exam on the first try. She got every job she ever wanted. Then, you know, she got pregnant. She had four kids, five four kids in like five years, you know, and putting a little bit of damper on the career took a little time off, went back to work and did everything for a small company. My God, she did their accounting, their finance, their systems work, their project management, their testing. She did everything. And then one day she said, You know, I'm tired of working for this company. I got to drive seven hours to get back to their headquarters. I'm going to get a job in Columbus. And she started interviewing, and for the first time ever, my wife was failing. I couldn't believe it. She was not getting the jobs. And one of the jobs she got turned down for was that safe white auto company up in Columbus, and I happen to know the chief people officer. He was my H.R. person at Elmhurst and I called him up. I said, Steve, Laurie didn't get the job there. You know, that's OK. We got other interviews coming up. I'm just hoping you could give us some feedback that will help her and he call the people who interviewed her. And he got back to me and he said, Tom, we absolutely love Lori. They loved her. They said she was so qualified and so articulate. They just couldn't figure out exactly who she was, what she did, what she really wanted. OK, now the light bulb goes off. Laurie, we got it right, a positioning statement. And here's what we wound up with two technology companies looking to execute their ideas on time and on budget. Laurie Marcus is the Project Management Pro. She declared her frame of reference who combines the ability to manage people in projects with broad business problem solving skills that enable companies to move projects forward.

Now, she goes in the interview, and I'm not kidding. She had four offers in like two weeks. Everything she interviewed, she goes in and she said, Look, I know you're interviewing a lot of great project management people. Maybe they got pampered like I do and so forth. I think what makes me different is, yes, I've got my PMP, my certified, I'm a certified scrum master, but I also have my MBA and a CPA. And what I'm going to do is not just help your projects move forward, but I'm going to jump in and actually solve problems too. And I can give you a lot of evidence of how I've done that in the past. Boom. She differentiated herself, and now I've got a clear picture of who she is and wow, the job offers started coming. Where does this go? I'm Laurie's resume and Laurie's LinkedIn.

I work with my son, TJ. When he was, he actually left his first job and took a job. He got this job with Johnson and Johnson, a division, and I'm selling medical supplies. And we wrote this positioning statement for him to companies looking for high potential young sales executives. TJ Marcus is the up-and-coming sales representative who is highly motivated with a strong work ethic and an ability to create rapport quickly with coworkers and customers.

And that's on the top of TJ's resume. It's on his LinkedIn. And when he went in his interview with this great company, this JJ company said, Look, I know you're interviewing the best salespeople around. Let me tell you what makes me a little bit different. You know, I grew up in Dublin, Ohio, in a pretty affluent community. My dad was an executive and I was very comfortable talking to the other executives that were friends of ours and neighbors. Then we moved to a very rural area of Kentucky and the same thing I was able to develop rapport quickly with friends and family and people there. And then I went to school and played football at the University of Akron in a very city environment, and I also felt comfortable. I think those are skills that transfer and that maybe separate me a little bit is my ability to create rapport with so many different types of people. And it did. It separated him from the pack. What's your personal positioning statement?

What separates you in this very highly competitive environment? So now we get to the brand identity piece, man, we spend a lot of time in the corporate world. We have a million different frameworks for analyzing and building brands. This is one that I happen to use when I consult, but it's not the only one. There are hundreds of them, but I look at things like, What's the insight behind the business? What drives the business? You know, who's the target? Who's my competitors? What's my story as a brand? Why do I have credibility? What's my promise from a functional? We talked about early and on an emotional standpoint, what's the personality of the brand that I want to I want to present? And then, of course, that positioning is critical to everything. When I did this for myself, this is the brand identity I wrote for myself when I wrote that mission statement. I said, OK, my insight what drives people to be interested in me is that businesses today need innovation to keep pace in a fast changing business. Well, that's very true today. Still, my target were companies that are looking to change, looking to grow. And then when I was able to go and interview again, I could tell them, Look, why not? Let me tell you what I'm going to bring to your company functioning? I'm going to bring technical expertise and innovation strategies and processes. I've got a stage gate process system that I've developed that I've taken with me to for companies, and I can take it to your company as well. But more importantly, I'll tell you, innovation is hard to do. It's hard to get people excited to keep moving forward. I'm going to get people excited that they could achieve these big breakthrough results. And I've got I've got the background to do that. That's my credibility there. 

Over 30 years of experience and vice president of innovation for four different companies, and you could see the positioning personality. It all comes together and it comes together and hopefully a solid, meaningful, consistent brand. This was Lawry's, the insight for her. Technology companies need everybody working together to keep pace and a fast chain. That's true. Her target technology companies looking to change and grow again. Look what I'm going to bring to your company. I'm going to bring the latest. I'm a certified scrum master. I am a PMP. I'm going to bring the latest and technical expertise and project management process to your company. And more importantly, I'm going to help you solve problems along the way. I'm going to make your employees feel confident that they're going to execute and achieve their plans. And and you know, a little bit about my background and I've been doing this for over 20 years. I was vice president of technology and software development for a company and so forth, right? So this is what it's about. You've got to build your it doesn't it doesn't happen for the companies overnight. They build it consciously. You need to consciously build your brand. How do you do? What do you do next? How do you market these skills? You got a brand. hat do you do? It's not hard. You got three things to do.

Number one, you got to create a product that's got value to the companies to get the product in front of as many companies as possible. Three. Communicate that your products got more value than a competitive applicant. So. First of all, creating the product, you got to know what they're looking for. You've got to understand their needs and wants, and you're looking at it now. You're like, Tom, why is Chuck E. Cheese on your slide? Well, I'll tell you why. I don't have a lot of regrets in my career, but this one's a regret. I got a call one time I met Bob Evans and I'm going head to head with the CEO. I need to get out of Bob Evans, and I get a phone call not through a recruiter, but a phone call from Mike McGoohan, the act, the president of Chuck E. Cheese. And the guy calls me up out of the blue, he says, Tom, I'm looking for a chief marketing officer for Chuck E. Cheese, Mike Biggs, the ACC president. How are you? He said, Look, I'm doing this the old fashioned way. I'm not using LinkedIn. No recruiter. I'm using my network. And everybody I talked to says, You've got to talk to Tom Mark case. He said, Look, he says, I'm looking for someone who's got kids experience. I understand you do. I said, Oh yeah, I worked on Disney brand. I worked at, you know, Nestle© doing a whole line of children's products I did when these kids meals, Elmer's and Crayola.

He said, You know, we're also a restaurant. You have restaurant experience. I heard, Yep, oh, I'm here at Bob Evans right now, but also was a vice president at Kentucky Fried Chicken and Wendy's, you know, Oh my god, this is perfect. Let's go. I went down to Dallas. I had great interviews. I mean, it was perfect. And a week later, I get a phone call from Mike Magoo. Zach says, Tom, we love you here. He said, But you know, we do want you to meet Chuck again. I can't wait. That's not his real name. I can't remember the chairman of the board name. He said he's he didn't get enough time with you, only spent like ten minutes in the hall with you. He wants to meet you again. He's going to fly to Columbus and take you to dinner. Oh man, that sounds good, right? That's I'm going to get this job. I mean, I start researching Chuck E. Cheese in public company. You could see what all the officers made. I'm going to be one of the top three or four people in that company. They all made over a thousand million dollars the last three years. And I'm like telling my wife, Laura, I'm going to make a million bucks, I'm going to make it and this is going to happen. He's coming up dinner with me. I take him to Bob Evans when he comes for dinner and I show them the transformation that I led of Bob Evans and you to tell the whole story about it. And then I did something probably nobody does. I laid out a notebook full of how I was going to transform Chuck E. Cheese with a Chuck E. Cheese Olympics.

And and I was going to have Chuck E. Cheese University. I had a whole bunch of stuff to transform this. Grow this brand. And we wait, we had a great connection. And a week later, I get a phone call and it's Mike McGee, Zach says, Tom, Mike McGee, Zach and my heart's pumping at this point. And he says, Listen. Chuck loved you. And we think you're an absolute genius. Now I'm thinking I'm going to make two million a year, he says. But oh crap, he said. But we're going to go a different direction, he said. We thought about it, we prayed about it, you know? You know, I got to be honest with you, Tom. If we wanted to transform our business. You're the guy. Your vision. It's just incredible. Your excitement, you know? You know, you would be the guy. But I got to be honest, Tom, he said, Look, I'm sixty five. Chuck, 70, the whole board's over 70. We have a lot of stock. We don't want to screw anything up. We don't want to take any chances. We're hiring some guy from Frito-Lay that manages their budgets. Oh, great. It was a mistake because they declined after that. All businesses, I think in the restaurant industry need to continue to transform.

And I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking you didn't want that job then. Well, I didn't want that job a million bucks a year. What was the worst thing that's going to happen? They're going to give me a severance agreement for a year. Give me another million. I wanted that job and if I got there, I and I understood them. I could have said, Hey, I don't like to take chances, but I got this idea up in Columbus. You led me to this idea for that one underperforming store. We should just test something. I'm just going to test it there because I don't want to take chances. And you led me to this. I would have sold in those ideas at that point, but I didn't pay attention. What do they need? What do they want? Pay attention. And you know what they want. They want some kind of combination of these eight things. You know what? I made this list. I made this list 30 some years ago, 30 some years ago. I was teaching as an adjunct, and I made this list of the skill set that all employers are looking for. And you know, I've done I've looked at some other studies and so forth. They all come basically to pretty much to this. They don't really change that much. They're looking for an ability to learn intelligence. My son, T.J., I told you he sells surgical instruments. You know, he didn't know anything about that. So, the ability to learn was really important to him. How do you communicate that? Well, I'll tell you how you communicate that. All of you can. You're getting an MBA.

You've got the ability to learn. You got a certificate, maybe from HubSpot. Maybe you won the chairman's award at your company. Maybe you learned some new computer systems through your analytics program here. I don't know what it is, but you now got to start thinking, What do I do? Because in every interview, this is what they're looking for. Your job is to weave these things into the interview. You got to show you've got some technical skills. You've got either you're either a certificate in your area of expertise, some type of computer training. You got to show leadership. Come on, you're in an MBA program, you're here. There's a leadership development program. That's another thing that you could do to demonstrate your leadership. Look, I was involved in Ohio University's leadership development program is tremendous program. This is what I got out of it. I led project teams. Let me tell you about the project team I led. Oh man, I'll tell you what, I've been coaching for a long time. This is your job in this interview. Communicate that they're looking for people who can communicate. Maybe you were involved in TED talks or Toastmasters like I was.

Maybe you took some specific communications or you had a sales role. You've got to weave this into your story. They're looking for people who are organized. Time management man, you can work remotely like now. Well, you guys have it off. I mean, you're getting your MBA while you have families in jobs. Oh my gosh, what a great way to show how organized and your time management. You run a family and a job. You got big roles in organizations outside of work. I'm the maybe you're the chairperson for the American Lung Association or the chairperson for the Alcide, a fundraiser. They want people who are team players like I do really well with teams, this is how I contribute. I'm on this team or that project team. They love critical thinking, skills, creativity. Did you organize some type of an event? A new process that you developed. And man, you've got to talk more about this last one. Passion, passion, passion. So now your job is to weave these things into the interview.

You know, I still remember when I coached my son, T.J., to get the one job out of college. You know, it was like he went in there and he said, Look, I, my name is T.J. Marcus. Yeah, let me tell you a little about myself. I yeah, I grew up in Dublin, Ohio. I came to the University of Akron here. I majored in communications, but I played as a walk on the football team. And I'll tell you what it was. It type became a starter eventually, but it was a 30 to 40 hour commitment and I promised my dad while I was here. If I was going to play in the football team, I'd make the dean's list and I'm really proud. I made it every time I've been here. And then I got I did also have the time to get significantly involved. I'm the founder and the president of the American Marketing Association chapter here, and it's awesome. I get to lead students, communicate with faculty members and so forth. And I've done that all while making the dean's list. So, you know, and now I'm excited to take this next leap in my career. Oh, 30 seconds. Maybe, maybe ability to learn made the dean's list leadership. He's the president. He leads the organization, he's a communications minor, he communicates with faculty, he's organized. He spends 30 hours a week on football, plus does all this stuff. He's on the football team, team player. You organize the new event, you get it. This is your job. You got to communicate this, this this is what they're looking for now. You've got to get that product in front of as many employers as possible. Networking and networking doesn't mean linking in with someone. It means spending time contacting them. Can I meet you for breakfast, for lunch, for eight teams meeting now? Can I speak with you about what's going on in your company and learning a little bit more about the business? Go direct to if you go direct to company, by the way. That's tough, but here's a tool I learned called a two letter. And you could google it T letter, and it basically gets through the bots and everything else and all the systems that analyze your resumes. I was having no success, zero when I left Bob Evans.

I start doing this and everything I applied for. I start getting interviews and it's so easy. You basically just copy and paste on the left, your job qualified requirements. They give you those right. And on the right you say how you made those. It's a really simple process. I'm going to tell you it made a big difference for me. Call the T letter. If you're applying to jobs directly through a company, you don't know anybody. You responded to a post. It's a great way to get through. Now we on our resume, you know, I don't know if my resume is good at this point, that resumes a little ball. If I was doing the resume now, I'd be going to a professional because there and be talking to people here at all you and other places. And let's get this in the most appropriate design. It's that important. It's got to be absolutely impeccable. It's got to have something that tells what you're doing, but it's got to be very accomplishment oriented. You can see all those bullets on mine. You know, there are all the accomplishments. That's what people are interested. What did you accomplish? Then we get into an interview, and you know, a couple of things you've got to look your best man. It should go without saying. But how many times have I interviewed people? And people make a decision. I've read this in several studies. The first five seconds people make a judgment on you. Either this person looks like they fit in or this person doesn't fit in. I want to look like I fit in. I want I don't want to spend the whole interview saying, no, you were wrong. Your first impression. So, make sure that you make that strong first impression. Be prepared, know everything about the company, about the interviewer, that third point. That's what I was just telling you earlier present the skills in positioning, no matter what the questions are asked. They're going to tell you at some point they're going to say, Tell me about yourself. They're going to say, Tell me your strengths and weaknesses. You know what you're doing? That skill package from that previous page, you're weaving it all in your weave, weaving it in that. And what I would suggest I've learned is so late in my career, I wish I learned this earlier. And maybe you know it, it's called the star method. I learned this literally. I was left Bob Evans and I'm interviewing for some big jobs, the Papa Murphy's job and some others. And the one recruiter who had set me up with the job in the middle of the call stops it in the interview, and he said, Stop, stop. He says, Look, you don't sound like a CMO. I'm like, Excuse me? He says, you're like all over the place, you're here. And I think I was, you know, I'm a right brain guy. Near my mind kind of goes back and forth, and I had so much things to talk about. He says, Listen, they're looking. They're going to want at this level. They want someone who's really kind of more logical and in terms of their speaking and ability to communicate.

So, use this thing, call the star method. And he teaches to me and it's simple and we practice that I work that out. I had just done this great transformation work of Bob Evans and how do you explain that simply? Well, let me tell you the situation I was in. Sales were declining for over 15 years at Bob Evans. Traffic was down and the company was really at that point in pretty serious trouble. And the CEO challenge, I got the I took on this job of refreshing the restaurant and my task. You know, I had literally I had 30 days to come up with a strategy. They lay they love the strategy, which was to focus on our carry out and build some new layers for carry out. And then the action steps I took was I organized a group of inner functional employees. There were six of us from operations, from H.R. from finance, and we all work together. I went out and hired an outside company. Shoot girl, I'm in very good company out of Columbus to help us with the design. We develop the strategy. They did the design work and we the result was unbelievable. We develop. What we did was we repositioned the brand back to the farm around farm fresh goodness. So, I had a strategy. We created all new layers like family meals to go in a bakery and so forth. The results were incredible. The payback was immediate and fact. You know, the payback was so strong, and people are returning to the to the restaurants that that this is implemented now. It's been implemented in all five hundred and fifty restaurants. So that's that. Was it. I couldn't do that before. Now I approach everything with that star method. Read about it. Learn it, practice it. I think it'll help you.

The final thing. Is to communicate with passion and close with passion. Tell the interviewer, you're interested. When I was at Wendy's, I worked a lot with Dave Thomas. The founder was in all of our advertising, and I did the advertising work. And one day I was leaving, and I said I got an interview.

I'm interviewing for a new hamburger for manager. And Dave said, Tom, can I give you some advice? And Dave Thomas was an old school guy with just unbelievable common sense. And he says, Listen, he says in my in my past, he says, I've seen that the person who wants the job the most does the best job. I are the one you want. He said they're all going to come from fancy schools and companies hire the one who really wants the job. That was great advice. You know, interviews, they used to be an hour. Now they're like forty-five minutes, they're 30 minutes. And I can't say how many times I'd interview someone and it's like, well, I like I like Jane. But I also like Billy here, man, they're really close. I don't know which one I go with. Well, you know which one you go with, you go with the one that was the most passionate. The one that when the interview ended, you know, many times people are like, Do you have any questions now? I'm done. Come on, man. You should have some questions about the company, the culture and so forth. Then after that, it's like you ask them, Hey, can you tell me, what do you have any reservations about my background? Anything I might be able to address when you want to know that? And then finally, it's like, you know, I don't have any questions other than this. I want to tell you, I'm really interested in this job. I hope you see that my skill set is a really good match and I love what your company offers the product line, the people you know. How soon will I hear back from you now? I got Susie and Billy. Are Jane and Billy? Which one do I going to go for? I'm not a golfer. I'm going to go for Jane. She was so enthusiastic. I'm going to go with her. It's that close, sometimes close every single interview in your company, outside your company with passion. And then finally, you got to do all these things. It's not easy. Well, let's say you do all this man. You go out and you establish a mission. You put it down on paper, you make some good smart objectives.

You do your homework and you come up with your strengths and weaknesses and you make an action plan on what you're going to do to get better. And then you work on that positioning to nail that, to have a point of difference and build out that brand interview properly. Then go out once you do all that, go out and live your brand. And I think you're going to just be a lot happier if you're living your brand. I know I am. I made this decision to leave, the corporate world says going up seven and a half, almost eight years now. And it was the best decision I ever made. I make a fraction, a fraction of what I did in the corporate world. But man, I'll tell you why I love being in the classroom. I love teaching. It's just directly relates to my purpose, my mission, you know? And then there's my house on the upper right. I don't have that marble floors anymore. Nothing in there. I got to laminate stuff or whatever. I don't know what it is. I don't really care. It's just fine. In fact, it's terrific that us, it's all I need. It's perfect. I don't make a lot of money anymore, but there's my wife, Laura. You know what we do. We got a lot of time. We go travel and exercise is one of my key values. So as soon as as soon as our rec center opens up, I'm going back in there. Two years ago, I was the oldest intramural basketball player in history. I think I'm going to become the oldest again next year. You know, I'm living my brand and I think you should, too. And if you go through and you methodically try and build that brand, I know you're going to be successful. Thank you, and I look forward to your questions.

Managing Complicated Conversations 

No one likes having challenging conversations – especially with their boss or spouse. Learn why we avoid, how to move forward and tips for approaching challenging conversations with honesty and tact. The payoffs are tremendous as you build trust and produce stronger outcomes.

View Video Transcript

Speaker 1: Okay, well hello, everyone. Welcome to the leadership development managing complicated Conversations webinar. We're excited to have you here with us today. My name is Stephanie. I'm one of the enrollment counselors with the online programs supporting Ohio University. The session will contain about 30 minutes of information along with a brief Q&A at the end. During the presentation, please feel free to post questions in the chat as we go along. And we'll take some time at the end to answer those for you. Today's webinar is hosted by Professor Amy Taylor Bianco who is presenting leadership development managing complicated conversations and sharing more expertise from within the Ohio University Master of Science and Management Program. We will hear how difficult conversations how difficult the conversations with high stakes are and what we can do to prevent making a mess as well as gaining tools that will help us with those conversations. Again, feel free to leave your questions in the chat. And we'll have time to address those at the end today. With that, please welcome Professor Amy Taylor Bianco.

Speaker 2: Thank you so much, Stephanie. It's it's great to be here around this topic, especially a topic that a lot of us hold dearly, because it affects so many of us. But it's just it's great to be here with everybody today. So we're talking about leading and managing complicated conversations. And this first picture, I thought is pretty good, where one person is saying something and the other person's thinking, is that really what you just said, or you know, you just are so in such different places, it's hard to even imagine where we would be together. So let me go forward. And then we'll try to put some words to that picture, and maybe even put it into a place where there's a relaxed, good conversation happening.

All right, so I'm Amy Taylor, Bianco. I'm a Business psychologist. I'm an organizational psychologist, and I'm the Program Director of the Master's of Science in Management at Ohio University. So I've been a professor here for about 20 years, I received my PhD earned I shouldn't say but I PhD at Columbia University. In a very practice oriented program, a lot of people went into industry, other people went into academia, I did a little bit of both. But we were student centric. They're just like we are at Ohio University. And just to say, I'm very available and willing to help when you need it, which is how I found people in my program, and definitely how I found find people here at Ohio University. So what gives me the right to talk about this, I am not an expert, I have you know, I have some background, I've done some things. But there are no experts when it comes to complicated high stakes conversations. We all do the best we can.

There are some tips and tricks, and we'll talk about those. But again, a little bit of my background, from my industry experience, I was at PricewaterhouseCoopers and JP Morgan, JPMorgan Chase, and then have done and do consulting in in various industries a lot in finance and healthcare, also in some fun on community development, and a little bit in cosmetics. So I tell you my background and kind of set up this presentation, also to tell you that when we're dealing with complicated conversations, and when we're dealing with the master's program that we're going to talk about, really it's it's all in a little bit of science from a lot of different places. So we have different experts from different places. And then that networking and professional development that lets you try these things out. And just get reps more and more reps. Because the more we have these conversations, even though we usually don't want to have them, the more we have them, the better we get at them.

So let me go forward to just telling you a little bit about these conversations. So if we were together in our in our kind of evening program, we just meet for 15 minutes once a week, it's kind of kind of straightforward, but we'd be talking, we'd be chatting, you'd have a conversation partner. And we'd be saying what makes the conversation so complicated? What are these kinds of conversations? What makes them tough? And why do we avoid them? And I don't know, I think I'm pretty good at conversations. Right? I might say that, but not when it comes to stuff I really care about, you know, conversations with my husband, my boss, my dean, those are harder, right? There might be certain particular ones that are really hard. So we're going to talk about those complicated things and both personal and professional life and then some of the traps that we get into so there are traps for everybody and all of these that's why it's communication. It's you know, humans are messy. So there's there's some traps, but there's also some tricks to managing those traps. And so we're going to talk a little bit about those today. It we have an interdisciplinary kind of approach to our program. And so I'll talk to you from a few different perspectives and just say, Oh, here's where you learn more about this or that, but what we'll get into it a little bit.

So consider this. I just love this. This, Jeff, because that's what I want to say sometimes, right? The conversations over that's it no more. But yet it keeps, you know, it keeps excuse me, it keeps being in my way. So think about, and since we don't have a partner, I'd ask you to, to just jot this down. I know it seems kind of silly to sit there and jot something down. But please do. So the hardest conversation you've had this year? What was it?

Did you initiate it? Or did it happen to you? So what makes that conversation tough? Like think about it? What was what was really hard?

Speaker 2: If you're having trouble pinpointing a hard conversation, I'd say what wakes you up at night? What wakes you up at night or when you wake up early in the morning? And you're thinking what, what recurring theme keeps coming. So maybe we've had our conversation, and we can talk about that. We certainly have feelings about it. Hopefully, you've got something there. We can give examples. But a classic one kind of a little bit of an unfair when it's asking for a raise, just because it's a power differential. But we'll talk about other other tough conversations, because there are so many. All right. So how do we determine what they are? So we know that they're complicated when we want to shut down, and some of us shut down more than others. But you see this this person, you know, medical student or whatever, just shutting down, right? Like, oh, my gosh, this is just too risky to even express it's hard. There are high stakes involved, you know, maybe it's, you know, about life and death, but it's probably not, it's probably about something in between, which is very hard. So money, emotional health, a lot of times we feel that our relationship of some sort is on the line. And that tends to make the conversation complicated. So if you feel a little like this, or some people get into this pose, and other people get into a fighting pose into a really strong fighting pose. So if you feel one or the other, probably notes that it's a high stakes conversation, which is another way of saying complicated conversation. Okay, so we could shut down and we could be like, be like that med student or we could, you know, fight it out. But what about who don't have those conversations? So before I wanted you to think of one you had next year, let's think of ones you didn't have. So why did you avoid it? And how's that going for you.

Speaker 2: Right, so we call them high stakes conversations, because when we don't have them, they're tricky to the boy are they hard to have? When there's so many ways that we can talk about this, and we can talk about it from interdisciplinary perspectives. But let's let's talk about the ones that we didn't have. So what was the cost of kind of doing this? What was the cost of not listening? If somebody else had the conversation with us, or we hope to be on the proactive end, not having the conversation, not initiating it. So I've written down just a few of the things here. But the costs are usually many. And we usually see them over time and stress. And often bodily symptoms. So our feelings have like symptoms, they have places that they kind of show up. So we often see them in those places in our confidence to have another one, right. If we didn't have the first one, or one, it's hard to have another an opportunity, right? A lot of times we give up a lot of what's on the table because we don't have a conversation. And sometimes it's really useful. Simple is just seeing things differently or having different information. And we can resolve that conversation pretty quickly.

So we see it in our future ability, we see it in a lot of different things, there's a huge cost over time to not having these conversations. And there's a science to figuring out which ones to have and which ones not to have. And that's why one of the courses we have is managerial decision making, right making these decisions. We also have look at things from an economics and a psychological standpoint. So we get at this topic, this is one of many, but we get this topic from a lot of different angles. And you can kind of evaluate which ones are worth having, and which ones maybe aren't, because there are some that just aren't worth having. Particularly when the other person is unable to, to, to be there with us. But we often don't know that we can make assumptions that they're unable, because actually we're unable. So let's get the skills, let's let's learn the skills, and then we can decide whether to have them or not. All right. So when we look at the ones that we didn't have, that's when we might get kind of curious, like we might say, All right, so the conversations, right, the ones that we didn't have, maybe cost us an opportunity to raise promotion, a relationship, right, a relationship, understanding from our partner from a kid, really, you know, really important things. So there's so much into these, into these complicated conversations. And there are many, many things that we have to look at. But a few of them are our assumptions, we all come in with assumptions. And I personally find these conversations hardest with people I know well, because I think I know what their assumptions are. And I make assumptions about their assumptions. It's a continual thing, right? But I actually don't write because I'm only inside my head. And they're inside there's, so I have to actually unpack those assumptions. And then I know a few things that I can do our to know my style.

So the more I can do leadership development, self assessment, kind of career coaching, and that kind of stuff. And we do a lot of this, the more I can do that, the more I know how I'm going to react, what my default action is, it'll be said before people shut down, people go into into fight, people do a lot of different things, or they just try to get along and agree all the time. There are a lot of different ways to go about things. If we know our style, and our default style, then we can start to figure out other people's, but it's not as easy as it seems. Because our styles are, we're complicated. We're complicated humans. So we've got to figure those things out, we can bring those to all our conversations. And then we want to have a lot of goal clarity. What is our goal, what do we want to get out of it. So when our goal is to win, or to bring the other person to our point of view, we really have to break that down into adding a super ordinate goal to listen to understand, to understand where the other person is coming from and what they're saying. And sometimes by having these conversations, we may have the really tough conversation, and then we may leave that job because we may decide that's not the right thing. Or more likely, we're going to we're going to stay in it because we're going to find something something of value, but both happen. And both are helpful. They're helpful for our stress for our lifestyle for our, you know, income, all of these things. So knowing our style and theirs, and then having goal clarity what we want out of it. So one of the first things that we suggest this is kind of a simple technique, but it's actually one of the most helpful and it's one that I have avoided in my life.

So if you're thinking this is silly, this is exactly what I've thought many times, but is writing our story. So writing, typing, dictating, videoing, whatever it is, write our story, like, what's our story about this situation? A lot of times it has to do with something that was said or not said in a meeting. Right? And that could be a family meeting. It could be you know, a family event, or it could be a work event, right? I mean, it's easy to think of, you know, in a work meeting, so write the story, like what was the story from our perspective, what was the setting who was the audience? You know, who were the characters what was the state so try to break it down. Who like you're telling the story, because in breaking it down, we actually put our emotions here and the content of our story here. And so in breaking it down, it really helps us to get ready to have that conversation. So when we write it from our perspective, and then we cool off, we can actually think a little bit more about, okay, what length that story be like from the other person's perspective. But when we're hot, when we're, you know, we're just coming into this, you don't even have to think about that just write your story. And try to try to dictate it, you know, not, I mean, make it really simple, but kind of like a play, right? Like, so if somebody else was to enact it, what would they need to do? Where would they need to be? What would they need to know? What would they be feeling before, during and after. And then later, right, much later, we can get into, you know, maybe we go for a walk in, in between, maybe we do something else, and then we come back to it, and we try to try to put the other person, you know, the story that they would write. So, so that's one way. One, one way of getting curious.

There's a lot of data driven things that we can do, too. So there's a model that we've used for many years, and it's been updated and continually validated and assessed, it's the Thomas Killman. Model. And it models our level of assertiveness and our level of cooperativeness. So this is you can't figure this out in your head. And because it's too many different factors, that sounds funny, but it's, you know, it's the range of how assertive you are and how cooperative you are. And it may, it may vary some depending on situations, right, I may be more assertive at home than I am at work or the opposite. Right? You know, it just depends. But, but there is a short instrument that you can take, and that we give, you know, as a QA as business psychologists, which aren't really looking at anything deep about you, and they're just looking at, like, what do you bring to the table at work? And, and how can that help you? How can we find your strengths? And how can we find your workaround so that we can get you doing your very best, so so we can go all the way from avoiding, right? So avoiding shutting down to competing, that's the assertiveness part. And we can also go from that and the things to accommodating. So sometimes we can get so accommodating or collaborating, that we lose some of the value of what we had to offer. And when I think about this, I like to think, what did the organization lose? Lose? You know, what did most of us think fairly highly of ourselves? Right? So what did the organization lose out on? Like, what did I have to say that they didn't get to hear, or to learn from, because I couldn't have this conversation.

So maybe I'm just too collaborative. That sounds funny, but I could be too collaborative, there's times I've got to challenge and compete. There's times I need to be accommodating. And there's times I, you know, need to step back. I don't know about a void, but maybe step back, so the middle is compromising and compromising isn't the same as accommodating, right? It's a give and take, it's like a, like a tug of war, where you've got both sides, and you're pulling back and forth, depending on the different forces. So we can actually do a force field analysis and analyze the conversation and, and kind of the forces that are gonna push you over one way versus push you over the other way. So we're talking about conversations today, and complicated conversations. But this could be any change any, any kind of, you know, complicated thing that you want to get into. So when we look at managing complicated conversations, I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel like this, like this little kid, like, oh, my gosh, this is just filling me up so much. I, you know, I'm gonna go for a run or a walk, or, I don't know, dance, do whatever I do write to relax, find my thing. Relax, and this is still coming into my head. It's still there too much. It's just too much. So this is what it often feels like. And what we as professors try to do as business strategists and experts is try to like, pull this down so that you can relax and really be yourself and, you know, get back on the sort of playground of life back in the back in the workspace back having interesting and fun conversations with your partner and not having this thing sticking in the way. So this is just a little bit of what you get into in complicated, complicated conversations. But let me just show you a few things in tips. There are tricks and strategies that might, that might help you. And also just tell you a little bit about some of the different things that we have to offer.

So get personal. So I put a picture here, this is actually my kid. And he's like being his best self totally unique, totally wonderful, weird and different. So he knows who he is like in that picture. He knows who he is, he knows what he's thinking what he likes. And he's not afraid to be that. So how often do we bring that self to our workplace? How often do we feel free to do that? Even if we work at home? Right? How often do we bring that on screen. So getting personal is learning about ourselves. And a lot of what we do is career development and assessment that you can do early on in your life in your program that helps you know yourself in a way that you probably never did. So there's a Hogan assessment that we do that's only done in the Masters of Science and Management Program at Ohio University, anyhow, and that it's it's something that's done usually for high level executives, but we kind of do it early on it maps 360 degree feedback, on to on to a person and what they say, so it gives me not who I am.

But based on who I who I say I am, what would be my reputation. And there are really interesting things that come out there, because some of our newer leaders haven't hit up against them yet. So it shows you what's your reputation? What are the great things about that? And what are the hard things and it's very, very accurate, you can ask anybody that's been through the program. But there's assessments, we can do like that. And then nobody owns them, but you they help you learn and develop. And then there's just lots of assessments to do throughout the way. It's like that Thomas Coleman. And when we get into a complicated conversation, as when we get into a master's program, or certificate or anything else, really, we have to get into the mindset to learn. If we don't want to learn, we're probably not ready to have the conversation. That's a litmus test for knowing like, are we ready or not. So if we're ready to learn, we're ready to kind of take it on. And maybe it's just because we're so frustrated, we want to take the target off of ourselves, maybe we feel like we're being targeted, maybe we feel, you know, disrespected, maybe we feel taken advantage of these are things that often go into complicated conversations. So whatever it is taking the target off of ourselves, and then knowing the target. So knowing once we once we write down our stories, once we know that we have to figure out what we want to get from the conversation. And so there's like, what I think of the situation, what Stephanie thinks to the situation, right? Because you just met both Stephanie and I. And then what's the third view? What's the other view of the situation that takes into account both, so we have to be willing to learn. And we can get a lot of advice and feedback from our colleagues, that people that we get to know when these things are professors and our classes. So that learning approach is gonna really matter. And then I like to call it two factor authentication. So it's, it's a messy, messy business. So I don't know how you feel about two factor authentication, probably depends what other things you're on.

But it takes a little longer, right, we can probably all agree that it takes a little bit longer. It just takes a little more time, it might be a little more messy. But what does it do? Right, the idea is to keep us from harm, right to keep us from some of the negative things. So two factor authentication can take longer, but then it makes things fit. So it kind of makes the key fit with the lock it makes. You know, it makes things fit, or, you know, for the other side, somebody who we're trying to keep away from our stuff, it makes it not fit but but two factor authentication is the way I like to think about it. So when we come out of it, we need to be willing to bring in that other person's perspective or at least be willing to see where they are and know what we're hitting up against. So that's some of the tricks and strategies for these complicated conversations. We could do, Tammy Reynolds, who's done this a lot, Kim Jordan, other professors, they've done, you know, multi week, sessions on it. Different you know, different ways class exercises, there's a whole bunch of things we could do. But there's a few things for you today. That hopefully will help you so get personal learn and go into the two factor authentication mode, where you really You have the other person's perspective and yours.

So why would you consider choosing Ohio University's College of Business to help you with the complicated conversations of your life, your work, your well being your career, right? Whether it's your current work or your continuous career track trajectory? So why would you choose Ohio University grad programs and College of Business. So here are a few reasons for you are, we have a lot of real world industry experience, I've never been anywhere where professors have so much experience. So I work in our Walter Center for Strategic Leadership, this is a program within it, the director has about 25, probably 25 years of experience in industry, doing a similar thing, but having gone into industry, then she got her doctorate is coming back. And I'm kind of going the other way. So we're constantly dealing with like, you know, practice and academics, we're constantly doing that we're not often some kind of place where we're just doing academic stuff, it's real world and, and you're helping us because you're, you're you're bringing in your experiences. And I know a lot of us, like really love helping to solve those problems and helping other students to help each other as well. So we're student centric, that's for sure. available and willing to help I told you that was going to be a theme throughout. It's been a theme throughout my life and a definitely a theme at Ohio University. It's one of the things I love about this place. This is really flexible, it's flexible for your schedule, and your pace. So we have class formats and timing that work for you, and not against you. So a lot of times the the problem with continuing our education and going to school isn't really a problem at all. But it's a constraint, right, just like in complicated conversations, it's like it happened to happen too quickly, or to you know, just different things. So you can log on from work, you can log on from home, but we don't meet a whole lot. It's asynchronous. Our program is asynchronous, except for usually a Wednesday night, kind of get together, where we talk about real problems and cases, we have a lot of different ways to do that. We have about 50 minutes with different class sessions. And then probably once every two to three weeks, we have you know, different opportunities, career coaches that come in. speakers from amazing places we have the head of social media for Adobe, we have, you know, just these high level people come in and tell us about their career and where they started and what's worked and what hasn't.

So that's just an example. But so these networking, professional development experiences, and then we're an accredited college of business that is nationally ranked and amazing in these different areas, our career management services, through grad cat and through our career director, Elizabeth Garino, is unparalleled. I haven't seen anything like it. And I've been in this in this business for a long time. So I think of this program, and this opportunity as a career and life accelerator where you also get a degree. So I think of it as you know, leadership development and career development, and then you get the school degree. So here are a few of our faculty. These are the folks that probably have the most stake in your degree when you're coming to us. So just look at the variety real quick, even if you don't look at the names, although they are very cool people, I must tell you, but just look at the variety of people that you have look at their backgrounds. So you've got a global economic strategist, supply chain expert, a storyteller, right, a human resource, talent leader, and analytics, in decision making scientist. You've got all these different people together. And we look at problems and we look at complicated conversations, whether it's in someone's particular situation, or it's a bigger issue. We look at it from a lot of perspectives. And we love to practice these skills, we love to happily argue with each other in order to get better outcomes. So that's a lot of what you're going to see throughout this. So you're also going to see management capabilities and they're going to be tailored to whatever you know your industry is so you can work. You've got the different people but then I kind of gave you an example here with our With Ms the MSM at a glance, so management capability tailor to whatever it is you do, right. And we've got different people in different areas, so we can help you tailor it. But it helps to look at a problem from all angles. So you get specialized certificates, you graduate with three unique certificates plus a degree, incredible flexibility, you can stop in and stop out, it's done can be done in as few as 24 hours, few as 12 months. Or it can be done, you know, on a 24 month schedule to or you could, you know, do your first certificate, go take a new job, get started on that, have a baby, get married, you know, do whatever it is, and come back to stay with us all along so that you're in some of these career coaching and development pieces, and then join back in in classes when you're ready. So we also have some, some scholarships and so forth. Not a ton, but we do have some, but what I want to put under that piece is that we're really very, very affordable, not just inside Ohio, but outside Ohio as well. So let me go a little bit further. So you don't need to go into all the details of this. But if you're gonna glance back at it later from the recording, this is our curriculum structure. So the reason you get so much development and leadership development is that you really only have this management leadership certificate upfront. In this industry capstone experience at the end, where you work on a real project with a live client. I think Brooklyn Brewery is the current current client that students are working on, you know, from, from the comfort of their own homes, but all coming together with their different experiences using what they've learned in the degree and pulling it together in the capstone.

So you've got first last certificate, and then you get to pick and choose certificates in the middle. And what keeps us together is all the leadership development along the way. So it's a lot of fun we have, we have a great time, and you come out with skills, we've seen people get promoted. And our Carlos one of them he's, he's, he's a great student who, who has, you know, talked for us different times. But he he saw a promotion after the first certificate after the management and leadership certificate. So just putting that on his LinkedIn, just letting people know he was enrolled and doing it. And then after subsequent certificate, so just keep going. There's quite a few opportunities. And it's part of it is that we have these enrichment activities all throughout the way. So we have the fireside chats, like I was talking about, with amazing executive coaches, we also have an optional executive mentor, the leadership assessment and feedback, you work directly with me on that and you work with other professors on other pieces. You've got team and problem solving, you've got a Leadership Development Conference, which is not too not too long, you just you just need to come to one, it's just a quick Friday to Friday through Saturday night. But it gives you a chance to get together and be on campus and, and have that opportunity sometime during your during your experience with us. So the career outlook, just to get to that. So 93% of respondents in a recent survey that we did. So I'm proven in their promote ability since entering the program. So most saw improvement in their profitability.

There are some people who didn't want to move, they're really happy where they are. And you could see it by the fact that their company may be even paying for this program and helping them to develop, but they're not quite ready for the next thing. That's cool, too. But we prepare prepare people for leadership management. It's all problem solving. Just it's all complicated conversations, right? are complicated problems. Some are conversations, expertise, your combined certificates. So you can you can get this affordable tuition, do it. And then you have lifetime career development, which is really an incredible, incredible opportunity. So grad cat is a program that you get it's a four month program while you're in the program, and then you get lifetime access to more personal assessments, upskilling job opportunities. There's a there's a lot we could say about that. And I encourage you to look into that more. So. And this last one admissions requirements. I just want to thank my friend and colleague, he's the professor for the capstone experience. Steve Musser who It helped me simplify this because it really isn't very hard to do. It's two letters of recommendations, a bachelor's degree with a 3.0. Or explaining it may be a long time ago, and you may have met a different person than just explaining that application, he had a ton of flexibility. No GMAT or GRE, asynchronous or synchronous core courses, you know, it's really, really great for you. So please consider, you know, scanning this code contacting us. There's a phone number other ways to get started. But if you have more questions, either about complicated conversations, or about the program, please let us know. So let me see. I don't know Stephanie, like where we are with copper or questions?

Speaker 1: Absolutely. Um, I know that we have a couple of questions that you frequently get asked. One of those that we hear a lot from students is, how does the Masters in management stay up to date with changes in the marketplace in terms of what an employer is looking for?

Speaker 2: That is a great question. So up to date, in terms of what employers are looking for. So not even just up to date, but maybe even like, what they're looking for sort of future oriented? How do we do that? So we created this program in a different way than a lot of programs. So we looked at open job opportunities for people with a master's degree or higher open job opportunities that weren't getting filled, where people just, there's not enough, you know, there's more demand than there is supply. So that's, that's how we looked at this. And we continue to do that. So you may see additional certificates offered throughout it. But we constantly revise and continue to update, because we're only as good as the current current material is. So we were an online program before COVID. Before all of that hit, and then COVID, you know, made some changes, some of which were really helpful for us, some of which are, you know, horrific, right? So, so we've got to take those into account. So we're constantly learning and changing. And I think part of that happens, because we have such great students like yourselves, that keep us industry focused. And because we have such great career management services, that they wouldn't let us be anything but focused on what's needed now. That's wonderful.

Speaker 1: And another really good question I think we get from students is why should they choose the MSM over another business related degree? What what makes this program stand out compared to any of the others?

Speaker 2: That's a great question. And it is different than others, right? So it depends on who you are, and what you want, like, what's your goal, right? So if we go back to like, knowing yourself, and then knowing your goals, so for this program, what we're really looking at is giving you depth, and reps and experience in management and leadership development. So we often find people who have a bit of a technical background, or who come to us from, you know, from different experiences, we've had two people with a music background, we have a number of people with a finance background, we have someone with a theatre background, who went into human resources, a number of engineers, so people with a lot of different backgrounds, and many of whom have pursued an MBA, or have found that that's for them, because they wanted that knowledge, right? An MBA gives you that business knowledge across an organization. This gives you two certificates of deep knowledge. But then it's really leadership development and career acceleration. So if you're looking for that development and acceleration that you can't get elsewhere, if you want to have a degree in business, but you don't want to be as quantitatively involved. As some of the other programs, you're not going to take accounting and finance and so forth. You are going to do industry analysis, we are going to make you work in different ways. But you're not going to have that kind of math, and you aren't going to get that leadership development piece. We're also small, so I guess that's another thing. We're we're kind of smaller on purpose, where we are very hands on and where you create a community. So if you'd like that kind of learning, then I'd say this is for you. Perfect.

Speaker 1: That is a great. I would say just a great explanation. And really, I think give students a good idea of what to anticipate. I think we are definitely at time. So I wanted to thank everyone for joining us today. And thank you Professor Amy for your wonderful detail. We do hope that everyone received some great takeaways and learn a little bit more about today's topic. We would definitely love to hear from you with any additional questions for our team, or concerns in questions about potential enrollment. Feel free to reach out to the online admissions at 740-924-5725 or email us a and we'll be happy to connect you with one of the enrollment counselors here with the team. Thank you so much, everyone. Have a great day.

Unknown Speaker: Thank you have a good day, everybody. Thank you.

Accounting for Impact: Financial and ESG Reporting 

Hear about the changing nature of the accountancy profession and the importance of accounting for a company's financial profits, while also measuring its impact on the world around it, i.e., ESG reporting (environmental, social and governance)!

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Speaker 1: Well hello, everyone. Welcome to the accounting for impact the intersection of financial and ESG reporting webinar. We're excited you're here with us today. My name is Stephanie. I'm one of the enrollment counselors with the online programs supporting Ohio University. This session will contain 30 minutes of information along with a brief Q&A at the end. Please feel free to post your questions in the chat as we go along today, and we'll take time at the end to answer those for you. Today's webinar is hosted by Professor Jennifer says Derek Stevens. Professor Stevens is an associate professor at an Ohio University School of Accountancy and the program director for the Master of Accountancy and coming in the Journal of accounting and public policy, accounting horizons research and accounting regulation, the Journal of portfolio management and the Journal of investment management and issues in Accounting Education. Jennifer teaches accounting theory and application as well as forensic accounting and fraud examination in Ohio University's masters of accounting, accountancy and analytics. She also participates in interdisciplinary forensics team at Ohio University, and Tim teaches introduction to forensic studies. As we go through the presentation today, again, please do not hesitate to leave questions in the chat, and we'll answer those at the end. With that, I hand it to Professor Stevens.

Speaker 2: Thanks so much, Stephanie. I'm really happy to be with everyone today. Thank you for joining us, I am going to talk today about a topic that is very important to the future of accounting. And that's accounting for impact, you know, the intersection of financial and ESG reporting. I would like to introduce myself, so I am the program director for our Master of Accountancy and analytics, I have a background in I have a master's degree and a PhD in accounting, I also have significant work experience in forensic accounting. And so I think you will find that with most of our professors here at Ohio University, we all have a lot of industry experience, we're all CPAs. And we really bring a lot to the classes that we teach. So before I get too much into the financial and ESG reporting, I just want to talk about accounting in general for a minute, because I want to challenge you to think of accounting a little more broadly today. So I want you to think of a scenario, let's say we have two drug companies and coming out of the pandemic, I think we can all envision this scenario, right? We have two drug companies, company A and company B. So Company A has promising clinical trials, they are investing in new cutting edge R&D technologies, they're attracting and retaining top talent, they're buying new plant and equipment to mass produce drugs, and they're paying their suppliers in a timely manner, then we have Company B, they have not so great clinical trial results, they aren't really investing very much in new technologies and R&D, their talent is underpaid with high turnover, and they're selling off plant and equipment to cover their debt payments. And as well as not paying their suppliers in a timely manner. So each company needs $100 to stay in business, we only have $100, how do we determine which should get the money. So I think all of you would agree that we should allocate that $100 to Company A.

And so this is why accounting is so important. It allows those companies that have you know, promising operations are investing in our future to get the required capital, that capital that they need, by communicating that information that they have internally, to external participants. And so this allows society as a whole to collect this relevant, reliable and comparable information and make decisions based on it and help allocate the scarce resources that we have efficiently and effectively among competing needs. And in addition, it's allowing companies and the society to really avoid waste and enhance enhance efficiency. So we have some of the most efficient and effective capital markets in the world here in the United States. And I attribute that to the very strong reporting and regulatory environment that we have around financial reporting in the United States. So when we go back to the cancer drug scenario that I just gave, I went on a team teach my forensic studies course and and that is a an undergraduate course but it's teen taught across a lot of professors, many from the arts and sciences. I stand up it kind of toward the end and I tell the students, you may not think that accounting is helping to cure cancer, but I am going to argue that accounting is helping to cure cancer by helping allocate that money to those companies that have the best cures for cancer and are investing in those drugs. And so you may say that accounting doesn't help cure cancer, I disagree. Accounting does help your cancer. So again, my colleagues in the arts and sciences kind of laugh when I say that, but I want you to remember that accounting really is the Language of Business. But I want you to think about accounting more broadly, accountant, accountants really are information specialists. And so while data analytics are the is the, you know, most recent buzzword and big data's a very kind of more modern buzzword, really, accountants have been dealing with big data. For decades, and we've been doing damage data analytics for decades, what we do is we take all of this, this disparate data, and we turn that data into useful information for decision making. And up until this point, it's been mostly financial data. However, accounts actually work in many, many areas of the business. So think about Medicare claims, or payroll data, even employee performance or balanced scorecard. And now we're getting into you know, sustainability metrics. And so anything that needs measured and reported, accountants are really good and can think critically think through these issues. Think through what data is needed, and how we get data that is reliable, you know, comparable, reportable. So we can make decisions based on that data. And it's not always just business data, right, you will always use this, you will need these skills in your personal lives as well. So like I said, traditionally, accounts have been focused purely on financial data. But really, because accounts are information specialists. And in business, people realize that accounts understand all areas of the business, because we see for the most part, everything that comes through the financial reporting process, we take all of those events, right, and we, and we create, summarize them, create metrics and measure them, and put them into reports to be used in decision making.

So while we've traditionally been focused on financial data, we are moving toward a more broad based view of business and economic activity. So now it is not only the financials, that matter, it is the overall impact on society on various stakeholders, maybe, you know, not only investors and creditors, but other potential stakeholders as well. And so accounts are really ready to tackle this challenge of moving the financial reporting system, from a purely financial reporting system, to an overall business reporting system that's going to include the financial aspects, as well as the non financial aspects. And so if we think about the future of accounting, it is really bright, because we are really well prepared and well trained in these areas that are going to need to be measured and reported. And so you know, we had the former chair of the IASB say the future of financials is non financial. And then we had someone else. Some to these are two very famous, three very famous authors that said, the future of ESG is potentially accounting. And why could the future of ESG be accounting because you can't manage what you don't measure. So if companies are going to need to be undertaking, and by ESG, I mean environmental, social and governance initiatives, they are going to have to find a way to measure those initiatives to manage those initiatives, and report those initiatives to the various stakeholders, both internal and external to the organization. So accounting is going to play a very key role, and the future of the environmental, mental, social and governance initiatives that are being undertaken by businesses, organizations and governments. So here's a little bit here's kind of a nice graphic from PwC that helps you under better understand the what you know, what is ESG well, it stands for environmental, social and governance. Here we have the environmental pillar, and that's going to be focused around climate change, natural resources, pollution and waste and environment opportunity. Then we have the social pillar. So here we have human capital, product liability, stakeholder opposition and social opportunity. And then lastly, we think about governance, you know, corporate governance or diversity, ownership, accountability, transparency, anti corruption. Hi, um, initiative. So really ESG is very, very broad.

Speaker 2: And the good news is, you know, a lot of accounting already is incorporating has already traditionally incorporated incorporated a lot of these governance areas covered that, you know, through the 404, stocks reporting, and all of these disclosures that go into the 10k reports issued by companies. And, you know, we do have, again, around Sarbanes Oxley, we had a lot of new corporate governance initiatives. So we have made good progress in the governance area. But I think what is going to be upcoming in the future is a greater focus on the environmental and social pillars. So I, here's kind of a summary of the traditional financial reporting system, right, it had a very economic focus. So we had the real world, right, we have all these economic events. And we put those economic events into our accounting system. And the three stage steps kind of of the accounting system where we are going to identify those events, we're going to measure them. And then we're going to communicate those events in a manner that gives relevant information for decision making. And those within the accounting system, traditionally, into to identify and measure those events, we relied on accounting rules. So generally accepted accounting principles would tell us which events we are measuring, and then how to measure them. And then it would also tell us how to organize those into some type of reporting interest into some type of report, right, and those reports were our general purpose financial statements with our balance sheet, our income statement, our statement of cash flows, our notes, we know the notes are very important, the auditor's report. And then for public companies, we also had, you know, the additional disclosures around the 10k, and the management, discussion, discussion and analysis. The creators of the rules were the FASB, the IASB. And, you know, the regulator in the United States is the Securities and Exchange Commission, that regulates all companies with publicly traded securities. So though that relevant information was really focused on kind of two sets of decision makers, it was focused on those internal for the financial reporting, it's more focused on external, right, but managers might also need information. So then we have some managerial accounting, but really, for our external decision makers, for our traditional economic focus, we're focused on those investors and creditors. So those people putting equity into the company, and those are holding the company's debt. So either bond holder, bondholders or private lenders like banks, however, we are now kind of moving to a more to an expanded accounting system. And so we're talking about a new accounting system that has a triple bottom line focus, some are calling it. So we'll have all of these real world events. But now we're not only going to be focused on the economic events, we're going to be focused on the environmental and social events as well. And so that is going to go into the accounting function. And that is going again, the accounting function is evolving. So it is, you know, we're going to have to figure out which I which events need to be reported and included in the in the, in the measurement and reporting system.

How are we going to measure those events? And then how are we going to communicate those? So what does that right, how do we take all that data, measure it reliably, and put it into your report that that provides relevant information for those decision makers? So is it a general sustainability, general purpose sustainability report, some companies are putting out these general purpose sustainability reports right now. And they are separate from the 10k are the financial reports, some think that we are going to a holistic report where it will be a dual purpose financial statement that will have not only the financials, but it will also have all the environmental the ESG aspects built into that one report as well. And we're really moving from a purely EQAT you know, the economic stakeholders, meaning the investors and creditors, to looking at a broader array of stakeholders when we're thinking about who needs this information, and, you know, what information do they need? And so we're not only thinking about the investors and creditors, we're thinking about governments, we're thinking about employees, we're thinking about citizens of the planet, and So we are, again, as we think about the demands for information, who those demands are coming from, it helps shape the reports that we decide to create. So the accounting system is evolving. And it is a very exciting time to be an accounting. So if we think back, I just wanted to give you an example about how we might think, how about how do we start to think about measuring and reporting some of these ESG events. So the easiest one to think about potentially could be the environmental pillar. So this is a rapid, you know, it's an economic, environmental, social and governance. But this is a rapidly changing regulatory environment around ESG. So unlike financial events, no US regulatory entity exists, that will provide some type of gap specifically for environmental and social events. The I'm going to talk a minute about some this rapidly changing regulatory and reporting environment. And but the EU is actually further along than we are in the US. And they have a new corporate sustainability reporting directive, that is going to require reporting around ESG, for companies doing business in the EU. And that is going to apply not only to publicly traded companies in the EU, but it is also going to apply to privately held companies of a certain size, that are doing business in the EU. So this may be you know, even if you are a private company in the US, if you are a significant size, and you are doing significant business in the EU, you may have to comply with the reporting requirements that have been set forth under the CSRD. So for this ESG reporting, I've been talking a lot about the external reporting. But remember, we have accounting systems for internal decision making as well. And so we are going to have to evolve our internal accounting systems to also capture and measure these environmental and social events that are occurring within organizations. And so this is going to again, these internal decision makers need help in determining and in supporting the decisions and their strategic, you know, their strategic process.

So strategic decision making, how do you decide what segment to invest in? How do you decide decide what country or area to put a new plant? How do you decide which product you should have? Which pricing. So all of these strategic decisions that are occurring within companies need information to support that decision making. And so our ESG is going to need to be increasingly incorporated into our internal systems as well. Sometimes we have some reports that are issued regularly, you know, management wants to monitor these every single quarter, sometimes it may be for one time use or our projects. And then from the external reporting, we already do have some reporting requirements in the United States that may encompass some of the ES, Ng, as I mentioned, we actually do have a lot around the G around the governance. But for example, if we have some very large contingent liability, so we have a site and it potentially needs to be remediated after we leave that site and there's going to be in a you know, an environmental liability associated with that, that is already disclosed in the 10k. Or in our in our financial or GAAP financial reports. And also under the the risks and analysis environment, environmental concerns, concerns and enter increased. increased regulation, or increased regulatory risk is already probably listed in management's discussion and analysis. So, that is kind of the current state.

Speaker 2: Of the the required reporting around ESG. But we also have a lot of voluntary reports that are occurring right now around ESG. So I would say the lion's share of reporting around ESG is currently voluntary. So if you go to any company, a lot of times they're going to have an environmental impact report or an ESG report. These are voluntarily put out by the company and they are not consistent. They are not you know, the components of the reports are not consistent the metrics that they are including are not consistent across companies, they may not be consistent across the same company or across different years within the same company. And they are measured in different ways. So the problem with the voluntary reporting regime is that companies can cherry pick what and how they report. And so right now, this is a risk as companies are putting out all of this information, some, some are referring to this as greenwashing. So companies are putting out all of this great information, but it hasn't been audited, the information may not be reliable, and it may not be trustworthy. And so the SEC is starting to get involved. So the SEC is going to have a new rule, it's going to be purely related to the E, it's around climate related disclosures. And as I mentioned, the EU is already further ahead and some mandatory reporting that I mentioned under the CSRD. So when we think about the recording in general, that the measurement can be very difficult. And these events, it's going to take time for us to learn about all the different events that should be included and how to measure them. And we don't have or we haven't had one set of standards to provide a tip or a guidance on how to measure these. So we have US GAAP right generally accepted accounting principles to help guide financial reporting, but we don't have one. And we do of course have the IFRS, right. International Financial Reporting Standards. So we kind of have two major financial reporting, standards, sets of standards. But we don't have the same thing for environmental disclosure, environmental ESG disclosures. So we that is a rapidly evolving space. And we're going to talk about in one minute.

So that is a challenge, right? How do we measure these activities measure, identify and measure these activities and events? Especially when we don't have one standard yet? How do we report these? What does the report look like? You know, is it going to be regulated? Is it going to be mandatory? Or are we going to continue under some voluntary some type of voluntary reporting regime? How do we audit these so auditors, we're going to have to have, you know, more rooms during the audit, or a separate, you know, a different group that's going to audit these. And then we also need to think about if we do go to a mandatory reporting regime where we have, you know, standards as far as how to measure these events, which events to include, how do we report them? Are these reporting requirements causing any unintended consequences? Or what incentives? Are they encouraging or discouraging? And so, you know, we sometimes think about we've had some major frauds in the past where the FASB, you know, the accounting rules says, Here's a bright line, so the company manages right below the but the bright line, right, so we need to think about some of those unintended consequences or these incentives, when we are creating the standards and formulating the the regulatory regime. And then we also need to think about that cost benefit trade off of reporting, this reporting is going to be very expensive. And so we need to make sure that the benefits to this reporting are outweighing the costs. And I think that as a society as a as a global community, we are moving in the direction that these, you know, initiatives, these impacts matter. And so they need to be measured and reported in a reliable way.

So if you just think about how difficult this can be, I want you to think purely about the E and about the GHG emissions. And so in the United States, we are moving potentially to have these reported, depending on the new SEC Rule. So the question is, how do we know which GHG emissions do we measure? And then and then how do we measure them and so we have for GHG greenhouse gas, we have kind of three scopes, a scope, one emissions, a scope, two emissions and a scope three emissions. So if you think about it, the scope one emissions are the direct emissions from the company. So these are, you know, the emissions from their facility or their fleet, that are the greenhouse gas emissions that are going into the environment. And then the scope two emissions or any indirect energy usage that they're purchasing from the large, you know, basically utility providers. So here they're purchasing electricity or steam, heating and cooling for the company's own use. So scope one companies seem to have started to get a pretty good handle on scope two is measured a lot of times by the big utility companies and they're giving some measurements to the company to be able to provide that But then there's something called scope three emissions and those are our emissions related to all parts of their production process, all the way from each piece of raw material to how the end consumer uses that product. So, this is the entire supply chain. So, I level three emission is getting at all of those emissions, that that the company touches through its entire supply chain. So, any fuel or energy related in any, you know, used in mining or creating any of the raw materials that go into their production process, even their employees, you know, commuting into work counts as as a scope three, and then if you think about the kind of downstream activities, how, you know, are they selling those products, how is the end consumer using those products? How is that when that product is disposed of what types of impact on those on the environment might that have, so, the level three emissions are extremely complex and very difficult to measure. And so, I think that the, you know, the experts in the area are, we're still trying to get in kind of a handle on how to measure these are there is there going to be double counting of emissions, because you know, one person's raw materials another person's final, final good etc.

Speaker 2: So, with the good news is we have had some consolidation and reporting frameworks. So, we used to have a lot of different reporting frameworks, but very recently, as of like, a couple of days ago, even we have had several of the big frameworks that have merged together into the international sustainability Accounting Standards Board, most recently the Task Force on Task Force on climate related financial disclosures, T CFD is going to be kind of subsumed by the I S SB. So the international sustainability standards board. So, this is part of the IFRS Foundation, and they are It basically started out as SASB the SASB standards, and they have been now purchased by the IFRS are acquired, I guess would be a better word by the i by IFRS. And they have are going to be coming up with IFRS sustainability disclosure standards. So the old SASB standards are going to be renamed i are kind of you know, acquired by the IFRS sustainability disclosure standards. So it appears now that we are going to have you know an international sustainability standards board. And we are going in we already have you know, some some standards under that board under the SASB. And they are going to you know further incorporate this elaborate on these and make them more formal into IFRS sustainability disclosure standards. And then they are going to talk about and they are going to help another initiative is going to be an integrated reporting framework that is going to help companies kind of integrate all this information into usable reports for decision making. So I'm a little short on time I'm going to just briefly mentioned so while the EU and Europe is a little bit that I SSP is a little bit further ahead.

The SEC is moving in this direction. We have a new rule expected out likely in October, we've seen a proposed rule on climate related disclosures. This note is only the E it's only environmental, it's only climate related disclosures. The SEC realizes that we do need some consistency and regulation around this reporting. It is likely to require disclosures of scope one and two GHG emissions is the current thinking it is unlikely to require financial statement recognition. So that rule is unlikely to require these to actually be reported, you know, as a line item on the financial statements, it is more likely to be a note disclosure. And the final rule is expected this year. And we were thinking it could be April but we're hoping now that it is October. So, um, if this topic interests you, I think that you know there is a bright future in accounting. And I just like to talk a minute about our masters of accountancy and analytics program. Everything we have a fully online program. We have very dedicated faculty here at Ohio University. So our faculty, you get the same faculty that teaches in our residential program that you get in our online program. And our faculty really attempts to recreate that hands on personal touch that we have in the on campus setting in our online setting. So we get to know our students on an individual basis we get to understand their career goals, and we try and help them meet those career career goals. We do hold live interactive classes every week. So this is not a, you know, an asynchronous, you know, work, do it your own, do it all on your own program. We are there to guide you and help you. We do our we are very proud of our case based curriculum.

So when we designed our Master of Accountancy, we actually designed the same program for the on our on campus and our online program. We designed it around a case based curriculum, we thought, we think that that really helps students learn the material and be able to apply it right away and hit the ground running when they start working. Of course, we will help you, our degree will help you meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. But please check with your enrollment advisor, we do meet the requirement in almost every jurisdiction. But you know, just to make sure we meet your individual states requirements, please check with your enrollment advisor. And we are a very efficient program, you can be done in a little over a year, depending on your background. And if you come from a non accounting background, we do have a path for you that is going to be extremely efficient, and get you done, you know quickly as well. So we have designed our programs so that you can enter our masters of accountancy program and work towards your CPA, based on any undergraduate background. So you can have an undergraduate degree in accounting, or you don't have to have an undergraduate degree in accounting, we have created three tracks based on your undergraduate degree. If you have an undergraduate degree in accounting, we have an accounting track, if you have an undergraduate degree in business, but not accounting, so maybe finance or marketing or another business degree, we have a path for you. And then if you are coming from an undergraduate background that is completely non business, maybe one of the sciences or engineering, we have a very efficient path for you as well. So for our accounting track, you can come in again with an undergraduate degree in accounting, and it's seven core accounting classes and three electives in data analytics.

We have designed this program to be very heavy on the analytics, because we believe this is very important to the future. And again, accounts are really good at analytics. And it is a very, you know, kind of key skill set for their toolbox. So we have you get to choose three electives in data analytics taught by our data analyst faculty, based on what's available when you need them. Now, if you're coming from a non accounting background, we do have four accounting foundational courses. So these are prerequisites that are basically going to get you up to speed to take your master's level accounting courses. The good news is you don't have to get an entire undergraduate degree in accounting we, we took 30 hours of accounting or 24 hours in undergraduate accounting and condensed it into four prerequisite courses. So we call it the best hits of an undergraduate degree in accounting to get you up to speed. So you can take our masters level courses and get prepared for that CPA exam. So and then, of course, you would have our seven core accounting courses in three courses in data analytics. If you're coming from a non business undergraduate degree, you would take the same four prerequisite courses, the same seven core accounting courses, the same three electives and data analytics, and then we require two additional business courses that we think will be helpful to you. So you better understand business and the application of accounting within business. We are we are a case based curriculum. But we have again, adapted our curriculum for the working professional, you take one class at a time online classes are seven weeks, so you can really focus on one class for seven weeks. And then you get to move on to the next class, we find this really helpful for busy working professionals that have families and you know, jobs and lives. And we have found that this it really helps our students be successful as opposed to taking full 14 week courses they take to seven week courses as opposed to you know, the normal 14 week course and where you would take two a semester.

There are so many opportunities in accounting. So, you know, I think sometimes people think of accounting as bookkeepers, we are not bookkeepers, look, most bookkeepers don't have a degree in accounting. So we are training you for the future for those critical thinking skills and for dealing with business problems. How do we use data to solve business problems? And, you know, in the end, it does all flow through the accounting system. If you don't create generate cash, you're not going to be in business very long. So we are not only poised to help address the needs of the future from an environmental, social and governance for perspective. But we also are extremely well versed in helping companies be sustainable long term from a financial perspective. So we have three starts here, fall, spring and summer. And if you have any questions, please, you know, reach out immediately, you are always welcome to contact me, or any of our enrollment team at these at this at this contact information.

Speaker 1: Wonderful, thank you so much for all of that information. I think we've all learned a little bit more about how this program will really benefit what's changing and developing, especially when it pertains to ESG. We do have one frequently asked question, you did a wonderful job covering the first question that I often get, which is about the program tracks and how students are going to benefit from those. So that was fantastic in the presentation already. But one of the questions that we do get, or have gotten recently, because of the new name to the program, we've added the and analytics, would you tell us a little bit more about what this means for students?

Speaker 2: Sure. So we actually have always had those analytics requirements in our program. And so we just renamed the program to reflect the underlying curriculum and skills that our students are going to be acquiring in the program. And this is really, you know, we think that our program is unique and that we are, are teaching all of, you know, some hot accounting topics. But we are also we are also cognizant that the tools that we are using are changing, and we want our students to be very well versed in those tools, and new approaches to data and data analytics, because again, we see ourselves as information specialists, and that's going to be increasingly important as we start to tackle more than just accounting information. And or sorry, financial information. So we think that employers while while the the opportunities in accounting are endless, so my boss likes to say, if you get a degree in accounting, I can promise you that you always will always have a job, I can't promise you that you will like your job. But if you don't, I can promise you that there are five other jobs out there waiting for you. So there are so many opportunities in accounting. And then there are also so many opportunities in analytics. But pure analytics is so broad. That if you couple that, you know, deep knowledge of data and data analytics, with a very specific financial accounting skill set, it is really an highly desirable degree that is going to open many doors not only immediately, but well into the future.

Speaker 1: Wonderful, that is so helpful to have that clarification. I'm not seeing any other questions in the chat. So I think we can begin wrapping things up. So I do want to just thank everyone again for joining us today. We hope you've received some great takeaways and learn a little bit more about today's topic and how this program can help you with that. We'd love to hear from you with additional questions for our team. So please feel free to reach out to online admissions at 740-924-5725 or email us at and we'll connect you to an enrollment counselor. Thank you all again. Have a great day. Thank you Stephanie.