The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Writing and Workplace Etiquette with Professor Jennifer Sargent

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Professor Jennifer Sargent returned to MLDP this week to talk about workplace etiquette. Photo by Weijia Tang.

This week, Professor Jennifer Sargent returned to MLDP to lead a session entitled, “Writing and Workplace Etiquette.” Ms. Sargent began the session with a discussion of how leadership qualities carry over to tasks in the workplace generally, and writing specifically. She also gave an overview of the different types of writing typically encountered in the workplace, ranging from sticky notes to long reports. She explained to students how each type of writing has a different set of standards for formatting, but a similar approach when determining the message, audience, and tone of the writing. Then, she began an interactive activity to help emphasize the points she presented in the beginning of the session.

Ms. Sargent gave each team a fictional scenario in which they were interns at a governmental entity, and their supervisor gave them a somewhat vague assignment to write a memorandum. Students were asked to come up with the most important clarifying questions they would ask to ensure they knew enough to create a memo with the correct information, and turn it in on time. Once each team shared their results, they moved on to the second part of the activity, in which the fictional interns had to send an email to their supervisor after the supervisor had read their memo and contacted them. Ms. Sargent thoroughly critiqued the results of each part of the activity, and students left with a clear impression of the best way in which to approach the writing for each part of the scenario.

Students felt that Ms. Sargent was a captivating presenter, and that the information she provided was highly relevant to their future jobs and internships. Sean Fahey ’17 commented, "I think Professor Sargent did a great job tonight of commanding the attention of our MLDP section in a way that involved everyone and got the group excited to learn about proper workplace writing. Her insight regarding how to excel as a young professional in the workplace was invaluable and I know it will help me tremendously in my upcoming internship."

-Written by Jasper Bingham ’17, MLDP Student Program Assistant 

This ongoing series explores sessions of the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) through participant narratives. MLDP is a one-term program designed to develop citizen leaders among sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Dartmouth College. Led by expert guest speakers each week, sessions employ experiential teaching techniques to engage students through hands-on learning of core management and leadership skills.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences