MLDP Recap: Writing in the Workplace with Julie Kalish ‘91

Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here.

I work as an RWIT Tutor and Writing Assistant. Thus, Professor Julie Kalish’s presentation on writing particularly resonated with me and gave me valuable tips on how I can do better at my work.

We began the session by examining an email sent by the President Jim Yong Kim last year during a sensitive time. Collectively, we critiqued the email, discussing the tactful wording, choice of topic, structure, and appropriateness for its audience. I thought the exercise was well planned because the email was about an event and context with which all students were familiar and impressed us with how difficult it can be to write a non-inflammatory email during controversial times.

Her presentation on writing embodied her own message about writing – it was concise, clear and appropriate (or “correct,” if you like alliteration). I especially thought her emphasis on “correctness” was an insightful, often overlooked value in good writing. We practiced this by writing hypothetical emails for difficult workplace scenarios which challenged us to put ourselves in the shoes of our audience and word our email with great tact.

Professor Kalish also showed us a slide of all the qualities that employers seek in recent college graduates. Despite students’ expectations, writing was the number one quality most appreciated and sought by employers. I was surprised, but this surprise was good because it reoriented my perception of the importance of writing. The session motivated me to work harder on my writing, both for myself and for my work as a tutor.

-Carla Sung Ah Yoon ‘15