For the past 2 Sundays, I have been taking a one-unit class in Active Communication. The class is run on Sundays because this is the only day that no EWMBA’ers have other classes, and was made up of a mix of Evening, Weekend and Berkeley-Columbia students from different stages in their degrees. The first question that others in the class asked me was – What, you’re a first year, and you’re allowed to take electives already?!?! I’m sure if you’re really keen to take additional classes, you can work something out with the Program Office, but in my case I have waived out of the core Finance class (because I have an undergrad major in Finance), so need to take some additional classes to make up the points – and Active Communicating looked very interesting.
Active Communicating is run by Dr Mark Rittenberg of Corporate Scenes, and uses principles of the theater to build communication skills relevant in the workplace – such as engaging an audience, incorporating stories in communication, active listening, giving & receiving feedback and many others. Although this class required long days (9am – 6pm) on a Sunday, all the students in the class were really energized by the engaging facilitators, and active workshop style that had us all up trying out new techniques (and even quoting Shakespeare in strange voices). I really enjoyed meeting others from the program outside my cohort, and loved taking a class that didn’t involve heavy books, lots of theories and exams – it was such a great change from the first year core classes. I’m utilizing the communication skills I’ve learnt already, and looking at communication in my workplace in a whole new light.