K-State graduate students recently had the opportunity to learn about professional communication from “America’s job search guru.”
Donald Asher is an internationally recognized author and expert on careers and higher education. He is the author of 12 books, including “Cracking the Hidden Job Marketing,” and has written columns for USAirways magazine, MSN and the Wall Street Journal’s CareerJournal.com.
“We’re going to talk about communication styles and techniques using job search as a model, but this really, the communication stuff that I’m here to talk to you about, is stuff that you need as a professional,” said Asher during his presentation. “You need this anyway, it just happens that it’s related to being successful in the job search as well.”
Asher began his presentation by demonstrating the importance of networking with everyone through the one handshake theory.
“My friend Bear is the gas station attendant in Gerlach, Nev. Bear sells gas to a guy named Alverto. Alverto trains falcons out in the desert for the Saudi family,” said Asher. “So I am one handshake away from the Saudi family.”
In addition to speaking about the importance of networking, Asher also described effective networking strategies. He explained the importance of systematic follow up to foster successful professional relationships and advance careers. Asher also discussed networking in academia, protocol and etiquette and the importance of small talk.
Students were able to practice what they had learned following the lecture during an interactive practice session hosted by Asher.
Although the event, sponsored by the Graduate School, Graduate Student Council and Career and Employment Services, was geared toward graduate students, the information presented applies to undergraduates and alumni, too. A video of Asher’s presentation is available online for those who were unable to attend.