The Fox School Editorial Team sat down with Business Communication Center (BCC) director Jimmy Miller to gain insight into the BCC’s inner workings.
1016 appointments last academic year with a total of 633 tutoring hours! Wow! Can you share why Fox undergraduate students value the services provided at the BCC?
JM: Students value us because they get short- and long-term benefits. In the short term, their grades improve. In the long term, they get to practice their communication skills under the guidance of trained tutors.
Communication skills are like any other: the more you get to practice with a coach, the faster and more dramatically you improve.
The most requested services are final editing/proofreading and grammar/punctuation. In addition to this support, can you detail the range of services offered at the BCC – both in-person and virtual?
JM: We offer tutoring at any stage of the communication process – from brainstorming to proofreading! If you need help developing an idea, we can assist. If you need help making your sentences clearer, we can do that. Want to give a practice run of your presentation to a live audience? We’re available. We have two presentation tutoring rooms in the new space. We also help with scholarship applications and grad school essays. And all our services can be virtual (even presentations) or in person…for free.
The BCC is located on the 5th Floor of Alter Hall. What has energized you about the new space?
JM: October’s the busiest because students usually realize by then – either because they’ve got an initial bad grade or simply because they feel a little overwhelmed – that they need some help. However, students should be thinking about the BCC all the time. Even if you are a graduating senior, we can help with your cover letter or your grad school essay or your Fox/STHM capstone projects.
A high percentage of our clients come back and use the BCC over and over again. So, the most important time to visit the BCC is early in your Temple career. You will see your communication skills improving over four years – which means that you’ll have an advantage over your competition when it comes to applying for jobs near the end of your senior year.
Peer tutors support students whose first language is not English. They have helped students who speak Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and more. Can you detail the training that peer tutors receive to support students from all levels of English language abilities?
JM: Every fall and spring, our tutors attend a workshop on supporting culturally and linguistically diverse students. Tutoring a client whose first language is not English is not much different from tutoring a native English speaker. Peer tutors can help students with sequencing ideas, sentence clarity, grammar and punctuation.
Not that it’s a competition, but last year marketing majors used the BCC more than any other Fox or STHM major…with Risk Management, Business Management and Finance close behind. Share with us the importance of polished written and presentation skills for all business, sport, tourism or hospitality majors.
JM: You may have the best technical skills of anyone at your work, but if you can’t communicate to others what your data means, or how people who don’t have your skills can benefit from what you have to offer, then your success will be limited. Doing good work in any field is only half of the success; the rest is being able to work with others and make them understand your insights.
The BCC is moving to the 5th Floor of Alter Hall! What has energized you about the new BCC space?
JM: Our tutoring space is bigger, and the tutor-client stations are spaced further apart, so we can conduct multiple appointments at once without noise from any appointment interfering with other appointments. We’ve got two presentation tutoring rooms, so we can accommodate all sorts of presentation tutoring – from practice presentations in front of a live tutor audience to simply proofreading slides. We’re also excited to be more centrally located in the Fox/STHM worlds. Students are in Alter and Speakman Halls, so if they have an hour break between classes, they can pop up to see if we have an appointment available immediately.
How can students request an appointment?
Register for an account and schedule your appointment.
You can also stop by the Business Communication Center at Alter Hall 5th Floor suite, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. You can also reach us at [click-for-email] or 215.204.5959.