First Semester (with MGMT 615)
LMAS Launch & Team Challenge
This is the kick-off event for the LMAS program at NIU. At this event, we will provide critical information for your adventure in the Leadership Master of Accounting Science program. In addition, you will be divided into teams to compete in head-to-head activities designed to improve teamwork and communication, build relationships with your classmates, enhance your group problem solving skills, and develop strategic planning capabilities. We continue to emphasize these skills throughout the LMAS workshops and classes. Get ready for a fun filled day!
Research has consistently shown that leaders who are self-aware will advance farther in their careers than those who are not. This workshop helps students become more self-aware by leveraging both the Hogan assessments and the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Leadership Survey. These tools will help students learn more about their personalities, discover any potential career challenges (i.e., derailers), and identify their unique values, interests, and leadership styles. After completing the assessments and attending the workshop, students will also participate in a follow-up small group consultation facilitated by the Director of Leadership Development, who will help students understand their values and develop related interview questions. Students will then use this information throughout their core accountancy courses in the Leadership Master of Accounting Science (LMAS) program to enhance their learning experience while developing key business skills as they focus on their career goals.
Professional Written Communication
This workshop explores the writing process and identifies basic building blocks of professional written communication. Students will learn the art of paraphrasing and avoiding plagiarism; they will also review common grammatical errors and learn how to avoid those errors in their own writing. Additionally, students will spend a portion of the workshop completing a series of writing exercises. These exercises highlight both higher-order concerns, such as audience and organization, and lower-order writing concerns, such as comma usage, sentence structure, and proofreading strategies. After the workshop, each student will schedule a time to meet individually with a consultant in the Ernst & Young Leadership and Professional Development Center (LPDC) to discuss the student’s writing sample. Upon completing this workshop, students should have a clear understanding of how to organize and compose written documents for maximum impact.
Oral Communication Strategies
Research shows that many accounting professionals identify communication skills as critical for career success (Maturo, 2007; Smith, 2005; Stowers, 1999). This workshop identifies elements of an effective presentation and explores the formula for developing a clear message. Furthermore, issues such as powerless and inappropriate language will be examined so students will have a better understanding of how language and word choice can affect the impact of a message.
The Brand Called You
Personal branding is widely discussed in business news and interviews. But what is it? Thinking, analyzing, word-smithing, marketing, and communicating about ourselves is difficult! It takes time and effort to identify your brand; and yet it is required in a highly competitive marketplace. In this workshop, “boring,” “common,” “normal,” and “usual” are unacceptable words and will not be tolerated. You have a brand already. In this workshop, you’ll get some time to dig it up, discover your value and start to craft your own unique branding description. The ROI from this workshop will be off the charts!
Second Semester (With ACCY 679)
Second City Experience
The improvisational workshop at The Second City helps students build on oral and interpersonal communication skills. Students’ communication and leadership skills are activated by requiring them to think on their feet and communicate extemporaneously through the use of activities that incorporate improvisation and teamwork. Activities, such as listening games and role playing exercises, place students in a variety of situations that allow them to experience the challenges of communication in small and large groups. Additionally, the final activity, in which of groups of 10-12 students develop and perform an infomercial, combines team teamwork, improvisation, and communication to help students hone these important skills.
Facilitating Group Meetings
Conducting a meeting is one of the first opportunities students will have to take a leadership role. This workshop explores the importance of creating an environment for leading a facilitated group dialogue. Furthermore, students will be exposed to a variety of process tools and approaches to maximize meeting time and participation. Students will have the opportunity to plan a focus group meeting and practice developing questions to facilitate group discussion.
Being a Trusted Advisor
Most people want to be a trusted advisor in business. The question is how do you become a trusted advisor to your peers, a boss, or any given client? In this fast-paced networked marketplace, developing trust and building confidence is in high demand (and perhaps limited supply). Since trust is the necessary foundation of all business relationships, this workshop will explore the keys to becoming a trusted advisor through the use of curiosity, listening, influencing, and partnering.
Keys to Networking
Although the word networking has developed a “bad rap” for some, it is still the business currency of successful careers…even now more than ever! Building relationships that matter throughout your entire career will be a critical differentiator between those who just survive and those who thrive. This workshop will not only make the case for building a network early and often, but will lead students through specific networking steps and provide a couple of practical opportunities to initiate the networking process.
Accountancy in Context
Accountancy in context is on-site learning experience. We travel to a unique venue in the Chicago-land area to explore accounting in an unusual setting. The group generally tours the facility and is asked to observe and think-about potential business risks and unique accounting issues. At the end of the tour, the group will meet with the Chief Financial Officer, Controller, or others involved in the accounting process for a discussion and question/answer session. Prior years have included trips to Soldier Field, Shedd Aquarium, and Field Museum. This is a one-of-a kind experience to explore the breadth of the opportunities in the accounting profession.
The ability to provide individuals and groups with constructive feedback is an important leadership skill to master. This workshop highlights strategies for delivering positive and negative feedback messages, as well as considering the consequences of inappropriate feedback interventions. Students will leave this workshop understanding the power and perils of delivering feedback in the workplace.
Third Semester (With ACCY 690)
Group Communication & Decision-Making
Although most people think that “two heads are better than one,” research on group decision-making shows that groups often make bad decisions. This workshop explores the research on group decision-making and builds on the behavioral biases discussed in various LMAS courses to identify strategies for improving group communication and decision-making. Students will engage in group communication exercises to help them learn to navigate various communication obstacles and identify strategies for improving group communication and decision-making.
Onboarding: A New Start
Change, change, and more change! It’s coming at you all the time and from all angles. And, as they say, the only thing about change is the rate of change. After graduation, you will encounter more change in your life. Yes, you’ve worked as a summer intern, or maybe you’ve already spent considerable time in the workplace, but during your LMAS program, your primary job has been focusing on classes and grades. So, let’s take some time and actually design a 90-day onboarding plan for your next chapter. We will be intentional by taking full advantage of all the opportunities to launch a successful career while avoiding some of the common corporate “speed bumps” along the way.