(reports from James Benedict R.Gutierrez)
Immersed on a learning experience, students from the MBA and PhD programs of the Institute of Graduate Studies (IGS) took part in a seminar-workshop on “Effective Business Correspondence” last August 22 at the SSC-R Coffee Shop. Organized by the officers of the Institute of Graduate Studies Student Government (IGS-SG) led by its President, James Benedict R. Gutierrez, the seminar aimed at re-orienting the students to the basics of business writing (i.e., form) as well as help them navigate through the complexities (e.g. use of language, andpositive intonation) in writing correspondences.
The seminar-workshop was facilitated by Ms. Ma. Cecilia F. Salapantan, an independent executive learning and personal development consultant, who conducts training programs on communication, management, self-development, and customer service. Her clients include companies and institutions such as the AT&T Global Services, Citigroup Business Services – Asia, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, RCBC, the Senate of the Philippines, ABS-CBN, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Nestle Philippines, San Miguel Corporation, Unilever Philippines, Pfizer, Inc., Ayala Land, AC Nielsen Philippines, and the Asian Institute of Management. Ms. Salapantan also served as the Vice-President and General Manager of Inter-Link Network Productions. She was also an Executive Assistant to the President, a Seminar-Director, and ultimately, the Vice-President of the Professional Skills Enrichment Center (PROSEC), Inc.
Tailored-fit for the students of the IGS, the whole day seminar was divided into workshops focusing on the application of topics entitled: “Overview of Writing in a Business Environment”, “Language in Perspective (correct usage concerns)”, “Challenges Encountered in Writing Business Correspondences”, “Oral versus Written Communication, Being Direct But Reader-Friendly”, “The Persuasive Business Correspondences”, and “Negative/Complex Message” (keeping the positive tone, handling conciliation messages).
Most of the workshops were done in two parts, either individually or in groups. Students were subjected to activities such as writing a one-pager memo/letter based on a scenario given by Salapantan, as well as presenting a correspondence written on sheets of manila paper. After each activity, the students’ outputs were then evaluated by Salapantan. Discussions were also held during the workshop as both the students and the facilitator gave their insights and feedback on a specific topic or activity.
Despite the challenges faced by the organizers, Guttierez affirmed that the students learned a great deal from both the lectures and the workshops given by Ms. Salapantan. The Dean and the faculty of the IGS also expressed their positive feedback on the proficiency and effectiveness of the speaker/facilitator.
Ending the seminar-workshop, Dr. Reynaldo Galam Alcid, Dean of IGS, and Mr. Gutierrez, awarded a Certificate of Appreciation to Ms. Ma. Cecilia F. Salapantan. Words of gratitude were spoken for the assistance of the College Instructional Media Center (IMC), the IGS staff and Faculty, the Office of the Coffee Shop Custodian, the guards and janitors who assisted during the preparation and for all who attended the event.