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BUS 102: Foundations of Business Communications

The ability to write and speak well are critical skill sets for business professionals. This course provides students with the opportunity to develop the communication and collaboration skills necessary for business success. Students will learn foundational rhetorical strategies for crafting effective written and oral communications through a series of business-oriented projects, including: Developing Business Relationships, Presenting Professional Credentials, Delivering Research Findings, and Making Recommendations. For these projects, students will write professional emails, resumes, cover letters, and a short research-based report. They will each deliver a personal introduction presentation and participate in a mock panel interview. In teams, they will present key findings from an industry research report to their peers, and present a recommendation on a business problem to an actual business client.

After completing this class, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate business communications for rhetorical effectiveness.
  • Compare and contrast business communication with other forms of communication.
  • Produce professional communications that are effective for audience, purpose, and context.
  • Use appropriate technologies for the design, development, and delivery of communications.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to plan, prepare, and deliver successful business communications that are consistent with professional standards.

ESP 103: Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Thinking

According to an IBM study of international CEOs, creativity is now the most important leadership quality for success in business. This class prepares students to succeed by learning the foundations of creativity and creative problem-solving in business. It operates like an entrepreneurial venture where students learn to leverage ambiguity and generate creative solutions to complex business problems. Students work both collaboratively and competitively to produce high quality work with unique value. The critical creative tools students focus on include failure, ambiguity, curiosity, idea generation, research, habits, diversity and collaboration, and project management.

After completing this class, students will be able to:

  • Assess the situation.
  • Identify key problems.
  • Explore options using divergent thinking.
  • Narrow choices using convergent thinking.
  • Develop and strengthen top ideas.
  • Select solutions as a team.

BUS 104: Introduction to Computational Thinking for Business

In this class, students learn basic coding principles using both Python and SQL. They create programs to address common business scenarios from multiple disciplines, such as finance and operations management. They also probe real-world client data for consumer insights to support a substantial group project. Students learn not only the mechanics of coding, but also the principles behind the process of coding. These principles—collectively known as computational thinking—strengthen analytic problem-solving skills and can be applied broadly to many aspects of work and life.

After completing this class, students will be able to:

  • Render data into useful information for problem-solving.
  • Apply computational thinking to business problems.
  • Gain insights from real-world data.
  • Draw relevant conclusions.
  • Communicate intelligently with modern technology.

A recent Forbes magazine article applauded the Farmer School’s First Year Integrated Core, and specifically this class, for answering a growing need in the business world. The article quoted Information Systems & Analytics department chair, Skip Benamati, who said: "Companies are laser-focused on using data to inform their decision-making. Data and information are at the core of how companies compete today, and it's becoming more and more critical that graduates possess at least a basic understanding of how they work."

Contact Us


Becky Crews
Program Director, First Year Integrated Core
3072 Farmer School of Business

Farmer School of Business

800 East High Street
Suite 2053
Oxford, OH 45056