Assignment 1: This I Believe Essay (2 pages, 2 references)

Assignment 1: This I Believe Essay (2 pages, 2 references)
You’ve just landed your dream job with a dynamic organization. The head of the organization is very charismatic and she meets with every new employee. You’ve been tracking her career for several years through the alumni news of your university, since she graduated about 10 years before you and is still very involved in the university. You want to make a good impression. She was recently interviewed for the New York Times column, Corner Office and commented that she always asks new hires her “signature question”. You’re anticipating that the head of your organization will ask her signature question at lunch today: “What motivates you, what’s your passion, what do you believe?”
The question is important to reflect on because your response may provide valuable insights into what drives you, as described in the attached article “The Search of Worthwhile Work”.
As you begin to formulate your response to this question your writing takes the form of an essay, the model for which is, This I Believe, first begun by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s radio program and revived by NPR several years ago in an online forum. The program highlights inspiring statements of belief from both famous and ordinary people.
In a 2 page essay, write your statement of personal and professional belief in response to “What motivates you, what’s your passion, what do you believe?” Share what you value and what’s important to you in regards to your profession, your industry, your career, or your education.
This is challenging! It requires a level of introspection so deep that no one else can do it for you. Use the following suggestions, adapted from, as a guide:
• Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. You are writing an essay, not a list. Focus on one core belief, which you will explain, define, and develop through the essay.
• Tell a story: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in specific events of your life. Consider moments when your belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and life, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your professional or educational philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs. Tell me how you reached your beliefs, and if they have grown, what made them grow. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real.
• Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing or finger-pointing. I do not want your views on the American way of life, democracy, or capitalism. (These are important but for another occasion.) I want to know what you live by, what you DO believe, not what you don’t believe.
• Be personal: Avoid speaking in the editorial “we” or the projecting “you” or the accusing “they.” The project is “this I believe,” not “this everyone believes,” “this my company believes,” or “this Americans/Russians/Scientologists believe.” Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. I recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief.
• Submit to the Assignment folder and Turnitin by January 25, 2016. Submit a copy of your Turnitin result to the assignment folder.
Feel free to visit for examples. There are thousands! You can also browse by theme, by age of writer, or by featured essay. Some of my favorites include “Always Be Cool to the Pizza Dude” (, “Satisfaction for a Job Well Done”, and “Teacher,” (
Assignment 2: Trends in my Profession: Criminal Justice (4 pages, 6 references)
This week, the head of your company has asked you to do some research and summarize THREE noteworthy trends in your profession. The goal of this assignment is to inform upcoming discussion of the company’s strategic priorities. The company head suggested that you write an annotated bibliography in the following manner:
Create a list of at least SIX citations to books, articles, and documents, each followed by a 150 word description and evaluation that will inform readers of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources.
You are excited about this assignment because you realize that being able to spots trends in your industry is an important skill. It assists you on the job as you work to create and deliver innovative and forward-looking products and services. It assists you in career planning as you envision new directions and opportunities for yourself. Spaeder (2007), writing for Entrepreneur, offers the following on how to Spot the Latest Trends.
In this assignment, research THREE trends in your profession and create an Annotated Bibliography that contains a list of at least SIX articles, books and documents that supports your research.
• Employ APA Style 6ed
• At the top of the annotated bibliography, identify the document as follows:
Annotated Bibliography: Title
Your Name
• Before beginning the annotated entries, write a brief paragraph about the research codes you used and the trends you’ve identified
• Include at least six (6) references; a minimum of three (3) must come from the UMUC Library
• Each annotation should include the following:
1. The purpose of the work
2. A summary of its content
3. The audience type for whom the work is written
4. The material’s relevance to the topic
5. Any special or unique features about the material
6. The strengths, weaknesses or biases in the material
• Number the pages in the header, as APA specifies
Process Steps
a. Review ALL the resources contained in this module under the link: UMUC Library Resources, including the video, “How to Write and Annotated Bibliography”
b. Identify one of the following codes for your industry:
a. NAICS Code – locate the definition at: North American Industry Classification System ( and locate the database at NAICS Codes
b. SOC Code – locate the definition at: Standard Occupational Classification ( and locate the database at O*NET SOC Code
c. Employ the UMUC Library to locate journal articles, books, and other sources that that will assist you in identifying the trends in your industrySubmit the assignment to before you submit the assignment to LEO
a. Ensure a mix of quality resources
b. Limit use of web sources to well vetted, reputable sites
Assignment 3: Critical Thinking in Action (4 pages, 5 references)
The head of your organization pulled you aside and asked you to review a workplace dispute. She said, “Apply your best critical thinking to figure out what happened and a what decision is called for to remedy this situation.” She wants your analysis in the next two weeks.
To begin, let’s consider what it means to engage in critical thinking. While the application of critical thinking may vary across disciplines, the steps are universal. Adapted from the writings of Bassham, Irwin, Nardone, and Wallace (2011); Lau (2011); and Lau and Chan (2015), critical thinking involves thinking clearly and systematically, and encompasses
• formulating ideas succinctly and precisely
• identifying the relevance and importance of ideas
• understanding the logical connections between ideas
• identifying, constructing and evaluating arguments, claims, and evidence
• recognizing explicit and implicit assumptions, arguments, and biases
• detecting inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning
• formulating clear defensible ideas and conclusions
• evaluating the pros and cons of decisions
• reflecting on one’s own beliefs and values
• applying ethical decision making
The steps involved in critical thinking can be employed universally, in the analysis of all thoughts and actions —whether you are analyzing documents, ideas, assertions, or the quality of decisions/solutions. In this assignment, you’ll be applying them to a case study.
Most importantly, critical thinking is purposeful. It is not restricted solely to information gathering, nor is it about being “negative and fault-finding” (Bassham et. al., 2011 p. 1). As Lau and Chan write, “A critical thinker is able to deduce consequences from what he knows, and he knows how to make use of information to solve problems, and to seek relevant sources of information to inform himself” (2015). While the process of critical thinking may involve exposing untruths and poor reasoning, it also involves engaging in cooperative reasoning for the purposes of shared goals and decision making. We engage in the steps of critical thinking to learn deeply, to improve our ideas, to strengthen arguments and to “enhance work processes and improve social institutions” (Lau, 2011).
Critical thinking aligns with and informs ethical reasoning and decision making. Internet marketing expert Nick Melillo (2010) writes
Critical thinking plays a large role in ethics because it is the process by which we determine for ourselves whether or not something is right or wrong. In a sense, critical thinking is a form of analysis and determination of fact vs. fiction, identifying the unknown, coming to an understanding, etc… By taking the path of a critical thinker, a person develops a mental process of evaluation which helps to determine their ethical standards. (p. 1)
The process of critical thinking helps us weigh and verify information, assess intent, and consider consequences, thereby enabling more effective ethical decision making.
Hereford (2015), suggests critical thinking requires a particular mindset that includes being able to
• Rely on reason instead of emotions
• Assess a broad range of perspectives and viewpoints
• Consider new evidence, explanations, findings, and alternative interpretations
• Reassess information
• Suspend personal prejudices and biases
• Contemplate all reasonable possibilities
• Avoid quick judgments
Let’s take some time to adopt a framework for critical thinking and purposefully engage in some practice by responding to the company-head’s request for a critical analysis of the ongoing dispute.
Step 1: The framework (rubric) is based on FOUR key steps, each of which has several sub-steps, as shown in the full rubric.
1. Identify and clearly explain the main issue or problem under critical consideration.
2. Gather and analyze information to explore/investigate the issue or problem.
3. Consider and analyze other possible viewpoints, conclusions or decision/solutions to the issue or problem
4. Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions and/or decisions/solutions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks
Step 2: Read the Markkula case studies (, then choose ONE to examine in this essay. Employ the TGS Critical Thinking Rubric as framework for analyzing the case. Begin with an Introduction that states the purpose of your analysis. Use the FOUR key steps in the rubric as the format framework of a short position paper (details below). Employ the sub-steps within each of the four key steps to further direct your analysis and writing.
Present your final analysis in an APA style paper with the structure given below. Refer to the TGS Communications Rubric and associated resources, including the writing tutors in WRIT 689, as needed.
1. Cover Sheet
2. Introduction
3. Begin by clearly identifying the ethical issues.
4. Describe in strong terms why the issue is the most critical issue that management must address.
5. Include a thesis statement that contains your main argument.
6. Supporting (Body) Paragraphs
o Briefly define the five ethical approaches before you use the ethical approaches to evaluate the options you have identified.
o Keep in mind the ‘one idea to one paragraph’ rule: each supporting paragraph should contain one idea and its supporting details. If you start writing about a new idea, you need to begin a new paragraph.
o Make sure each body paragraph has a topic sentence that holds the main point of the paragraph and that directly supports the thesis statement.
7. Conclusion
o Write a conclusion that clearly summarizes and ends the paper. Do not introduce new topics in the conclusion.
o Restate your thesis and sum up your arguments.
5. References (not Bibliography, Reference List, or Works Cited, which are terms from styles other than APA)
o Must be on its own page
o Must agree with your text citations and include only entries that were cited within the body of the paper. Do not introduce sources here that you have not referenced in the body of the paper.
Follow these guidelines:
• Use the TGS Critical Thinking Rubric to guide your analysis.
• Use the TGS Written Communications Rubric to guide your writing.
• Draw in references from at least one reputable outside resource related to the topic to support your conclusions or proposed decisions.
• Employ APA Style 6ed for format and citation guidance.
• Include a cover sheet with your name and the originality score.
Remember: Even though I have suggested the major headings for your short paper, you should still follow best practices for structuring the paper.
• An effective introduction grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone and direction for the rest of the paper. In reading an introduction, the reader should have a clear idea of what will follow. Supporting paragraphs move the reader from the general introduction to the more specific aspects of your analysis in the paper.
• The body paragraphs show how the information you are providing supports and relates to your thinking.
• Each paragraph should include a topic sentence, which contains the main point of the paragraph.
• The Conclusion brings to a close what you have presented in your paper.
o You have moved the reader from the general introduction (“The intent of this paper is to critically analyze…) to the specific supporting paragraphs, and now to the conclusion, which briefly summarizes the issue or intent and restates the main points of your analysis (“detail analysis of the issue of … resulted in conclusions that indicate… and suggest proposed decisions to…”).
Bassham, G.; Irwin, W.; Nardone, H.; & Wallace, J. (2011). Critical thinking: A student’s introduction. 4th Ed. New York, NY: The McGraw Hill Companies.
Fisher, A. (2011). Critical thinking: An introduction. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Hereford, Z. (2015). How to think critically and problem solve. Retrieved from
Lau, J. (2011). An introduction to critical thinking and creativity: Think more, think better. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Lau, J., & Chan, J. (2015). What is critical thinking? Retrieved from
Melillo, N. (2010). What is the relationship between critical thinking and ethics? Retrieved from

Assignment 4: Social Media Presence (3 pages, 5 references)
The head of your company passed you in the hall and asked “Why couldn’t I find you on LinkedIn? I want to make a connection with you!
Companies are expanding their use of social media to external stakeholders for a variety of reasons, including, as cited by Social Media Today (2014):
• Customer Service – successful use of social media provides channels to customers that allow for real-time communication that can be used to
o answer questions
o solve problems
o support the sales process
o convey care for customers
o solicit customer feedback
• Brand Building – by increasing exposure through more channels brands can be strengthened by
o building awareness and identity
o associating a “voice” with the brand
o reaching more customers
o enabling competition with larger companies
o expanding reach to global markets
o while making relationships more personal
• Reputation Management – through monitoring of online presence that enables companies to
o become more accessible
o drive more traffic to web presence
o link to other partners
o respond swiftly to negative comments and complaints
In addition, companies are employing social media internal to their organizations. Towers Watson (2013) found in their surveys that “56% of the employers surveyed currently use various social media tools as part of their internal communication initiatives”.
• Internal Communications – serving as official and unofficial channels of communication for the purposes of
o sharing company-wide official information
o introducing and reinforcing company culture
o facilitating communication among employees across organizational boundaries
o supporting collaborative work
o building a sense of community
There has also be a rise in “social recruiting”; employers, recruiters, and job seekers employing social media to find jobs and hire candidates
• Recruiting – by performing web searches
o Employers and recruiters seek out prospective employees to obtain more information about them, both professional and personal; examine examples of their past work; and gain insights into potential “fit” with the organization
o Job seekers are using social media to gather information on potential employers, checking their outlets for information company culture, management, benefits, and employee opinions
A survey of recruiters reports that overwhelmingly, recruiters who use social media use LinkedIn to post jobs, search for candidates, contact candidates and do pre-interview vetting (Jobvite 6th Annual Social Recruiting Survey). A new survey from Careerbuilder found:
• 43% of employer respondents use social networking sites to research job candidates, and that
• 51 % of those employers who researched job candidates found content in the that caused them to not hire the candidate
To understand the reasons why employers are disqualifying candidates view the survey results at: Employers Passing on Applicants Due to Social Media Posts Continues to Rise.
For these reasons, understanding how to effectively employ social media is essential, whether you are required to use it in performing your job or you want to optimize your presence to attract future employers. In this assignment we will explore the social media platform, LinkedIn, which is designed for use by the business community.
Work through the assignment by responding to the following question:
Step 1 – Using a variety of Library and Web resources, perform an exploration of your career path (Health care administration) to inform your LinkedIn page.
To guide your exploration respond to the topics and questions listed below.
1. Situation analysis: of the career market that includes:
a. Macro-level: What is the market like for this type of career path in general? Is the industry demand increasing, decreasing, or remaining steady? Is it better in some areas than others, etc.?
b. Competitive environment: Who are the other competitors seeking positions in this profession? Are there potentially other competitors in related industries? Can you identity particular individuals who are your main competition (which will be the case if you are competing internally). How do you compare to these competitors?
c. Internal environment: What are the needs in the particular companies/organizations that you are targeting?
2. Your goals and objectives: Make them specific. What particular positions do you want and what is your time frame for obtaining them? It’s a good idea to have some steps along the way. Include plans for expanding your skills along the way.
3. Other important elements that
a. Identifies the industry and employers you are targeting.
b. Identifies the most important key skills/benefits you deliver to your industry, employer, or customer, for example, unique insights into a particular job function, well-honed people skills, and extensive experience in a particular area.
c. Identifies your main competitors. If you are looking industry-wide, these may be graduates of other schools or those with similar or different qualifications; if you are looking to be promoted within a company, the competition may be particular individuals in your company
d. Describes how are you different from your competitors in a positive way that makes you stand out from the other competitors in the market?

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