Dr. Clark’s experience as a corporate executive has been instrumental in shaping her teaching. In that role she often found that recent graduates did not understand how the theories and concepts they were learning in their business classes translated to the ‘real world’ workplace. Tying management theories and concepts to day-to-day applications in business significantly informs her teaching to enable students to excel in college and beyond.
As a college professor, she strives to influence this outcome using three key elements.
Establishing credibility: By sharing her career path, which includes success and failure, providing accurate and timely communication and feedback, and developing and implementing detailed class structure and planning, she serves as an example to students that a first-generation college graduate can be successful and achieve goals through learning, discipline and hard work.
Professional role model: Since business relationships are often cultivated partly on first impressions, she ensures that her appearance, time focus, conduct and communication are appropriate for the business world.
Student Engagement: To allow students the opportunity to apply theories of management, they must be engaged. Strategies include topics and discussion that:
- Emphasize the direct and immediate connection between their work and the business world;
- Use various technologies to spark and maintain interest;
- Create intellectual curiosity about management theories and the benefits of staying current; and
- Encourage and reward participation.
Clark also recognizes that teaching is dynamic and will continue to change. Theories, topics, technology and students themselves will evolve. In order to remain current, she continuously conducts actionable research, engages in several professional development activities annually, collaborates with her colleagues both inside and outside of GGC and rigorously plans and organizes the course activities. This includes both a willingness and need to continually update content and activities to ensure that the application of theory and concepts remain relatable and interesting to students.
Her ultimate goal is for students to have the necessary learning and skills to be successful in the career they choose. By internalizing and demonstrating the ability to apply theories, concepts and ideas in the context of the ‘real world’ students are able to carry this learning throughout their business career.