You are welcome here.
DEI efforts to address inclusion.
These are big concepts that deserve big discussions on campuses everywhere. Discussions with senior leaders setting policies and developing programs to make everyone on campus feel involved and connected.
And to make all that happen, that feeling of being welcome and included, will rely on some of the small things that often are met with eye rolls. Yet, these small things are really important to this whole inclusion effort.
You know that inside joke and the trendy celebrity stuff you are not on top of? The conversation that just kind of left you like roadkill as it blew right by? Maybe silly. Perhaps kind of uncomfortable. Happens to all of us. And it happens to your new students frequently. Domestic, yes. International, all the time.
If you think small talk is meaningless, think again.
In our work for a large, highly ranked Midwestern institution, we were talking with Pham (not his real name). He traveled from Vietnam for his US studies. A natural networker, smart, interested in business, he chose to major in Business Management Information Systems and Finance. With that degree, it is no wonder he was snapped up by Deloitte where he currently works as a Senior Consultant in Tax Management.
To hear Pham tell it, connecting to the US community with small talk was critical to his success. He came to understand this during his studies as he tried to connect with the other international students and with his American peers. He found he was struggling to make friends.
Read on for Pham's perspective and our tips for getting these really important conversations started. It is all about personal and student success.Read More