"Our success is determined by how well we use these communication tools"

Jasmina Sazdovska, Senior Languagage Professor at the International Business School, tells us what you can expect from the Business Communication Skills Course.

What’s the main aim of the Business Communication Skills course that you’ll be teaching at the ELTE Business Economics Summer University?
The Business Communication Skills course aims to familiarise participants with various types of business communication, including written genres like correspondence and reports, and oral skills such as negotiating and presenting. On the practical side, the objective is to enable students to successfully take part in a wide range of real-life corporate communication situations. Theoretical aspects are covered implicitly through group discussions and tangible, easy-to-understand examples.

How is the course structured?
The course is planned to be project-based. This means that participants will work in groups on certain corporate communication tasks managing a project from start to finish over the duration of the course. For example, a clothing retailer is looking to open a new branch in Budapest. First, each team member brainstorms and researches various possible locations and then writes up a business proposal on the advantages of their chosen location. Next, the participants practice written correspondence by emailing the proposals to each other and providing feedback comments. In the final stage, the team organises a formal business meeting in which each of the participants will present their proposal and the group will negotiate to select the most appropriate location for the new branch. As a result, the majority of the course will focus on fun, interactive role-plays and simulations of a wide range of corporate communication situations. 

Who is the course designed for?
Due to the flexible nature of the project work, the course can cater to an especially wide range of participants. This is because the roles in the teams can be assigned according to the level of education and specialisation of the participants. Pre-service business students on Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes can be assigned entry-level types of roles. Similarly, those already working in the corporate world can be given managerial roles which are suited to their fields.

How was your experience with the course last year?
The course ran for the first time in the summer of 2019. It proved to be popular with the applicants and the feedback was very positive. The high motivation of the students was reflected in the excellent grades they earned. They found the project work engaging, yet challenging. Based on that experience, the structure of the task in 2020 has been adjusted to make it easier for participants to keep up with the intensive delivery of the module. This will hopefully boost the interactive elements of the course even further. 

Why did you think it’s important to study communication skills?
These days approximately two thirds of economic activity occurs in the service sector where the main tools are not those of production, but those of communication. In the modern global village our success, both in and out of the corporate world, is determined by how well we use these communication tools. The frontrunners are those who can skilfully navigate their way through the corporate labyrinth by knowing how to communicate, negotiate, present, persuade, write, propose, correspond, and so on. 

Jasmina Sazdovska is a college professor at the International Business School in Budapest. Having completed part of her education in London, she obtained her PhD on the topic of business presentations at the ELTE Language Pedagogy Programme. Apart from teaching courses on business communication in Hungary, she has held corporate trainings and been an Erasmus exchange teacher in Nicosia, Lisbon and Bologna. For more information on her background as well as samples of her presentations and training videos please visit her website.