Week two of the WesGold Fellows has occurred and this week was all about effective communication. This includes learning how to get ones point across, different modes of doing so, and how to use the skills acquired to get ahead in the professional world. The students have been exposed to many different exercises of achieving the previously mentioned goals.
These exercises include “I didn’t do it” and “Change Up”. “I didn’t do it” is an exercise in which the fellows were only allowed to say the phrase “I didn’t do it”, but each one had to say the phrase differently. They had to do different variations of intonation and accent in order to make their attempt sound distinct from the others. The second exercise, called “Change Up” had the same idea in mind, but the phrase that was repeated was created by the group. Different rounds spawned different sayings that ranged from wacky made up sayings such as “Shrek’s potatoes grow rapidly because ogre toes are fertilizer.’ to well known rap lyrics like “If you don’t know, now you know.” The fellows had to again put their own unique spins on each one. Some emulated angry, gravely voices, while others did a confused tone. Although it may seem silly, the exercise was successful in showing the fellows that the way they say things matter to those around them. This is an important skill for the personal and professional world.
The students also worked on their networking skills. They began with the foundation of every new business relationship: a handshake. The students gathered into a circle and practiced how to give a proper handshake and conduct themselves in meeting someone new. They also learned the ins and outs of small talk when meeting a prospective boss or coworker. Additionally, the fellows worked on their professional elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a scenario in which a person is on an elevator with a person who could change their professional life for the better. The fellows chose who they were speaking to for the 30 second ‘elevator ride’. The purpose of this exercise was to allow the students to access their career and life goals, learn to pitch to anyone, and do it in a clear, concise manner.
Finally, the students had a workshop with Drexel Professor, Gerri Garrett. She is an acting professor and gave the students a workshop on improvisation and effectively conveying messages. The workshop consisted of games such as one called Bippity Boppity, where the fellows had to complete actions based on a cue given by Garrett, another game called Freeze tag, where fellows would act out a scene, freeze it, then a different fellow would tap one of the original fellows out and start a new scene. Garrett’s philosophy is that people forget how to play, so she wants the fellows to tap back into their abilities to play.