Professional seminar course syllabus

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Kent State University Shannon Rodgers & Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising

FD&M 30083 FALL 2006


Noel Palomo-Lovinski Phone: (330) 672-0137

Office: Rockwell Hall 218G FAX: (330) 672-3772

Office Hours: M-F 10:00- 11:00 Email:

Course Description

Professional development strategies for fashion and related careers. Emphasis is on verbal and written communication skills. Completion of this course with a grade of “C” or better fulfills the University’s “Writing-Intensive Course Requirement.”

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Establish realistic career goals based on a self-assessment of values, interests, skills, and abilities

  • Identify and investigate potential occupations and work environments

  • Pursue internship/employment opportunities by using effective job search strategies and by developing an effective resume, communication skills (both written and verbal), and professional business correspondence

  • Use feedback from writing assignments to improve writing skills

  • Develop realistic expectations of job demands, learn how to deal with common business problems, and understand the importance of professional behavior

Required Textbooks

  • Bolles, R. (2005). What Color is your Parachute? Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press

  • Whitcomb, S. (2003). Resume Magic; 2nd e. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, Inc.

Academic Guidelines

Class Participation. Active class participation and discussion are strongly encouraged.
Assignments. All assignments and class presentations are to be handled in a professional manner as will be discussed in class. All assignments, projects, and reports must be submitted on the due date. Late or missing assignments will count as an “F” toward the final letter grade for this course.
Make-up Exams/Quizzes. Make-up exams and quizzes are permitted to those students who have true emergencies such as illness resulting in hospitalization or medical isolation as prescribed by a physician.
Course Evaluation Criteria and Assignments: The final course grade will be based on the following criteria.
Final Grading Scale (Points)


A = 900- 837 (93%)

B = 836-765 (85%)

C = 764-693 (77%)

D = 692-621 (69%)

F = 620-0

elf-Assessment Paper 100

Final Resume 100

Final Cover Letter 100

Reference List 50

Interview Follow-Up Letter 50

Videotaped Interview 100

Professional Presentation #1 100

Personal Post-Graduation Budget 100

Professional Presentation #2 100

Final Exam 100

Note #1: If the first drafts of the “Resume” and “Cover Letter” are not submitted by their respective due dates, a loss of points will be deducted from the “Final Resume” and “Final Cover Letter” assignments.
Note #2: If the “Self-Evaluation of Videotaped Interview” is not submitted by the due date, a loss of points will be deducted from the “Videotaped Interview” assignment.

University Policy Statements

Students with Disabilities. University policy 3342-3-18 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments. Please note, you must first verify your eligibility for these through the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) in the Michael Schwartz Student Services Center (contact 330-672-3391 or visit for more information on registration procedures).

References: “Nondiscrimination and Access to University Programs for Qualified Handicapped Students.”

“University Policy Register,” 3342-3-18 (Chapter 3, pg.4). “University Life Digest of Rules and Regulations,” (page 17).

Registration. “It is the student’s responsibility to ensure proper enrollment in classes. You are advised to review your official class schedule during the first two weeks of the semester to ensure proper enrollment. Should you determine an error in your class schedule, you have until the Friday of the second week of class to correct it with your advising office. If registration errors are not corrected by this date and you continue to attend and participate in classes for which you are not officially enrolled, you are advised now that you will not receive a grade at the conclusion of the semester.” Statement provided by the College of Fine and Professional Arts and the College of Business Administration.
Cheating and Plagiarism. Cheating and plagiarism constitute fraudulent misrepresentation for which no credit can be given and for which appropriate sanctions are warranted and will be applied.

References: “Administrative Policy and Procedures Regarding Student Cheating and Plagiarism University Policy Register,” 3342-3-07 (Chapter 3, pages 15-24). “University Life Digest of Rules and Regulations,” (page 9).
Student Academic Complaint Policy and Procedures. “Student academic complaints and problems should always be resolved informally if at all possible. A student should always consult with his or her professor first. If the complaint cannot be settled, the student should consult the School Director. If the involved parties do not reach resolution at this point, the student may elect to lodge a formal grievance in accordance with the Administrative Policy Regarding Student Academic Complaint.”

References: “Faculty Handbook,” page 9.3. “Administrative Policy Regarding Student Academic Complaint.” “University Policy Register,” 3342-4-16 (Chapter 4, pages 43-48). “University Life Digest of Rules and Regulations,” (page 13).

Professional Seminar Course Outline

W 1

M 8/28

Introduction to Course

Assignment: Complete “Temperament Sorter II” and print results (Don't pay for detailed reports) Due: 08/30

W 8/30

Field Trip - KSU Career Services (Meet in 261 Michael Schwartz Center) 11:00 am

Assignment: Read Chapter 1 of “Parachute” Due: 09/06

Assignment: Write “Self-Assessment Paper” Due: 09/11

W 2

M 9/4

Labor Day - No Class


Career Planning - Developing Your Skills Inventory

Assignment: Read Chapters 1 & 2; Appendix A & B of “Resume Magic” Due: 09/11

Assignment: Begin writing “1st Draft of Resume” Due: 09/13

W 3

M 9/11

Career Planning - Developing Your Five-Year Plan Resumes

Assignment: Review Chapters 3 through 6 and Chapter 10, pp. 469 – 496 of “Resume Magic” Due: 09/13

W 9/13

Cover Letters

Assignment: Begin writing “1st Draft of Cover Letter” Due: 09/20

W 4

M 9/18

Resume Workshop

Assignment: Review Chapters 7 & 8; Appendix C of “Resume Magic”

W 9/20

Resume Workshop

Assignment: Complete “Final Resume” Due: 09/25

Assignment: Read Chapter 10, pp. 498 – 510 of "Resume Magic” Due: 9/25

W 5

M 9/25

Cover Letters Workshop

Assignment: Read Chapters 2 through 5 of “Parachute” Due: 9/27

W 9/27

Cover Letters Workshop

Assignment: Complete “Final Cover Letter” Due: 10/02

Assignment: Read Chapters 10 and 11 of “Parachute” Due: 10/04

W 6

M 10/02

Job Search Strategies - Reference Lists

Assignment: Read Chapters 7 through 9 of “Parachute” Due: 10/04

W 10/4

Researching Career Opportunities in Fashion & Discussion of Internships

Assignment: Write “Reference List” Due: 10/09


M 10/9

Discussion of “Professional Presentation” Assignments

W 10/11


Assignment: Read “101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions” Due: 10/18


M 10/16

Interviewing: The Power of Non-Verbal Communication & Professional Appearance

Assignment: Read Chapter 10, pp. 496 – 497 of “Resume Magic”Due: 10/23

Assignment: Read Chapter 12 of “Parachute” Due: 10/23

W 10/18

Interview Follow-Up & Negotiating the Job Offer

Assignment: Write “Interview Follow-Up Letter” Due: 10/25


M 10/23

Interviewing Workshop: Practice Interviews (Professional Attire Required)

Note: “Fall Career Expo” is being held Wednesday, October 26 10am-3pm Student Center Ballroom

F 10/27

W 10/25 CLASS


Videotaping of Interviews (Meet in Music & Speech Building at Scheduled Appointment

Individual 15 Minute Scheduled Appointments Videotaping of Interviews

Assignment: Complete “Self-Evaluation of Videotaped Interview” Due: 11/06


M 11/06

Employee Benefits, Salary Expectations, and Personal Budgeting

Assignment: Develop “Personal Post-Graduation Budget” Due: 11/13

W 11/08

Professional Presentation #1 Begins


M 11/13

Professional Presentation #1 Continues

W 11/15

Professional Presentation #1 Concludes


M 11/20

Business Ethics


M 11/27

Professional Presentation #2 Begins

M 11/29

Professional Presentation #2 Continues


M 12/4

Professional Presentation #2 Concludes

W 12/6

Discussion of Final Exam & Course Wrap-Up


M 12/11

Final Exam 10:15-12:30

Course Grade Calculation Worksheet


Cumulative Points Earned

(Column A)

Cumulative Possible Points

(Column B)

Cumulative Grade (%)

(Column C)

Self-Assessment Paper

÷ 100 =

Final Resume (see note #1 below)

÷ 200 =

Final Cover Letter (see note #1 below)

÷ 300 =

Reference List

÷ 350 =

Interview Follow-Up Letter

÷ 400 =

Videotaped Interview (see note #2 below)

÷ 500 =

Professional Presentation #1

÷ 600 =

Personal Post-Graduation Budget

÷ 700 =

Professional Presentation #2

÷ 800 =

Final Exam

÷ 900 =

Example: If after the “Final Cover Letter” assignment, you have accumulated 246 points, then, your “Cumulative Grade (%)” would be 82%, which is a “C” at this stage in the course. Sample Calculation: 246 Cumulative Points Earned (Column A) ÷ 300 Cumulative Possible Points (Column B) = .82 Cumulative Grade % (Column C).


#1: If the first drafts of the “Resume” and “Cover Letter” are not submitted by their respective due dates, a loss of points will be deducted from the “Final Resume” and “Final Cover Letter” assignments.
#2: If the “Self-Evaluation of Videotaped Interview” is not submitted by the due date, a loss of points will be deducted from the “Videotaped Interview” assignment.

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