Business Writing for Every Major: An Interview with Dr. Cynthia Ryan

Adele Leon

Business WritingWhat is your professional identity? What can you do as a college student at UAB to start creating this identity? Where can you go to learn how to brand yourself?

Dr. Cynthia Ryan’s Business Writing class can help you answer these questions.

As a member of the Professional Writing Program at UAB, Dr. Ryan teaches students across the disciplines how to create their professional identities for years through a split-level class.


I Need this Class!

Likely, Dr. Ryan will be teaching Business Writing in Spring 2017, and to be prepared for the class,
Dr. Ryan says that you need to be prepared by knowing what’s going on in the world, and every student should have a regular news feed of current events.This class is listed as an English class, but it is typically filled with students from the Business, Education, Psychology, and Communications Departments – just to name a few. This class doesn’t just help students create professional identities, students who enroll in this course will also learn:

  • How to rhetorically connect to their own brands
  • How their personal slogans will make them stand out against the competition
  • How to connect their identities to any constituency

It is important to start developing your professional identity now while you are still a student. Taking this class will open your professional network to the Association for Business Communication, and provide you with an opportunity to join the Ethics Bowl Team at UAB.

This class also covers common skills every student would need to know in both professional and personal settings.
Dr. Ryan will teach students who register for this class how to operate in a corporate setting – teaching students everything from writing professional emails to presenting themselves professionally and delivering a complete strategy statement. These skills will help students navigate any corporate environment. Rhetorically, students who are enrolled in this class will advance every aspect of their professional identities.
On a more personal level, this class will teach students how to negotiate— their interests, their personal presence, their goals—to succeed in their own branding.

Now picture yourself in a classroom full of people like you–people who are ready to start building their professional images. You are looking at this book:

Corporate Communication Textbook

Dr. Ryan walks in and asks you, What is your professional identity?

How will you answer?

She continues, How will you present that identity in your career?

Dr. Ryan will teach you how to answer those questions successfully. Dr. Ryan already has advice for you to be successful right now: The key to being successful in 2016 is being able to adapt your professional presence to all genres and conventions of the corporate world. But there are no hard and fast rules in business writing.

Generally, every genre of business writing changes depending on the context; so for example, there is no existing standard for memos or business letters that is consistent on Google.
This class will give you more than just example memos and business letters, it will teach you how to navigate different types of corporate climates, but most importantly, Dr. Ryan will ask you to work from your own interests so you can build the professional identity you want to build.

If you want to get to know Dr. Ryan a little more before, you sign up for her class, check out her blog.
You’ll read about her surviving cancer, traveling, and how she uses her personal identity to guide the life she wants to live.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s