Ancient Rome

First-Year Seminar Readings

Module 5: Professionalism counts

The impression you make affects what you’ll be able to achieve

How you present yourself is important. You’ll find that you use different approaches with different audiences. How you speak and write to professors is different than you do with prospective (or actual) supervisors in the workplace. How you act in class is likely different than how you are with your friends- and with your family.

When working with faculty, prospective (or actual) supervisors or coworkers, and classmates, it is very important to be professional. But what does that actually mean?

It’s a moving target, really- and requires you to build EMPATHY and communication skills!

Professionalism is how you present yourself, but also how you approach your work, be it college or your career. Professionalism includes the competence and skill that is expected from someone in your field.

Professionalism is evident in:

·     How you communicate

·     The way you work with others

·     How you approach and solve complex problems

·     The ethical framework you use to make decisions

·     How you treat and value people

Think of professionalism as your personal code of conduct- how you present yourself and act. Your professionalism is what helps others to truly listen to what you have to say. It gives your ideas a chance to be heard and possibly acted on. Without professionalism, it is difficult for others to see your work for what it is- a valuable contribution to the knowledge that the world needs.


By the end of this module, you will:

·     Define empathy and perspective-taking and evaluate your skills and needs

·     Determine what effective communication skills are for a college student

·     Consider problem-solving approaches and the role of critical thinking in your college work

·     Take steps in presenting yourself to others including other students, faculty and staff, and potential employers

·     Look at what skills and habits are necessary for working with others in groups in college and beyond

·     Identify resources from Lehman to help you build these skills