Category Archives: Start of Class

Thursday, May 7: Presentations & Proposal Assignments


1. Together, we will review requirements/components of proposal, which will be due our final day of class.

Following the example of proposals we review in class, you will collaboratively create a proposal for your project. Please include the following elements in your proposal:

A. Executive Summary: Briefly summarize the project–including short paraphrases of each of the proposal components. Must not exceed 250 words/half page.

B. Statement of Need/Problem: Briefly explain the problem you are addressing, with research demonstrating the severity of the problem. You should include statistics from City Tech, quotes from fellow students and/or admin/staff, as well as research/stats from other colleges/universities in NYC and beyond. Include a brief description of the population to be served—what is the size and needs of this population (1 page or so)

C. Project Overview and Strategy:  Provide a clear and concise description of the project, as well as the strategy that you will use to achieve your goals. Include details about any potential partnerships (IE, contractors) or collaborations necessary for completing the project. Also include comparison with other potential solutions for the problem your project is addressing, and an explanation of why your solution is the best choice. Also, please name the obstacles to your project’s success as well as your strategies to overcome those obstacles. (about 2 pages)

D. Project Outcomes / Return on Investment: Be specific in describing measurable and verifiable outcomes that you expect to achieve. For instance, how will enrollment increase? How will student satisfaction improve? How will graduation rates improve? How will the status & ranking of the college improve? Be reasonable here—but don’t be afraid to shoot for ambitious goals. Also, please briefly describe the business upside of this project. How will it benefit the bottom line here at City Tech? (1/2 to 1 page)

E. Conclusion: This should serve more as a coda to the larger narrative as a whole. Here is the place to suggest next steps, and larger picture issues or subsequent projects that would result from your suggested solution.  I would write this last. (no more than 1/2 page)

Note on Format: Please write as MS Word document and upload the proposal on our last day of class via our Assignment Uploader. Please use 12pt Times New Roman font.


2. Read the following proposal in class & discuss; when finished reading, please assign proposal elements to each member of your group.

Note: The first example adheres closely to our format, while the second has a few more/different requirements. Both are excellent.

Proposal from Southeast Community College to Community Health Endowment of Lincoln

3. Post a blog post with an outline of your proposal, with assignments for each group member.

1.  Include your group name–something creative!

2. The group member names.

3. A breakdown of each group member’s assigned work along with an outline of your proposal. Go into as much detail as possible.

4. Please title your post — “Proposal Assignments & Outline” and categorize it as “Meeting Minutes”

Thursday, April 30: Service Learning Project Pitches


Today, we will work in groups to:

6-6:20 pm: Identify the top potential project for your proposal.

6:20 pm: Go around the class to announce each groups’ selection.

6:30 – 7:45 pm: Work in groups to develop a brief, 5-minute “Pitch” to present in class today. (details below)

We will present our pitches at the beginning of class next Thursday, 5/7.

Required for today—Meeting Minutes: From now through the end of this project, each and every time your group meets I will ask one member of your group to write down meeting minutes, covering what was discussed in your meeting, what decisions were made, and what are the next action items to be taken by each group member. Please post Meeting Minutes as a blog entry (categorize as “Meeting Minutes”).

Crafting the Pitch: This will be your first component to the project. After brainstorming and choosing a problems that needs to be addressed around campus, you must decide on a solution to that problem. Obviously, you might not be able to carry out this solution on your own–the project–and your task–is to persuade your classmates and our administration that your proposed project is both necessary and  likely to succeed. 

The pitch is simply a 5-minute presentation that your group will deliver in front of the class, explaining the the problem and your proposed solution. Only one team member is required to speak, but all team members must join the presenter in front of the class. The deliverables for this component include a script or outline and your PowerPoint file. (Please either email me the Powerpoint file or bring it to class on a flash drive).

Note: The Powerpoint presentation should consist of three slides:

Title Slide—include group member name, date, and draft title for your project

Problem Slide—A slide that highlights the problem you are addressing. Include some facts, perhaps a quote, and anything else that will illustrate the dire nature of your chosen issue.

Solution Slide—How do your propose solving this problem? What will be the main components of your solution (IE, parking lot–where would it go? Do you propose we build a new building or repurpose another space?)

The Pitch will be delivered at the beginning of class next Thursday, May 7

Thursday, April 2: Group Research Projects


1. First, let’s read the following report on NYC tech growth:

2. Discuss

3. For the remainder of class we will complete individual research reports on NYC-based tech and media companies.


If your group already has a company in mind, great! But, to further research NYC-based tech firms, visit these sites & articles:



Your reports must be posted as a blog, categorized as “NYC Tech Profiles” by the end of class today.


Your reports should include the following information about the company. Please use the same headers I have here.

Product/Service: What, in a sentence, does this company do/sell?

Founder/Co-Founders: Who founded the company? Are they still involved in day to day operations?

Office/Headquarters: Where is the company located? Do they have a single headquarters, or do they have locations throughout the country/world?

Method of Making Money:  How does your company make money? Through advertising, subscribers, royalties, affiliate purchases, lead generation, selling data, or freemium payment models?

Target Customers:  Who are the target customers for this company?

How many current users/customers, etc: How many customers do they currently have?

How does the company advertise its product/services?

Competitors/Competitive Advantage: What companies offer services/products that compete with your chosen company? What sets your chosen company apart from its competitors?

Works Cited: You must document all the websites and articles you use to find the above information. Simply include a list of websites at the end of the blog post.


Thursday, March 19: Mock Interviews


Next week, instead of our normal class, we will be meeting at the City Tech Literary Arts Festival at Voorhees Theater (186 Jay Street), at 6pm. (Try to come a little earlier if you can)
The festival features student performances and a reading / Q&A with acclaimed writer Dinaw Mengestu.

Instructions for 3/19

Today we will have a shorter class and we will likely dismiss at around 7:15.

We will conduct two rounds of mock Interviews with Classmates.

Students are assigned as either “A” or “B”

Interview Schedule:

6:00 to 6:30—B’s interview A’s (B’s: First take a moment to review the job listing as well as your partner’s resume)

6:30 to 7:00—A’s interview B’s (A’s: First take a moment to review the job listing as well as your partner’s resume)

Interview Questions:

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
What would you say are your major strengths?
What would you say are your major weaknesses?
Describe a time where you had to manage multiple tasks in a short period of time.
Can you describe a time when you’ve been in conflict with a co-worker or classmate?
Where do you see yourself in five years?

Wrap Up: What were your strengths and weaknesses in this interview process? How can you improve? Are there items on the Evaluation Checklist and Job Interview Tips that you could focus on?

Thursday, March 12: Cover Letter Peer Review & Interview Skills


6—6:55   Part I:    Peer Review of Cover Letters

6:55—7:45  Part II:   Interview Skills


Part I:  Peer Review of Cover Letters

We will have three rounds of review—in other words, each of your letters will be reviewed at least twice in class today.

Round 1 (6:00 – 6:25) — Find your first peer review partner & their cover letter blog post.

Round 2 (6:30 – 6:55) — Find another peer review partner & their cover letter blog post.

For each round, follow these steps:

1. Find your partner, and locate their post on the Open Lab.

2. You’ll be writing your review comments as a reply to their post. Being “nice” is important in this process, but being critical is important too. So without being heartless and cruel, make your comments as honest and as detailed as you can so that your comments are useful for revision.

3. Respond to these questions about the cover letter you are reviewing. (I would simply cut and paste the questions below into your comment, and respond underneath them.)

  • Reverse Engineer the Letter: Without looking at the job ad/listing, read the letter. Then write down what you think the job ad says—you are reverse engineering the letter/ad by doing this—trying to see if you can figure out the job ad just from the letter.
  • Read the job ad. Were you close in your reverse engineering attempt? If you were, then the letter probably meets with some of the employer’s needs. If you weren’t, has the author missed understanding the employer’s needs? Or have they just emphasized certain things and overlooked others?
  • Does the letter make the person applying seem like a good applicant; an unappealing applicant; or an outstanding applicant?
  • Explain why and how you made the judgment in #3. If the applicant was not an outstanding candidate, explain what you think the author needs to do to get into a higher pile.
  • Is the letter free of spelling, mechanical, and grammar errors? Let the author know about the errors you see.


Part II:  Interview Skills

In the second part of class, we will discuss interviews—how to prepare for them, how to do well on them, and how to follow up when they’re over.

1. Read in-class handout:  “Job Interview Tips” written by Thad Peterson  for


2. Interview Models
We will watch two example interviews in class (on the projector). As you watch the interviews, please think back to Steve Fogarty’s five job interview tips. With those tips in mind, keep track of the candidate’s performance. How is he doing?
We will pause in-between questions to discuss the candidate’s performance.
Video 1  (4:45)
3. Blog Entry—please respond to the following interview questions in a new blog post categorized as Interview Answers.
Please cut and paste the questions into the blog, then respond beneath each one.


Can you tell me a little about yourself?
What would you say are your major strengths?
What would you say are your major weaknesses?
Describe a time where you had to manage multiple tasks in a short period of time.
Can you describe a time when you’ve been in conflict with a co-worker or classmate?
Where do you see yourself in five years?


Thursday, February 26



6 – 7:  Peer Review Resumes

7 – 8: Cover Letter Format & Drafting


Instructions (6pm – 7pm)

1. If you haven’t already, please submit your resume (first draft) to me for review. I prefer that you submit it through our online assignment uploader and preferably in PDF format.

2.  Quick Discussion of Active Verbs — elements of bullet points!

3.  Peer Review: Trade your resume with the person seated next to you, or nearby. If there are odd numbers, trade more than once. Just make sure you’re looking at someone else’s resume.

  • Take 10-15 minutes to review your partner’s resume by responding to these questions: Resume Peer Review Questions.
  • Take another 5-10 minutes to discuss one another’s resumes.

Instructions (7pm – 8pm)

1) Review this guide to Cover Letter content and formatting, and

2) Please Read: Here’s an example of a cover letter — before it was expanded to include personal detail, and after.

3) Choose one job to apply to from your mini-job search.

4) Begin a draft of your cover letter for this position in class today. This should go in a new blog post titled “Your Name – Cover Letter.” Please categorize this post under the cover letter category.

HW for Next Thursday: Cover Letters Due for In-Class Review. Please bring two hard copies to class.

Thursday, February 19

Instructions for Today’s Class


6 – 7:15 Complete Mini-Job Search Blog Post
7:25 – 8:15 Resume Formatting / Reading


6 pm – 7:15 pm

1) Today, we will finish our Mini-Job Search Blog entry in class. Please add the reflection on the job search–particularly thinking about the skills and qualifications you will need in order to confidently apply to these positions.

Please follow these instructions (click here!)


7:15 pm – 8:15 pm

1) Please read and outline our guide on Resumes  (Markel; Technical Communication, 10th Edition; “Writing Paper Resumes”)

2) Discussion of Resume Formatting

HW for Next Thursday: Complete and turn in your first draft of your resume via our assignment uploader.

For additional help, you can follow the step-by-step instructions in this Power Point presentation (from Purdue OWL website).

Also: Please bring four paper copies of your resume to class. Please use your existing resumes if you already have one. (We will take part of next Thursday’s class to conduct peer review of our resumes.)

Thursday, Feb. 5

Instructions for Today’s Class


6 – 7:15 Items of Business, Introduction Blog Posts
7:25 – 8:15 Discuss Mini-Job Search Assignment


Activities from 6 – 7:15

Please begin today’s class first by taking care of the following items:

1. Join our Open Lab Course Site:

NOTE: If you have any problems at all with creating an Open Lab account, accessing your CUNY email, or joining our Course Site, please follow this link for detailed instructions.

2. Register for Remind (follow these instructions):This app that will allow me to send urgent notifications to you via text message or email, if you prefer. I will only use this in case of emergencies or urgent delays — say, if I am sick or if the trains are slow.

3. Introduce Yourself in an OpenLab Post

Please follow our instructions here.

Note: To write your summary memo, I would recommend that you write it in Microsoft Word first. Save your work to your flash drive or in the cloud (if you do this, save your file locally and then email a copy to yourself or upload it to your cloud service provider before leaving class–the computers in this classroom are regularly wiped of student work).

Activities from 7:25-8:15

1. Discuss Mini-Job Search

2. In-Class Work: Begin searching for job listings!