Are conversations at the water cooler a professional form of communication? Ask second year graduate student Nara Cavalcanti and she'll likely say yes. If you ask what her motivation is for graduate school, she doesn't give a lofty wordy answer. She hasn't set out to save the world but she hopes to help the world communicate better. She wants to share what she has learned in her field of study, Corporate and Professional Communication with emphasis on internal communications.
"I really want to answer questions I've come up with while working in this field and perhaps provide organizations with good research and information about internal communication and its benefits," Nara says. All indications are she will succeed in doing just that.
Nara explains her internal communication studies as "communication within an organization." Communication within an office setting is an indication that communication to clients and the general public is on a solid foundation. Official communication includes "memos, guidelines, policies and procedures and the unofficial communication that goes on among and between the staff members of all organizations," she says. This includes "the exchange of ideas and opinions, the development of personal relationships, and the proverbial conversation around the water cooler. Internal Communication can give employees the information they need to do their jobs effectively and also allow them to take the pulse of the organization and understand its overall situation," Nara says.
Nara came to Radford University from her native Brazil in Summer '12. She said when she started meeting some of her professors she realized the teachers she had prior to enrolling at Radford were not as open as American teachers. "I really appreciate Dr. John Brummette, who was my first contact at Radford. He provided me with all the information I needed about the program and the university, and opening the doors for this great life/academic experience," Nara says.
Nara adds, "I have to mention Director of the Corporate and Professional Communications Program Dr. Lynn Zoch, a great professor who, provides opportunities related to academic studies and also to the workforce. She is always available to talk and share her experience as a communicator. I am so thankful for all she taught me."
"Nara is an exceptional student. She appears shy in class because even though her English is exquisite, she's still not sure of it," says Zoch. "She has always done her readings for the day, made notes and thought about the topic at great length." Because Nara has worked in an organization prior to coming back to graduate school, Zoch says she knows what she wants to get out of the program.
"That has been a challenge working with her on a directed study because she wants to go BIG on her project, and you just can't do that in one semester. Our goal now is to have this project become her thesis," Zoch says. "It still can't be as big as she wants if she wants to graduate in May, but at least it gives her more time to get into the literature and do the research needed."