Today, I had the privilege of riding along with one of our outside sales representatives as we traveled to various accounts in Charlotte to explain our products. Now, I know what you might be thinking, “WOAH! Sales! Soliciting! That’s not STEM-related!” Au contraire!
As we travelled to seven different local businesses, I watched as the representative took the time to explain exactly what the company (Livingston and Haven) could do for them. It wasn’t as much of a sales pitch as it was a proclamation of sorts as to what (STEM related) products and services were offered.
Were it not for patient, succinct, and knowledable communication skills, the products in question would simply be an abstract bunch of machinery and skills with no relation to the company. Of course, there was that one business that showed us the door that should be mentioned here, but not for the reason one might think.
Students, especially in the STEM related fields, are going to come across dead ends and rejection from time to time. What is important is how they react. Besides teaching our students the science aspects of the curriculum, we must remind them as often as possible, that when something (an experiment or an assignment) doesn’t go as planned, it is important to step back, look at what happened, dust oneself off, and try try again.
When our students begin to learn the art of communication and combine it with a dash of good old-fashioned tenacity, there is no telling how far they can go. Let’s make an effort to keep our students smart, and encouraged!