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Indiana University Bloomington

Communication, Professional & Computer Skills

Managers Typically

Managers typically spend up to 80 percent of their time engaged in some form of written or oral communication.

Spotlights

Mason Hughes BS’02
Regional Director, Wells Fargo; Indianapolis, Indiana

As regional director of Wells Fargo in Indianapolis, Mason Hughes is responsible for marketing, selling, and distributing the company’s mutual funds to financial brokers in Indiana and Kentucky. He spends the majority of his time traveling to meet clients face-to-face to discuss and manage their portfolios.

“My entire career is figuring out how to communicate best with my clients,” says the 2002 Kelley graduate. “I have to adjust my style to meet my clients’ needs.” His Business Communication courses provided a foundation that has enabled him to do just that.

Business communication is “probably the skill I use most from the Kelley School of Business,” he says. Hughes still applies the basic presentation guidelines he learned, paying attention to his body language, maintaining eye contact with his audience, and avoiding filler words like … well, “like.” “The emphasis is on the delivery,” he says.

“My career is about relationships. It’s communication. It’s connecting with your clients.”

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Hughes has about 50 meetings a week and does an average of eight presentations a month. Having a “tough cookie” professor for his Business Communication classes helped Hughes to improve his public speaking skills and learn to prepare for meetings and presentations. “A presentation won’t go well if you’re not prepared,” he says.

Learning to meet his professor’s high standards for presentations and listening to her straightforward, constructive criticism allowed Hughes to build confidence for the business presentations that are intrinsic to his career.

“My professor was a tough cookie,” he says. “You couldn’t wing anything in her class. If you didn’t prepare for an assignment, she didn’t give you a good grade because she thought you were a neat person. She challenged me to prepare better for meetings and presentations.”

In M344 Creativity and Communication, which focused more on marketing communication, Hughes further refined his public speaking and drafted his own marketing plan, complete with videos and in-class presentations.

Hughes believes that solid communication skills are vital to any student’s future career. “They’re going to be judged on how they communicate with colleagues, customers, employers, vendors, clients—basically anyone they encounter,” he says. “In any industry, they have to be articulate when they communicate via phone, e-mail, letters, and faxes.”

As a student, Hughes’ involvement on the Student Athletic Board and with Alpha Tau Omega helped to solidify his relationship-building skills, which were directly applied to his career. “My career is about relationships. It’s communication. It’s connecting with your clients.”

In Brief

Staying connected: “I’m a season ticket holder for IU basketball and football, so that keeps me pretty busy outside of work.”

The Kelley experience: “I enjoyed the Kelley experience because it pushed me. It prepares you for life after college.”

Communication pet peeve: “Misspelled words, especially names.”

Published July 2, 2008