Berkeley Today Stories
Classes explore real-world events and emphasize good communication skills.
General Business Classes Bring Business Concepts to Life
Joel Reichart, Ph.D., Professor, Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business®, has been teaching at Berkeley College for more than 11 years. He also has taught undergraduate business courses at Fordham University and at the University of Virginia. Dr. Reichart has held a variety of corporate positions, including inventory controller, account manager, and market researcher. In addition, he owned and operated a management consulting firm for more than six years. Dr. Reichart has a Ph.D. in Management with a Concentration in Business Ethics from the University of Virginia; an M.B.A. in Management and the Natural Environment from the University of Oregon; a B.S. in Finance and Business from the University of Southern California; and an A.A. in Philosophy from Cerritos Community College.
Dr. Reichart teaches a wide variety of undergraduate courses, including Business Strategy and Policy; Principles of Management; and Business Organization and Management. In addition, he was part of the team that developed the courses and policies for the new Berkeley College M.B.A. in Management program.
Dr. Reichart’s reflections on teaching and the General Business degree program are as follows:
Drawing From Real Life Enlivens Business Concepts
I like to take the materials in my courses and relate them to everyday life. For example, during a lecture on Merger and Acquisitions and Why They Fail in one of my Business Strategy and Policy courses, we discussed the fact that Microsoft had acquired Skype for $8.5 billion. The students considered whether or not this was a good merger and what criteria should be used when judging if it was successful. Most of the students have used Skype, and they were enthusiastic about participating in this discussion.
Empowering General Business Degree Program Students From Beginning to End
Business Organization and Management is the first course that General Business degree program students take in their major curriculum. This course offers students an introduction to all the functions of business from general management to accounting to marketing. My ultimate goal when teaching this course is to provide students with a good understanding of the language of business so that they can speak intelligently in the courses that follow.
The last core course that all business students take is Business Strategy and Policy; it’s a 400-level capstone course. Students select a company and do a strategic analysis of it drawing from what they have learned over the past three years. Students have to be concise, clear, and objective when presenting an executive summary at the beginning of their papers. Students do magnificent work in this course and that makes me proud.
Good Communication Skills Are Vital in the Business World
What I really want my students to understand before they graduate is the importance of good communication skills. You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you don’t know how to write a coherent letter or present a sound argument people won’t see you as intelligent. I tell my students that if they are good communicators and are conscientious about their work – can meet deadlines every time without excuses – this greatly increases their chances of being hired and promoted.