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Salo named outstanding business communicator

Mandi Jean-Marie Salo, a finance major and information systems minor from Duluth, MN, has been named the 2014-15 Outstanding Business Communication Student by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire business communication faculty. Selection is based on the student's achievements in business communication classes, contributions to the program and attitude toward the role of business communication in the student's personal and professional success. 

Salo, who graduates this May, completed the Advanced Business Communication certificate in addition to her major and minor. She was also a tutor in the BCOM Writing and Presentation Studio.

"Mandi has been a fantastic business communication student," said Dr. Paula Lentz, BCOM academic program director. "Every one of her communication skills exemplifies what we want our students to develop through our curriculum. Both Mandi and her future employer will benefit from her ability to express her ideas clearly, develop relationships with clients and coworkers, and use her communication skills to help a company accomplish its goals." 

For more information about the Outstanding Business Communication Student Award, contact Dr. Paula Lentz, academic program director, UW-Eau Claire Business Communication Program. 

Meet Mandi Salo, 2015 Outstanding Business Communication Student

"My reasons are a little nerdy, but I have always enjoyed writing, grammar, and public speaking, so I thought that taking advanced BCOM courses would be fun and a great fit for my personality," admitted Mandi Salo, 2015 Outstanding Business Communication Student. 

Salo, who took advanced writing courses in high school and spoke competitively as a member of high school and collegiate forensics teams, has better than average communication skills. Despite these experiences, she felt she had much to learn about effective communication in the workplace. 

"Communication within business is a whole new realm," said Salo, "I wanted to stand out in the job field, and excellent writing and speaking skills are often what make a candidate stand out."

And she has stood out. 

Salo has completed four internships during her time at UW-Eau Claire. She worked two summers for Enbridge, a Canadian energy company with offices in Duluth, MN; for Compassion International, an international child advocacy ministry program in Colorado Springs, CO; and for CUNA Mutual Group, a global insurance company in Madison, WI. 

"Supervisors have expressed high levels of confidence in me not just because of my finance expertise, but even more so because of my ability to write and speak professionally," she said. "My business communication training prepared me to communicate confidently -- even when presenting difficult financial information. Moreover, I couldn't have gotten these internships without the great instruction I received in resume writing, interviewing, etc." 

Salo has parlayed her internship at CUNA into a full-time position as an analyst in their Finance Leadership Development Program. This program will require her to interact with a wide variety of people throughout the company. Because she has had an internship every summer since she graduated from high school, she will begin her career with CUNA in September. Until then she will "enjoy the sun" while working at a camp near Duluth, her hometown. Salo, who is a four-time letter winner on the UW-Eau Claire women's golf team, also plans to play some golf.

"Golf is a great networking opportunity," she said. "It goes great with a business degree and will definitely require--and has required--me to learn how to balance professional interactions with casual, out-of-the workplace environments." 

The business communication skills Salo developed at UW-Eau Claire will continue to help her stand out professionally and personally--whether she is giving a presentation at work or hosting clients on the greens.

"Business communication skills are, above all else, practical in nature," said Salo. "I'm sure that the foundation I've built through the BCOM department will continue to serve me well."