Name: Kristen Cribb
Title: Instructor of Marketing
Undergraduate Courses: Business Communications; Professional Communication Strategies; Principles of Marketing
Please tell us a brief bio of your career – how long have you taught at Rankin College of Business, what courses do you typically teach, what are your research interests, what is your educational background, etc.
I received my Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in entrepreneurial finance in 2016 and Master of Business Administration emphasizing in social entrepreneurship in 2018 from Southern Arkansas University.
I recently joined the David F. Rankin College of Business faculty at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) as an Instructor of Marketing in August 2021. Thus far, my courses have been Business Communications, Professional Communication Strategies, and Principles of Marketing. I did adjunct one course in Spring 2021, Professional Communication Strategies.
Previously, I worked at the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) for four (4) years. During this time, I worked with various small businesses across nine counties in south Arkansas to start and grow.
In 2019, I earned the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification, emphasizing in Business Credit Analysis, from the National Development Council. To earn the certification, I completed a rigorous, three-course training series and passed examinations of each course. The training covered economic development finance practices, basic and advanced business credit, loan packaging procedures, deal structuring techniques, and complex financial issues.
How does the Rankin College of Business prepare students for their professional careers?
As a communications professor, I am privileged to teach students the importance of communication and how to improve their communication skills for the world after SAU.
In business communications, we practice effective business writing, including letters, memos, and reports, which are supported by proper research and documentation techniques. We practice effective oral presentations and enhance interpersonal communications skills.
In professional communication strategies, we apply what we learned in business communications to the job search process and life in a professional career. We practice writing resumes and cover letters that are customized to a particular position. We practice interview skills both in the classroom and through mock interviews usually conducted by SAU alumni. We write professional reports that are used as tools of management. We address ethical decision-making and look at how new technologies are changing the way people in business communicate.
All of these skills are of utmost importance to employers, and both of these courses lay a solid foundation for our students to succeed.
What sets the Rankin College of Business apart from other business schools?
The ability that the RCB has to offer students individualized attention and increase their academic experience is unmatched. I have always appreciated the “open-door” policy that the RCB faculty had in my undergraduate and graduate programs. I am committed to continuing that myself—with modifications due to the current state. I believe the minimized classroom sizes and access to faculty increase retention rates and allow students a more personalized experience—which only aids in their success in the future.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time at the Rankin College of Business?
Though I have taught for a short time, I have been a part of the College of Business and Rankin College of Business since 2013. In my undergraduate, I enjoyed being on the Business Student Advisory Council and helping to make the RCB even better for students. In my time as a graduate student, my favorite memory was working with a local company as part of a project to assess the various employees’ personalities, and getting over my fear of talking to random people through the interview we had to conduct as part of that same project. Working for the ASBTDC, I enjoyed the travel opportunities for professional development—my favorite being Springfield, MO, because it is a big town with a small feel. I also enjoyed my many trips to Little Rock to gather with other consultants from around Arkansas. Working for the RCB as faculty now, I have enjoyed the many baked goods provided by Dr. Sronce and coffee chats with other faculty.
What advice would you offer to a new student beginning their course of study at the Rankin College of Business?
Network network network! You never know who will walk through the doors, e.g., alum, community professionals, etc., or who faculty know that could possibly land you in your dream job. Get involved in as many activities as possible—keeping in mind that you are here for an education. Being involved in Phi Beta Lambda, ENACTUS, Business Student Advisory Council (BSAC), Business Student Investment Advisory Council (BSIAC), Emerging Entrepreneurs, etc., will help with those networking opportunities with faculty, classmates, and the community.