WH 2010 Student Wins Writing Award

WH 2010 Student Wins Writing Award

By Mario Paez


Tolu Adetola, a Wharton undergraduate student, has received the Award for Outstanding Student Writer from the Association for Business Communication (ABC). This accolade is part of an annual contest organized by ABC, in which undergraduates respond to a challenging case scenario. The winners receive plaques at the annual ABC conference, along with monetary prizes. Adetola’s victory in this competition demonstrates both his exceptional writing skills and the value of WH 2010 Business Communication for Impact.

The Challenge: Simulating Real-World Business Communication

The ABC competition places students in the role of a manager at the Bristol Health Club. It requires that they deal with a chronically late employee and an irate, longtime club member. The task was twofold: (1) Address the employee’s behavior in a firm but supportive manner and (2) address the club member’s concerns without violating employee confidentiality.

“What I struggled with was where to draw the line between creative speech and business communication,” Adetola explains. “Being too direct is not always the best approach, so bringing my personal voice into the situation became crucial.”

A Journey from Creative Writing to Business Communication

Adetola’s background in writing was inherently creative, inspired by his father’s long-winded speaking style. He initially found his voice in lengthy, metaphor-laden prose but had to adapt when entering the world of business communication.

“WH2010 allowed me to be more professional and perform better in a business communication setting,” says Adetola. “But I felt as though my creativity was restricted. That’s why I told Chris Morse, my WH 2010 Lecturer, that I wanted to combine my unique style of rhetoric with the concepts from WH 2010. I believe that that combination allowed me to shine in the competition.”

Lessons from WH2010: Mastering Business Communication

Adetola’s experience in WH 2010 was pivotal in shaping his winning submission. Key concepts and skills such as WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?), structure, and concision, all played a crucial role in crafting his successful entry.

Adetola noted, “By far, the thing that I kept drilling into the submission was concision, concision, concision. It was by far the most important skill I gained from WH 2010 that helped me craft my winning submission.”

Advice to His First-Year Self

Reflecting on his journey, Adetola offered a piece of advice to his first-year self: “If I were to give myself one piece of advice about communication, it would be to remove unnecessary words without sacrificing the real connotation and intent of your message.”

Tolu Adetola’s award is a testament to his ability to navigate the challenging waters of business communication while retaining his creative flair. His journey from a long-winded writer to a master of concision serves as an inspiration to aspiring communicators. And his insights into the importance of finding a balance between creativity and business acumen are invaluable.

Adetola’s success underscores the transformative power of effective communication skills, and he believes that courses like WH 2010 are essential for students looking to excel in the world of business communication.