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Darla Moore School of Business

Moore School accounting student wins first place in national writing competition

Moore School accounting and economics sophomore John Boyar recently won first place in the Association for Business Communication’s national writing competition.

Sponsored by the interdisciplinary, international Association for Business Communication, the student writing competition invites students each year from across the U.S. to submit a written response to a business-case scenario.

Inspired by Management Clinical Assistant Professor Barbara Bolt’s Professional Communication course, Boyar was the first-ever student to represent the Moore School at the competition after he won the local preliminary round conducted by the Moore School’s Center for Business Communication.

Boyar said he decided to enter the competition after Bolt mentioned the opportunity in her Management 250 course.

“I chose to enter the competition because it gave me the opportunity to use skills that I had gained in the class and the opportunity to compete against students on a national level,” Boyar said.

The competition required students to submit a written response to a case scenario that addressed the issue that many employees, including Boyar himself, are being overworked and dealing with unpredictable work schedules. Many management teams try to alleviate this problem by issuing pay raises. The prompt asked students to present their thoughts and opinions on this issue in an email to management so that the issue is recognized and hopefully resolved.

“The competition utilized many professional communication skills that I gained from taking Management 250,” he said. “Throughout the writing, it was important to keep in mind the foundations of successful communication, such as audience focus and positive emphasis, in order to develop a convincing argument. I also had to understand how to properly structure the email that I was tasked with writing.”

After weeks of reading the case several times to fully grasp all of the details and drafting a thorough response to the prompt, Boyar submitted his written response to win first place.

“It is a really encouraging feeling, especially in regard to my academic and professional pursuits,” Boyar said. “To be nationally recognized as a sophomore for utilizing skills that I learned at the Moore School is an awesome feeling.”

The Moore School’s Center for Business Communication director, Brad Stratton, was on the committee that chose Boyar to represent USC at the writing competition. He said that Boyar’s outstanding writing skills stood out from the rest.

“We had many excellent entries from the Moore School, and the committee felt that John’s submission was a particularly strong example of good business communication – it was clear and concise, connected well with the intended audience, and provided the data and context the audience would need to make a business decision,” said Stratton.

Boyar said that he looks forward to utilizing the skills he gained from the competition and his courses in his future career after he graduates.

“After finishing my undergraduate studies, I intend to complete the accelerated [Master of Accountancy] program at the Darla Moore School of Business,” he said. “From there, I currently plan to pursue a career in forensic accounting, and I hope to become a certified fraud examiner after spending some time in the anti-fraud field.”

For now, Boyar is grateful for the Moore School and to have had the opportunity to use his skills to compete with other students across the country. He also looks forward to next year’s preliminary rounds, which will be hosted at the Center of Business Communication again in spring 2021.

“I would like to thank [Bolt] for taking the time to meet with me during the writing process to discuss my drafts, and I would like to thank the Moore School for giving me the opportunity to represent USC in the national writing competition,” Boyar said.

-Claire McGrath

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.