Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to School with some Business English

Whew, I can't believe summer is over and we're now in the back-to-school season! To celebrate that, I chose an article today called "Getting into B-School On Your Boss's Dime" from the Wall Street Journal. We'll learn some new business English words and expressions -- and who knows? -- maybe this post will even inspire you to go back to school. MBA anyone? Why not, if someone else is paying ...

Here we go with the part of the article we will analyze. Target vocabulary is in bold:

Getting into B-School On Your Boss's Dime

Companies are advertising a rather peculiar perk to lure top undergraduate talent: Showing them the door—to graduate school, that is.

As a means of attracting stellar young hires, an increasing number of firms in finance, consulting and technology are shepherding employees through the graduate-school admissions process by organizing and paying for test-preparation courses, inviting admissions consultants to help with applications, arranging mock interviews with senior staffers and even bringing school representatives to information sessions at the office...

It may seem counterintuitive to encourage employees to head for the exits, but firms say that assisting with the graduate-school application process leads to long-term loyalty and, with strings attached to tuition money, improves the chances that employees will return after graduation...

Such programs have been in place for a while, but have grown more popular in recent years as the recruiting process heats up.
Here we go with explanations of the vocabulary in bold:

on one's dime - paid for by someone else (usually by one's employer). Example: We all went out for sushi today, on the company's dime.

perk - a benefit given to employees (such as bonus money, a gym membership, free tuition for school, etc).

(to) lure - to attract (note: this is one of the verbs featured in our ESL app "Business English Power Verbs" available on iTunes for iPad and iPhone - check it out here.

(to) show someone the door - to fire an employee or to encourage an employee to leave the company (in this article, this expression is used with a twist - not firing an employee but rather encouraging them to go in the door of graduate school (so here we have a play on words)

stellar - excellent; the best

staffers - people who work at a company (note: a cooler way of saying "employees")

(to) head for the exits - to leave (often employees will "head for the exits" if there is a problem with the company). Note that the verb "to head" on its own means to leave for a destination, as in: "It's 5 o'clock? I'd better head home now."

with string attached - with conditions (note: you will more often here the expression "with no strings attached" meaning an offer or deal with no hidden conditions)

(to) heat up - to become more intense or active

Want to learn more Business English? Check out the book & CD Speak Better Business English and Make More Money.

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