University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Working in Minnesota Guide

The information contained in this guide will help you understand what you can expect in your new work environment and facilitate your adjustment to it.

Please, keep in mind that the broad characterizations of some American cultural patterns (also referred to as cultural generalizations) described in this guide do not apply to every American: individual personalities and backgrounds always play a significant role in how people think and act. American society is also enormously diverse. Important differences exist between geographical regions, between rural and urban areas, and between social classes. In addition, the presence of millions of immigrants who came to the United States from all corners of the world with their own culture and values adds even more variety and flavor to American life. The characteristics described in this guide are some of the traits thought of as being “typically American.”

  1. Working at the U of M: Logistics and Other Useful Information
    This chapter covers important aspects of the University of Minnesota's work environment, including the academic calendar year, university policies on dishonesty and misconduct, and professional communication with professors.

    • The Academic Year
    • Office and Work Hours
    • Your Faculty Mentor
    • ISSS, Department and New Employees Orientations
    • Communicating with Professors/Faculty Mentors
    • Academic Dishonesty and the University’s Code of Conduct
  2. Some Broad Characteristics about Americans
    This chapter explores broad characteristics and values present in the American workplace, like individuality, equality, and teamwork.
    • Introduction Individuality,
    • Individual Differences and Diversity
    • Independence and Self-Reliance Honesty and Frankness
    • Individual Perspective and Critical Thinking
    • Informality Equality and Fairness Competitiveness
    • Collaboration and Teamwork
    • The Value of Personal Relationships
  3. Working the American Way
    This chapter looks at how to act professionally in the American workplace. It presents situational examples of both desirable and undesirable behavior.
    • Introduction
    • One of Two Meanings
    • Additional Components of Professional Behavior
    • Dress for Success!
  4. General Characteristics of Business Meetings
    This final chapter lists some characteristics of American business meetings, giving you a general idea of what practices you may encounter.