The Dos and Don’ts of Getting a Business Degree | Mike McRitchie

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The Dos and Don'ts of Getting a Business Degree | Mike McRitchie

You’ve
done it. You’ve gone through a rigorous application process, been accepted to a
business degree program and carefully hung
your posters of Warren Buffet in your dorm room. The next several years will be
crucial to your development so you’ll want to make the most of them. Here’s
how.

Do Network

Network,
network, network. You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s truer in business
than anywhere else: it’s not what you
know, it’s who you know. Business
schools hold networking events with professors, students and local business
people all the time. Take advantage of them. The people you meet might give you
great advice; they might connect you to others who share your interests; they
might give you a connection to your first job outside of school and they just
might be the key to your business career trajectory.

This
doesn’t have to mean handing out your card, making sales pitches and schmoozing
everywhere you go. It does mean you should be open to meeting new people,
expanding your connections and going to events you might not feel like
attending,

Don’t Wait to Choose Your Major or
Specialize

Be
prepared for the moment you can declare a major or choose a concentration.
Specializing in an area like finance, marketing, human resources or management
is a great way to narrow your focus and find a niche in the industry. To
prepare, there are a few things you can do:

  • If you haven’t already, take
    personality tests like the Myers-Briggs or True Colors and try to match your
    traits with your educational (and career path)
  • Talk to an advisor
  • Ask people who know you well
    (friends, family, coworkers, bosses) where they think you would excel
  • Look at your options and
    “feel” out the ones that excite you

Do Learn to Manage Your Time

Time
management skills are crucial for all college students but they’re particularly
important for students in business school, where professors will pile more work
on you than a normal mortal can handle. They do this not because they’re
sadists but because they know it’s what you’ll face when you enter the business
world. Throwing you in the deep end in a safe environment like business school
is a great way to test your mettle and force you to pace yourself, stop
procrastinating, stick to a schedule and focus on the important stuff.

Don’t Close Your Mind to New Ideas

When
you’re faced with a new environment and daunting levels of work, it can be easy
to retreat to the familiar; to stick with your comfort zone. Resist that urge
with all your might. Being good at business means keeping your mind malleable
and open to unconventional ideas and business school is the perfect place to
start. You’ll be exposed to myriad ideas from professors, fellow students and
independent study. Don’t reject anything because it doesn’t fit with your
preconceived notions.

Do Get Real-World Experience

You can study economic theory, sit in classrooms and lose yourself in textbooks for years and still be clueless when it comes to business. Getting real-world experience — either by working or doing an internship — is an invaluable way to use your time at business school. It will not only help you connect your classroom study to practical situations, but it might also give you your first job in business. In fact, a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 56.1% of interns became full-time, entry-level employees at the company where they did their internship.

Using
these time-honored tips can mean the difference between spinning your wheels
(and wasting your money) in business school and using your time to catapult
into a successful business career.



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