Set the Stage for Business Success in College

Set the Stage for Business Success in College

You can lay the foundation for your successful career in business while you’re in college, whether you dream of being the CEO of a major company or of running your own business in your hometown. And while attending an Ivy League college or landing a top internship can help, you don’t have to do either of those things in order to fulfill your dreams.

Getting Your Degree

You do need to get a bachelor’s degree. This is a requirement for most entry-level positions and then for advancement. When you are choosing a school, look for one with a strong business school, particularly in the area that interests you. Scholarships, grants and federal aid are all options to pay for school, but these may not be enough or you might not qualify for them. You can also take out student loans from a private lender. You’re no longer limited to your local bank if you’re looking for a loan, and many private lenders try to make the application and approval process easy and fast. Once you’ve finished your core classes, you can get a degree in general business or you can focus on a particular area, such as management or accounting.

Use College Resources

Being in college means access to a huge array of resources. These include your campus career center, student organizations, your professors and even your classmates. This is a great time to try out different courses and clubs. Alongside your business courses, you may want to take classes that can help you in your career. Courses such as psychology to help you understand people better and liberal arts classes, or such as history or literature or philosophy, to help you with your writing and critical thinking skills. As you begin your job search these college resources can also serve as allies offering hints on finding a job in your desired location before resorting to relocating after college. Joining campus organizations can also be a great way to develop skills such as public speaking and leadership.

Set Goals

College is also a great time to teach yourself how to articulate and set goals. There are a few principles that will help you become a better and more successful goal setter. First, you should create goals that are as concrete as possible. For example, instead of “be a success”, you should think about what being a success specifically means to you. You should have goals of differing lengths, both short- and long-term, and you should identify the intermediate steps that you need to take in order to reach them.

Hold Off On the MBA

Getting your undergraduate degree is critical. As for getting your MBA, that might be a great idea later on, but you should put that off for a few years in the future. First of all, most good MBA programs prefer candidates who have a few years of work experience. You’ll get the most out of your MBA program that way. Secondly, you should make sure that an MBA is an asset in your sector. In some business specialties, an MBA does not matter nearly as much as experience or other certifications. In others, you’ll need one if you’re going to advance to those top-tier positions. Either way, it’s better to get the lay of the land first before jumping into more schooling.