Tips From An Irvine Business School Consultant: 4 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Classes
Whether you’re in undergrad or back in school to get your MBA, the way you approach your business classes can help you get the most out of them. Back when I was in business school, it didn’t take me long to realize that what I was learning went far beyond just what was in the textbook. Unlike other fields of study, business is something you can put into practice while you are learning it – maybe hold off on doing someone’s taxes until you are certified. Your time in the classroom will go by faster than you expect, so utilize these tips to get the most out of your business classes.
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1. The Professor Knows Best
Business school can be unique in that its best professors might be the ones with the least amount of schooling. For example, my favorite marketing Professor may not have a Ph.D., but he did own one of the most successful marketing firms in the country. With these professors, it’s best to watch how they interact with people, how they speak, and how they manage their time and lectures. Often, you’ll learn your best bit of business advice in a passing comment or a digression from the scheduled lecture topic. Odds are your business professor got to where they are by being excellent at businesses, which is something they most likely don’t turn off when they get into the lecture hall, so observe and take notes.
2. Join a Club
Clubs are a great way to develop your business skills and to do a little networking. Not only does joining a club in the field you wish to work show some initiative on a resume, but it will also help you for when you land the job. Remember, you don’t have to be a finance major to join the finance club. Joining any business-focused club on campus will help you become a better business student.
What a time to be alive! With the shared economy, freelancing, and the internet, if you have a skill, you can market and sell it easier than ever before. Are you a good writer? Consider freelance content writing. Savvy with social media? Manage a local company’s digital marketing. Freelancing is the perfect opportunity for students to test the waters and put what they’re learning in the classroom to use. Most freelance work can be done remotely, so you don’t need to worry about it conflicting with class. Just make sure you don’t take on so much work that you miss your homework deadlines (READ: 5 Reasons Why You Need a Math Tutor in College).
4. Read, Read, and Read Some More
Like many things, business strategies can get dated pretty quickly. For example, what was a good strategy in SEO last week is now frowned upon this week. I graduated five years ago from business school, and I remember textbooks containing sections, no longer than a paragraph, talking about the importance of social media. In that brief time, there are now classes dedicated to social media. Luckily, I was a regular reader of popular marketing blogs and graduated ready to adapt to the ever-changing world of business. From the top business books of the year to newspapers, reading about business will help you make the most out of your classes.
In closing, I’ll repeat myself because I think it’s that important: business school is much more than your textbooks and exams. If you want to make the most out of your time as a student, be proactive and take chances. You’ll find that developing this skills early on will pay off once you enter the workforce.
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