A business degree could open the door to many opportunities in a variety of fields. It is exciting considering the possibilities that could be available to you, but it is important not to lose focus or become too overwhelmed. You might need a little help along the way, and it always helps to get advice from someone who was once in your shoes.
While every business degree is different, here is some advice from successful business men and women that can apply to any business major:
“It’s OK to admit what you don’t know. It’s OK to ask for help. And it’s more than OK to listen to the people you lead. In fact, it’s essential.” – Mary Barra, General Motors Chairman and first female CEO
You don't have to have all the answers, especially when you first start your business career. You should never be afraid to ask questions if you’re unclear about a project. Take the time to learn from others in your organization, you never know what experiences they have had that they can share with you. It’s always better to get clarification if you’re uncertain about your next steps instead of doing a task incorrectly because you didn’t take the time to ask a supervisor or coworker. Asking questions can also demonstrate that you are conscientious about your work.
Be open to change
“If you don’t transform, you’re stuck.” – Ursula Burns, Uber Board of Directors Member
With the fast-paced development of new technology – among other changes – no job description is set in stone. Change can be daunting but it is also fun! Be open to new opportunities and understand that not everything will be done exactly how you learned in school. You might need to complete your project or task in ways you never learned before. Discovering and adapting to changes is part of being a successful employee.
Build a strong network
“Treat everyone like they’re important because they are... by shrugging off a non-recognizable person… you’re risking offending someone who may be much more connected than you realize.” – Tim Ferriss, New York Times bestselling author and successful startup investor.
Getting a dream job or advancing in your career requires networking in addition to hard work. Who you know is very important as you look to start or grow your career. Expand your network and you are likely to find people who could assist you months or years from now. Your network can help you not only discover new opportunities but also help keep you up to date on industry trends, skills and changes. To network effectively you should:
- Ask questions
- Follow up
- Have an elevator pitch prepared
Learn from your mistakes
"The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures, rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me… so a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve." – Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group
You can use your mistakes as a reference for how to improve. Doing something incorrectly is part of discovering the best way to approach a project or task. Have typos or grammatical errors in your work? Create a plan to better edit your writing. Miss a deadline? Try better time management practices such as forming a timeline or using a planner. Success is sometimes just one improvement away!
Presentation skills are a must
“Presentation skills are key. People who work for you to represent your brand. You want them to present themselves – and represent you in a certain way.” Marc Benioff, Founder of SalesForce
No matter the industry, being able to effectively communicate your ideas to peers or clients is important. Presenting can be nerve-wracking but you should have confidence in knowing that you know your material and that your information is important. Some helpful presentation tips include:
- Focus on key messages
- Know your audience
- Show, don’t tell
- Tell a story
Be constantly learning
“You’ve got to learn how to read widely, walk the market, look at trends in the marketplace and make connections that don’t seem obvious,” - Indra Nooyi former CEO of Pepsi Co.
Continually observing, reading and learning new concepts from industry professionals can help you succeed in your career. Another way to focus on learning and possibly help you reach your career goals is to earn an advanced degree. Herzing University offers advanced degree and post-masters certificate programs for a variety of business industries including Project Management, Human Resources, Accounting and others.
Interested in pursuing a business degree? Visit Herzing University online and check out our business programs today!
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.