by Stephanie Watkins
In a field as broad as business, you can get involved in just about anything. With seemingly endless opportunities and different career paths to go down, it can be tough to get an educational background in exactly what you will be doing ten years down the road.
Many schools don’t even offer undergraduate business degrees. Countless successful business executives come from varying, diverse educational backgrounds. So how do you use the major you have to get the business career you want?
GET INVOLVED IN CLUBS ON CAMPUS
Colleges and universities have an amazing selection of different clubs and organizations for you to get involved in. Check out what organizations are offered in your field of professional interest.
You may be able to join a professional club like Finance club, or an International Business club. Even if you don’t have a business degree offered at your school, there will be plenty of other like-minded individuals looking for ways to get involved.
Other non-professional clubs can make just as good business experiences. Seek out leadership roles in a service club you’re passionate about, run for marketing chair of your sorority, or get involved in a student government committee.
By getting involved in clubs, you can learn what it’s like to work with a team on a project, and use the experiences you gain from participating in professional and non-professional clubs alike to further your future business aspirations.
EXPAND YOUR NETWORK
It can be really valuable to start tapping into and expanding your network during undergrad. You never know which classmate will go on to be an executive, or who your former boss knows in your field of interest.
One great way to use your network is to conduct an informational interview with someone whose career you admire. Are they doing something you would want to do a few years down the road? Make time to meet with or call them, and ask them about their career path, what skills they use day to day, and what you can do as an undergrad to put yourself on the path to success.
Without a formal undergraduate business degree, connections you make with other professionals can lead to opportunities you may not be exposed to otherwise. Don’t take relationships lightly- making connections and keeping in touch is a resource that can be a useful as you make it.
CONSIDER AN MBA DEGREE
Despite the diverse fields that business offers, employers still love to see you have the hard skills they’re looking for. It’s never too early to start thinking about furthering education, and an MBA can help you stand out from the crowd while teaching you valuable information not included at the undergrad level.
Most business schools require you to take the GMAT or GRE as an entrance exam. The scores from the exam last for five years after you take it, so they’ll still hold their value. It can be helpful to take the exam during undergrad while you’re still in prime studying and test taking mode. Even if you’re not sure exactly what you want to do, taking the GMAT or GRE while in undergrad can be a really smart career move to get you to the professional position you want to be in down the road.
Stephanie Watkins is a senior at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduating in 2015. Her major is in Management and Society and her dream job is to be a marketing and social media consultant which allows her to travel all over the world. Stephanie’s spirit animal is Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec and you can find her on Twitter at @StephanieWatki5.