5 Tips for College Business Students

5 Tips for College Business Students

Your business career starts on your first day of college. From this day, you can begin learning, networking and laying the groundwork for a successful career. These five tips can help you make the most of your college years and ensure that when you finish, you are ready to take on the professional world.

Get Your Finances in Order

Some people think they cannot afford college, but this is what student loans are for. You should find out how much you are eligible for in federal aid as well as what you need in scholarships, grants and private student loans. Be sure that you research so that you know what your borrowing limits are per year for student loans. Putting together a budget may seem like a lot of work up front, but it will free you up to be able to focus on school without worrying about where every dollar is coming from or going.

Work on Your Communication

Ultimately, business is about relationship building, and to be successful, you need to be able to communicate effectively and persuasively. Many campuses have a Toastmaster’s Club, which is an international organization that teaches public speaking skills. In your classes, you should also work on your written communication. You don’t need to be able to turn out beautiful prose, but your writing needs to be clear, concise and correct.

Network

Your professors and your fellow students are potentially valuable contacts. Some business schools will also give you access to valuable alumni contacts. You should join any professional organizations related to your field of interest, and look into opportunities to attend conferences and seminars, even if you can only do so online. Unpaid internships can be useful if you can afford them, but if you cannot, there may be paid internships and other useful work opportunities. You may want to check with your campus career center for more information.

Manage Your Time

It can be difficult to juggle your classes, extracurricular activities, your social life, and possibly a job and other responsibilities, but developing good time management techniques now will serve you well in the future. There are a lot of tools that can help you. If you have trouble remembering appointments or turning up on time for things, calendar apps that send you alerts that can be helpful. There are a number of apps devoted to time management or systems you may find useful. This is a good time to find out what works for you and to develop good habits.

Practice Negotiating

Negotiating is also an important element of being successful in business, and you can start in college. You probably don’t want to push it too much in negotiating with your professors for a better grade or an extension on a project, but you can find out the typical compensation for jobs you do and make sure you are getting paid fairly. You may want to look into workshops that specifically teach negotiating skills if this is something you are struggling with.

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