Tips and Tricks for First Year Business Students

1) Base class selection off of the professor, not on how well it fits into your schedule.

Ok this tip is applicable to students in general, but I think it’s still relevant to mention. I always used to base my schedule entirely off of timing: when the classes would start, end, and how early I would be able to leave school. I honestly wouldn’t even glance at who the professor was, I wouldn’t know their name until the first class. What I have learned, the hard way I might add, is that this is not necessarily the method that will best set you up for success. It is much more beneficial (in my opinion anyway) to select your professors off of their past reviews, word of mouth and personal learning style. For instance, if you learn best by classroom discussion, then I would advise you to select your classes and professors (to the best of your ability) based on that aspect. By that same token if you learn best by independent study and don’t need to show your face in class until exams arrive, pick the prof that teaches with that style. Bottom line: the timing of your schedule should not be your priority.

2) Go Network.

You will hear this from almost every representative that comes to speak to your class during the first week of school. You will probably get annoyed with the number of times the phrase “networking is critical to your success” is said. I sure did. Though that may be the case, I will begrudgingly admit that it is true. Networking IS crucial to your success in the faculty of business, and the business world in general.  Like it or not, if people do not know who you are, they may be less inclined to take chances on you. You could have a stellar resume and GPA, but if the other candidate has a stellar resume and GPA, AND has attended a session facilitated the company you are applying to, they might just pick the person they know over you.

3) Get Involved.

Ah, the other phrase you will hear used in every other sentence during your first week of school. It it tried and true. Find a club or activity that you are passionate about, and go for it. Extracurricular activities are largely responsible for the success that I have seen so far in my business career. I find that the clubs I am involved with have allowed me to make meaningful connections with students and professionals, as well as allowed me to develop core competencies. Not only that, but I have met some of my best friends by being involved.

4) Do not get discourage, keep trying.

If we are being candid here, your grades may drop in your first year of business. Think about it, we are all smart people. We all had to apply to get into this faculty, and we all had to be competitive to get here. You have been taken from a large pool of individuals in your first year studies with a broad range of competency level, to a smaller and talented pool of students. You are competing with individuals who are generally, success-oriented. However, as you specialize further and begin to take classes akin to your skill and interest, you should (hopefully) see the reverse effect on your GPA. Just keep going.