The Biggest Lessons You Learn In Business School

Cristina Gutierrez

Cristina Gutierrez

Serve Others

“The biggest lesson I learned from studying business deeply resonates with one of the four Defining Principles of Berkeley-Haas: Beyond Yourself. I learned that business must be done as a service to society and that the real reward is the satisfaction and happiness of those whose lives one can positively impact. I aspire to go beyond myself and use business to support underprivileged populations, and that strong belief is what Haas has forged in me.” – Rupinderpal Singh Grewal, University of California, Berkeley (Haas)

“I learned how to balance responsibility and profits. The combination of applied business classes, information systems classes, and Theological Ethics classes have helped me to develop a lens to view business with a focus on responsibility and ethical practices.” – Claudio Quintana, Boston College (Carroll)

“The biggest lesson I gained from studying business is that business is not an end in itself, but rather a means through which one can work on solving problems. Both my business courses and my involvement with on-campus business clubs taught me that business is essentially a tool that can be leveraged for a greater good and for the betterment of society.” – Cristina Gutierrez, University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

“Business” can do good. Too often, we focus on instances of corruption and dishonesty. More often than not, trade creates value and continues to be a key tool in governing peaceful international relations. Moreover, I am excited about current innovations in social entrepreneurship.” – Faith Lyons, University of Virginia (Mcintire)

Reetika Purohit

Reetika Purohit

Can Do Anything With A Business Major

“When I began studying business, I did not realize how I could combine my passion for healthcare with my major. I knew I didn’t want to become a physician, but the idea of healthcare as a career path still appealed to me. When I learned about all the job opportunities in healthcare on the business end, I realized that business doesn’t have to be restricted to a bank or a consulting firm. It also doesn’t have to be restricted to certain industries.” – Rachel Fowler, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

“The biggest lesson I gained from studying business is understanding how versatile business really is. There are so many unique opportunities and very niche roles I never knew existed until I was in the business school and learned that business is so much more than the traditional roles people hear of, like consulting and investment banking.” – Reetika Purohit, University of Michigan (Ross)

Culture Matters

“Culture is critical to the success of an organization. I used to think “business culture” was cliché, but having interned for several different firms, I have learned that culture is often a firm’s key, differentiating factor.” – Brandon Walker, Emory University (Goizueta)

“Culture is as important as anything else. Some of the biggest businesses and transactions in the history of the world have failed because of misaligned values. In an age where computers could complete many technical tasks, building the right team and not forgetting about the “soft side” is crucial to success.”  – Max Mayblum, Emory University (Goizueta)

Your Network Is Your Destiny

Elana Burton

Elana Burton

“I learned that half of business is hard skills and what I’ve gained from experience in internships and class, and the other half is the ability to make connections and utilize a network of individuals.”  – Emmi Banner, Ohio State University (Fisher)

“Be proactive in pursuing professional or personal development opportunities. If you vocalize your goals to your network, the positive results will stun you.” – Elana Burton, Georgia Tech University

“I have learned the value of creating a strong network, not only for the value it brings in developing myself professionally, but also the fact that I can learn so much from those around me.” – Alex Ranney, Washington University (Olin)

“The relationships you build are just as important as the work that you do. Everybody can do quality work, but personal connections made for reasons outside of strictly business needs are what will make you stand out.” – Monica Chen, University of Illinois

Power of Communication

“The power of being able to communicate. No matter the form of communication, I have learned that being able to convey what you want to say and also being able to understand others is crucial.” – Alison McAuliffe, University of Illinois

“At the end of the day, business is done by people. In order to be an effective businessman, you must know how to treat people the right way and deal with them effectively.” –Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest University

The World Is So Interconnected

“Our world is intricately connected, like a web – and not just ecologically. On a daily basis, the media tells us that money drives politics. But now, through my business curriculum studies, I have a much better understanding of the complexity of that relationship. On the other side of that equation, politics, policy, regulation, demographics, and public sentiment largely dictate each new set of opportunities and challenges which businesses must navigate in order to be relevant, job creating, and successful. Change is the only constant, so good business leaders must recognize and adapt to these drivers of change.” – Sarah Long, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Murali Joshi

Murali Joshi

Go Beyond Your Initial Assumptions

“The best leader isn’t necessarily the person with the loudest voice or the greatest intelligence, but rather the person who can effectively delegate, make calculated decisions with limited information, and elevate the abilities of everyone around them.”  – Vaibhav Agarwal, Georgetown University (McDonough)

“Always look deeper. Often times, business problems can easily be resolved using the low hanging fruit. In order to truly analyze and solve the issue, it requires a comprehensive understanding of your environment, information at hand, and resources available. To develop this “comprehensive understanding,” we have to rationalize and logically think about every aspect of a problem and weigh its options. This often times comes with challenging one’s self to go beyond your first thought or assumption about a problem in a case or hypothetical scenario. While it may seem plausible to approach an event through a certain action, the most optimal method generally takes significant thought. Ultimately, when reflecting on the opportunities when I was tasked to challenge myself, it always came with a gratifying feeling knowing that you learned something new.”  – Murali Joshi, University of Southern California (Marshall)

Play the Game

“I believe that capitalism is a game where not everyone has equal starting points, yet everyone is subjected to the same standards – wealth. Studying business has allowed me to understand the game and navigate my life accordingly so as to ensure my survival while hopefully creating some positive externalities along the way.” – Teri Tan, New York University (Stern)

“As a finance major, I have awoken to the fact that business and business decisions inextricably affect nearly everything that happens, from geopolitics to local decision-making. Business is everywhere. And it is hugely influential. As a student of business, I feel as though I have a more acute sense of this fact than my non-business peers.” – George Rudebusch / William and Mary (Mason)

Learn How To Make Money

“Although you can teach someone the fundamentals of any subject area, you cannot teach someone how to make money — it is a drive and will that must be fostered over time. For example, there is nothing stopping me from buying a 24-pack of Gatorade at Walmart for 12 dollars and selling it to each of my friends for $1 per bottle to collect a $12 profit and then repeating that over and over. The only thing stopping me or anyone else is the drive to do it. That being said, while a lot of business success can be attributed to formal education, there is a whole other side devoted to wit, survival tactics, and general hunger that most people will never develop.” – Malik Elarbi, Penn State University (Smeal)

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