The Best Advice From The Class of 2018

Santa Clara University’s Haley Harada

Find Your Passion

What is the worst thing students can do in business school? For NYU’s Enkerlin, it would be taking the easy way out – the simple and steady job that’s inevitably “a waste of time and energy.” Babson College’s Gyda Synadu likens it to social conditioning, where students steer and jam themselves into what’s expected. A better alternative, suggests Santa Clara University’s Haley Harada, is to just run with your interests, knowing business is wide and inclusive enough to apply to anything.

It was a lesson that the University of Wisconsin’s Tan Bui took to heart as well. “Business majors branch far, far beyond the simple idea of “making money” and can be involved in many different facets of society,” he observes. “Thus, I would advise students to try to find what they are passionate about and pursue it. Additionally, they should always keep in mind the bigger picture and remember how important they are. Business majors are to the world what a heart is to a body. They make the commercialization of innovative ideas possible and help keep governments and economies running so they should take pride in whatever they ultimately decide to study!”

Looking at the bigger picture, the Class of 2018 found business acted as a roadmap – one that helped them find their identity while directing them away from the pitfalls that swallow even the best. That was true for Ohio State’s Joe Kline, a finance major who’ll be devoting his next year to AmeriCorps. His advice to prospective business majors: Be true to yourself.

“Students can easily get caught in the day-to-day without knowing what their end goal is. Always take time to re-evaluate where you are and what you are striving toward. All too often, I have found myself getting stuck in the minutiae, and when I finally re-assessed where I was, it was not where I intended to be.”

BYU’s Miranda Dennett

When it comes to finding where you want to be, Brigham Young University’s Miranda Dennet doesn’t believe there is “only one right path or one correct way to do things.” However, there is one variable that separates success from failure in her world: commitment.

“You don’t have to follow the same steps, do the same internships or work for the same companies that everyone else does to succeed,” she argues. “Find the path that works for you and put your whole heart and soul into it! And don’t be afraid to put in the hard work it takes to succeed.”

Follow the Golden Rule

At its heart, business is about service. If anything, the past four years have taught business majors never to take any stakeholder for granted. “Don’t forget why people organize in the first place – to accomplish something they could not do on their own,” writes the University of Washington’s Kate Jung. “At its core, business is an extremely human discipline. So focus on being genuine, both in how you treat others and how you carry yourself.”

More than genuine, adds New York University’s Shobhit Jain, follow the kindergarten adage to always be kind. “It doesn’t matter what you have on your resume. If you’re not a nice person, no one will like you. You can do everything you want to achieve your goals, but if you’re not nice, that’s the end of the road.”

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