20 Lessons You Learn in Business School

Seton Hall University’s Alonso Alfredo Arbulu Arenas

14) Define Success On Your Own Terms: “Both personally and professionally, define what success means for yourself and codify those metrics. Doing so enables you to continuously and effectively ask for help, gain feedback, and prevent burnout or that feeling of being stuck. While business environments are typically high-pressure and rigorous, isolating yourself does not work in the long-run, and viewing everything as a zero-sum game is unsustainable. I defined my vision of success by building a community of mutual support, which allowed me endless opportunities for constructive criticism, reflection, and improvement.”
Jeshua K. John, U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)

15) Never Give Up: “As a business student, I have been rejected plenty of times by various companies. Chances are, you will be too. Do not be discouraged. Some companies may not be a good fit. It may not be the right timing in your career. The best opportunity that suits your credentials is out there, be patient. As an international student, it was even harder. Many companies do not offer sponsorship and I have gotten various offers taken away because of my international status. Regardless, I kept moving forward, always with a positive mindset. Do your best and God will do the rest.”
Alonso Alfredo Arbulu Arenas, Seton Hall University (Stillman)

16) There Is No Right Way: “In many class discussions and group projects, I realized how different people can be. Everyone has a different approach to success and different approaches tend to work differently with individuals. Therefore, I learned to be inclusive of all ideas rather than having a closed mindset.”
Taylor Huang, Texas Christian University (Neeley)

“There is more than one way to solve a problem. No matter the issue, there is a multitude of ways to deal with a problem. There is no use in getting stuck on a particular solution or way of doing things. Instead, there is power in tackling a problem from different angles. Ask more questions, play devil’s advocate, or ask for advice. No matter how large the problem may be, the most important part is to keep on trying.”
Carolina Zuluaga, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

“There are usually many ways to solve business problems. The biggest challenge is to combine what each person knows to reach the best solution.”
Izabela Litwin, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

17) Play Well With Others: “I learned how to work with all sorts of people. Many students in the business school complain about the copious amounts of group projects, but most real-world jobs require professional work in team structures—and you certainly don’t always get to pick your teammates! Although my personality can be stubborn at times, I believe that studying business has taught me how to value and respect the viewpoints of others in any situation.”
Andrea Goldstein, Tulane University (Freeman)

University of Miami’s Caitlin Cavanaugh

“In business and, more generally, life, the success of any transaction or encounter one makes heavily weighs on his or her ability to understand and connect with people. Whether it be across cultural, ethical, political, age, gender, sexuality or socioeconomic differences, having the competency to connect with an individual and group and to truly understand and appreciate their views and opinions (and to make sure they see that you understand these things, even if you don’t agree with them) will make all the difference in the world.”
Caitlin Cavanaugh, University of Miami (Florida)

18) Take It Slow: “The power of compounding – not only in finance but in the broader pursuit of knowledge. I knew next to nothing about finance before taking my first finance class at TCU. Finance is a field with a pretty high barrier to entry – newcomers must learn a lot of jargon and some concepts that aren’t so intuitive. I’ve learned to take things one step at a time, work with others, and not to get overwhelmed when tasks seem insurmountable. While I may still have a lot to learn, I know more than enough about business to know I have a passion for it, and learning gets much easier when you develop a passion.”
James Griffin, Texas Christian University (Neeley)

19) Facts Trump Opinion: “I learned that facts, data, and evidence matter. One’s opinions need to be grounded in these things, and one’s assumptions need to be tested and not just in a business context but in one’s own life.”
Dipak Kumar, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

20) Rumors Trump Facts: “Rumors change prices not facts. Once it’s a fact, it’s already too late.”
Brandon Kunick, Richmond University (Robins)

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