If Cassie Trosino could get a redo on her undergraduate business degree from the Texas Christian University (Neeley), here’s what she’d do differently: Spend less time chasing the perfect grade and more energy focused on genuine learning.
“I religiously followed class examples and clung to rubrics and guidelines as the only proper way to complete an assignment or give a presentation. The cold hard truth is, though, that everything in life that matters requires experiences, individual effort and risk,” says Trosino, a 2022 graduate, and a Poets&Quants for Undergrads Best & Brightest honoree.
“Where the confines of rubrics and structure dissolve and the self-inflicted pressures of grade performance are stymied, innovation and creativity are nurtured. Taking risks and experiencing failure is not only important to our development as business professionals and people, but it is necessary.”
NOT TRACKING PROGRESS
Kate Donenfeld’s main B-school regret is not keeping a journal to track her progress.
“There are so many opportunities to learn new skills, network, join various programs and clubs, and take classes of my choosing that it is difficult to make the best decisions that will contribute towards my goals. At the time, I tried to take advantage of every opportunity that was thrown my way and when I had to choose, I decided based on the present moment,” says the 2022 graduate of USC Marshall.
“If I had articulated my goals at the start of each year, I could have been more strategic in my decisions and made better use of my time, and potentially even had more free time to spend with friends. I could have also documented how choices, classes, activities, and events contributed towards my goals to see my progress and reflect on what did and didn’t work.”
10 BIGGEST REGRETS OF TOP BUSINESS GRADUATES
Each year, P&Q honors 100 graduates among the Best & Brightest Undergraduate Business Majors. As part of the nomination, these students answer the following question: What is the biggest regret from your time in business school?
We scoured those answers for the 10 biggest regrets from the Class of 2022. Read them on the following pages.
1) Not making connections earlier
“If I had to choose one thing I’d do differently in business school, it would be to speak with faculty about their research or industry experience more often. Cornell has so many talented faculty doing important work in their respective fields. As a first-generation college student, I was unfamiliar with academia or simply how to approach professors. But as time went on, I developed the confidence to attend office hours and ask professors about their work outside of class. Every single time I did, I learned something new. Sometimes, they even connected me to new opportunities or alumni they thought would align with my interests. I wish I would have started to do so earlier since they are just as eager to interact with students.” – Genesis Santana, Cornell University (Dyson)
“One thing I would do differently in business school is networking with alumni and professionals earlier. As a first-year student, I was shy when it came to networking with professionals on a one-on-one basis beyond Binghamton’s school events. Later, as I built more confidence to reach out to professionals personally, I wished I had done so sooner. The network I build helped me decide that consulting was the field I was interested in by providing me with first-hand stories of their experience, day-to-days, and deliverables. It would have been helpful to speak to more professionals in depth about their careers sooner. Additionally, these relationships have been helpful for advice when making decisions during college, and I could have used them throughout my freshman year.” – Isabella Martinez, Binghamton University School of Management
2) Hitting the books too hard
“I know this is a taboo response, but I wish I’d closed my textbooks and enjoyed more of my overall college experience. The first half of my college career I didn’t have a social life and solely spent my time studying and working. Indeed, studying and school are very important, but it’s also critical to take a step back and enjoy college. The four years go by fast, and a good chuck of college for me was taken away due to COVID. I wish I went to more Badger games and spent more time hanging out with my friends.” – Monica Murphy, University of Wisconsin
NEXT PAGE: Being too rigid + Not saying ‘no’