If asked, what advice would Thomas Heagy give business students just beginning their degrees?
“Go wait some tables,” says the 2022 graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “Business is about relationships with people and juggling different tasks to help your team succeed. Restaurants provide perfect practice in this field, and you make good tips, too!”
Heagy, a Poets&Quants 2022 Best & Brightest Business Major, will return to BMO Capital Markets after graduation as an analyst in their healthcare group after previously interning with the company. He also worked as a server for Mitchell’s Fish Market, leading to his unconventional business school advice.
If you think about it, it’s not actually all that unconventional. Many of this year’s crop of our Best and Brightest B-School grads offer advice with similar themes: Try to learn something from each experience. Look for opportunities wherever you can find them. Adapt to whatever is thrown at you.
THE POWER OF ‘YES’
Khushi Gandhi tells aspiring business students to get comfortable in their discomfort. “It is easy to stay within a bubble where everything that you’re working with is familiar; however, I found that I was able to learn far more by stepping outside that bubble and saying ‘yes’ to different opportunities,” says the grad from Rutgers Business School – New Brunswick.
“Granted it was difficult at first, but by consciously making efforts to have varying experiences, I was able to eventually find my way and learn a great deal. From classes to student organizations, placing myself in unfamiliar, challenging situations made me more willing to take risks. And these were the experiences that taught me the most and were actually quite rewarding,” Gandhi says.
Along a similar vein, Katie Markham of Providence College says students should stay open to all the courses in which they enroll, not only the ones that are core to their majors.
“Throw yourself into ALL your classes, not just the ones pertaining to your field,” she says. “Being a well-rounded candidate who understands the prominent parts of subjects like the development of western civilization while also being proficient in data analytics and Excel will make you shine and stand out.
“Do not limit yourself to what you think you should be learning; immerse yourself in all aspects of the curriculum.”
TOP ADVICE FROM 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 advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?
We scored those answers for the 10 best pieces of advice from the Class of 2022. Read them on the following pages.
1) LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES ANYWHERE
“My most memorable experiences in business school have been ones I did not plan. For example, when COVID-19 closed all schools in 2020, I didn’t plan anything for the summer. Instead of waiting out the pandemic, I reached out to Professor Gregory Sabin in Questrom and asked if I could be a teaching assistant for the summer. Unfortunately, he had filled up all the TA positions, but he did have a research project I could be interested in. We co-wrote a literature review on Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America at the end. This project was one of the most unexpected highlights of my undergraduate career.” – Nicole Sofia Gonzalez Ong, Boston University (Questrom)
“The best advice I can give to a business student are two reminders related to approaching challenges that may come their way. First, I would highlight that every challenge thrown at them can be seen as an opportunity for growth. Second, I would remind them that even though much of what will happen throughout their lives as students (and beyond) will be out of their control, remember that one thing they do have control over is how they react to potential adversity.” – Fernanda Gaete, Santa Clara University (Leavey)
NEXT PAGE: Learn to be patient with yourself + Get Involved
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