College isn’t just about having fun and studying your chosen subject; you will also pick up a number of very useful skills during your time there. Some will be directly relevant to a chosen career, while others can be applied to any kind of work. It’s worth giving some thought to how you can use your studies to your advantage and how each activity can give you experience you can use in your career. Even your social activities can be relevant, especially if you get involved in the organizational side. Here are some of the business skills you may acquire in college…
Business Skills Every New Graduate Needs to Develop:
1. Time Management:
Time management is one of the most useful skills you will acquire at college. You’ll have to plan your timetable, and fit in your social life, study commitments, a part-time job if you have one, and perhaps voluntary work or positions in the student body. Delivering assignments on time is very important, as you could lose marks if you fail to submit work by the deadline. Plus you’ll have to turn up for lectures on time – student life isn’t all about sleeping till midday! Most jobs require you to work to deadlines, and you will of course be expected to arrive on time – so time management skills are incredibly important.
Another extremely useful skill that you may pick up at college is the art of negotiation. Even tasks like finding accommodation teach you how to negotiate a deal. If you get involved in running social groups like drama or sports clubs, you can also learn a lot. Your studies will also teach you about how to argue your point and persuade people of your point of view; this will be incredibly useful if your career involves any sales or promotional activity.
Many people find it difficult to put themselves forward and praise their own achievements, but this is an essential skill in the world of work. As a student, you will have to grow comfortable with meeting people and making contacts. You may want to seek a position in the student council or help to run a social group. This will serve you well when you want to progress in your career, as you will have valuable experience in organizing and management.
4. Public speaking:
If you find the thought of speaking in public excruciating, you’re not alone. Many people are intimidated by standing up in front of an audience, however small. While you’re at college, though, you will very likely be required to speak in front of your classmates. It’s a useful exercise in learning how to argue a case and provide evidence to back up your views. This will come in very handy when you have to deliver a presentation at work or speak to an audience.
Are you the person who always sits at the back of the class and never volunteers a comment? College should help you come out of your shell and learn to communicate. It’s only fair that each student contributes to the class discussion, and you need to learn to be comfortable with having your ideas debated (and possibly dismissed). You should learn to defend your point of view and offer arguments to support it, but also listen to alternative standpoints and analyze the merits of each one.
Few careers require you to work in complete solitude, so being able to work as part of a team is an essential ability to have. While studying, you may have to work on group presentations or tasks. You’ll have to learn how to cooperate with others and work on achieving joint goals. And just as in working life, some members of a team may not pull their weight. Learning how to handle the frustrations of working as a team, and overcoming the challenges, demonstrates that you can handle the requirements of life in the world of work.
7. Writing reports:
Throughout your career, you’ll be required to carry out tasks such as writing reports, collecting data, communicating with clients, and ensuring that all material is free of errors. Your studies will provide you with ample practice in the written medium. You will learn to complete tasks according to instructions, as well as submitting work by the deadline. It’s also a useful opportunity to acquire experience that could be relevant to your future career; for example, if you want to enter journalism you should volunteer on the student newspaper, and if you’d like to work in the arts you can be part of the administration for the college drama group, or volunteer for a local museum.
8. Handling difficult situations:
College won’t be all fun, sadly; you’re going to encounter difficult situations and awkward people. You may have a professor who doesn’t like you, or a roommate that you don’t get on with. You may also have personal or financial problems that affect your studies. It may be the first time in your life that you have had to handle difficult situations, but it won’t be the last. Being able to deal with any problems that you encounter will give you confidence for those times in the future when you’re faced with a demanding boss or difficult co-worker.
9. Being a leader and a follower:
During your career you may rise to the management ranks, but unless you become a CEO you’ll always have a boss (and even CEOs have shareholders to answer to). So you will always have to deal with following instructions and being told what to do. As annoying as this can be, it’s a fact of working life. But even if you’re not a natural leader, you may at some point be called upon to tell others what to do. College can teach you how to be comfortable with being both a leader and a follower. You have to keep your professors happy and get on with your fellow students. You may have to supervise a small team if you get involved with any leisure activities or student organizations. It’s excellent practice for being a leader in the workplace.
Laura Jonson is creative writer and content strategist. She writes creative texts and promotes small business on the Internet. Today she is working for dissertation help service AssignmentMasters. In the future she is planning to launch free online Website Promotion Courses.