Dreaming of becoming the next success story in the business world? You can do it if you go about it the right way.
Step 1: Major in Business, Marketing, or Accounting
An undergraduate degree in business, marketing, or accounting will help you learn the legal aspects of owning and operating a business. It will also prepare you for meeting daily business expenses, navigating the stock market, and/or focusing on whether you want to promote or create a product or service.
Don’t think you can afford a four-year school? Start small. Many community colleges offer beginning business courses, so you can try these first before you make a major commitment to a full Bachelor’s degree.
Step 2: Prepare For And Take The GMAT
After four years of college, you may just want to get out of the classroom and get started with putting your Bachelor’s Degree to work. No matter how eager you are to get started, it is well worth the wait to stick around another two years and earn your Masters degree.
Before you can apply to any MBA program, you will have to take the GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is a prerequisite for applying for an MBA in any American university. It is designed to test reading, writing, analytical, verbal, quantitative and problem-solving skills. Performing well in this test will post your chances of gaining admission into the more competitive universities.
Step 3: Stick Around and Earn Your MBA
As we said earlier, earning an MBA is well worth those additional two years in college. An MBA, or Masters in Business Administration, garners more respect and money than just a Bachelor’s degree. Those two years you spend earning an MBA will help you make significantly more money than you would with a bachelor’s degree.
Focus on getting into a good graduate school with a solid MBA program that suits your needs. If you want to mix and mingle among the best and brightest, be ready to bust your hustle by applying to the top schools, then work like hell to get there. If they offer a scholarship opportunity, make every effort to not only meet the requirements, but to exceed them.
Step 4: Internships & Fellowships
During undergraduate school, it’s beneficial to undertake an internship to work in a business setting, make contacts, and learn just how an office operates. In graduate school, a fellowship might be more helpful than a typical internship. Fellowships take on more responsibility and go hand in hand with a specific research project tied to your degree.
Step 5: Never Stop Learning
Once you get accepted, make the effort—even after you’ve received your MBA—to never stop learning. Technology has changed a lot of things in this world, including how business is conducted on a global scale. With huge strides being made almost every day in the fields of technology, you will soon find yourself left behind if you do not stay abreast of the latest technological advancements.
Step 6: Use Social Media to Your Advantage
No, don’t rush off to update your Facebook profile. When it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is where it is at. Now’s the time to revamp your LinkedIn profile and announce your entry into the profession.
You can keep your high school accomplishments if you want, but focus more on job skills, any specific awards you’ve received (including mentions of Dean’s List and other academic accomplishments) and highlight any presentations or articles you’re particularly proud of. Get a good, clear, professional headshot as your profile picture and focus on highlighting work experience.
Step 7: Get Organized
Organization really is the key to all success. Color-code schedules in your phone, or download an organizational app that can help you keep track of all the important things. The sooner you start getting yourself organized, the more productive you’ll be and the sooner you’ll taste success.
Step 8: Pay Attention to Finer Details
Just as organization and concentration will help you in school, they will also help when you start working. Pay attention to small details others may overlook, and don’t stop working on an assignment until it is the absolute best you can make it. Sloppy work and missed deadlines don’t impress anyone, least of all your future boss.
Step 9: Make Meaningful Connections
Networking is integral to your success as a business person. You won’t get anywhere fast if you keep to yourself, so get out there and get in front of those who matter.
Take business cards when they are offered, even if you don’t think you’ll contact this person right away. Sometimes, when you least expect it, a contact can help get your foot in the door—whether that door is to a job interview, an internship, or even a promotion and pay raise.
Step 10: Think of The Long Game
When you read success stories, remember, many of the most successful business people today began by working hard. Be prepared to put in the hard work if you want to succeed.
Think of the long game and do your best to meet or exceed the expectations set forth by supervisors. Complete tasks on time and take care of finer points and details. Unless you absolutely cannot complete a job or task, live your life by Nike’s motto: Just do it!
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