Advice on how to be good at business in the real world

March 11, 2013

Alexander Nedd
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Three letters symbolize one of the most powerful terms in all of business: CEO.

For some business majors, it’s the ultimate dream. Those letters symbolize more than a title. They symbolize a work ethic and a path less travelled. But in order to get to that destination, one must be able to navigate the route.

The College of Business, hosted in Dwire Hall, provides multiple accredited degrees certified by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The college aims for business students to learn practical skills that will benefit their chosen careers. What can college grads really expect with their degree?

Thomas Zwirlein, professor of finance who lectures at Dwire Hall, provided his insights. “A lot of students will start at the bottom and work their way up to a position of more responsibility,” Zwirlein said.

Lisanne McNew, director of placement at the College of Business, said, “Students should know the basics of their intended field.”

New graduates can work to avoid mistakes by networking and doing internships.

“The biggest mistake I see is that students don’t start their job search soon enough,” Zwirlein said. “Students can help themselves by doing internships and networking. If the university puts on an event, go.”

McNew also stressed the importance of networking. “It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know and who wants to know you,” she said. “You have to be able to say ‘Hi, this is who I am and this is what I can do.’ There is a confidence factor.”

Zwirlein encouraged students to join clubs and job fairs. “There are meet-and-greet options everywhere,” he said.

“Clean up your Facebook,” Zwirlein added, recognizing a mistake that could prove fatal for a student’s business hopes.

Basics should not be forgotten by students when entering the workforce, either.

“It’s usually the soft skills that employers have a hard time with,” McNew said, citing traits like dressing nicely and service skills.

“They have to be able communicate effectively; those are the skills they need to be able to get a job.” McNew warned about generic resumes sent to multiple companies. “Employers know when they’re reading a resume and it’s not tailored to their company.”

UCCS offers several tools for new grads, including mock interviews and graduate programs.

“Students should have the ability to be ready for anything; there are going to be setbacks and downfall,” said Lorelei Long, a small business owner who has owned a convenience store for seven months.

“I didn’t realize how much time it was going to take,” Long said about starting her business. “We’re open six days a week, but it’s 24/7. Things don’t stop at the house. Be mentally prepared.”

Donald Trump, multi-billionaire and famous business executive, said, according to Forbes Magazine, “As long as you’re going to be thinking, think big.”

Business students can effectively start their businesses tomorrow with work and tips gained from their experience today.