Whether you’re a college freshman or you’re graduating at the end of the year, you can set goals and challenges for yourself in business school. College is a great time to explore your many career options and meet people you might know professionally throughout your life. The tips below can help you make the most of business school.

Know Your Budget

Being able to focus on school means doing your best to ensure that you aren’t worried about other things, and if you’re like a lot of students, one of those potential worries is money. With a FAFSA calculator, you can find out how much federal aid you will qualify for, and this can help you determine how much you’ll need to borrow in private student loans. These may be available from brick and mortar banks and credit unions or from online lenders. Your school may be able to provide a ballpark figure for the cost of living aside from books and tuition.

Seize Networking Opportunities

Take advantage of your business professors’ office hours and get to know them. They have a huge amount of experience and wisdom to impart, and they can introduce you to others as well. Attend any networking events the business school offers. You should also consider attending events that you wouldn’t normally. Breaking out of your comfort zone can introduce you to new opportunities.

Join Student Professional Organizations

Organizations for students in your field can give you the opportunity to learn about different fields, network and meet professionals. These organizations can also offer leadership experience. Find out whether your school has an alumni network that you can be put in touch with. You may find a mentor, a job offer, or simply someone who is willing to have lunch or coffee with you and chat about the business world.

Take Risks

The business world often rewards people who take the right kind of risk, but the great thing about risks as a college student is that there’s very little downside. People expect you to be on a learning curve, so throw yourself into internship opportunities, classes you might not have considered and extracurricular activities that challenge you.

Be Well-Rounded

It’s good to work hard in school, but doing business successfully is also about building relationships. Work on your communication skills, and learn how to talk to people about their interests. Even if you don’t plan to ever live outside the country, spending a year or a semester abroad can boost your maturity and problem-solving skills and prepare you to work successfully with many different types of people. Businesses today have a global outlook, and getting some international experience under your belt can make you a valuable potential employee. You might even want to consider learning another language. Psychology classes can help you understand human behavior better while liberal arts classes, such as literature and history, can help you improve your written communication skills. Many of these soft skills strengthen your management and leadership qualities and can help set you apart from your peers.

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