Written by Carol Jablonski, ’20
Are you thinking of majoring in business? I came into college knowing I wanted to be a business major. As an extroverted, straightforward, and organized person, I felt the business world would be a great fit for me. And there are a lot of different directions you can go with a business degree. While it was a practical choice, it was also a passionate one: you might worry that studying business is dry and boring, but there’s a lot more to the major than meets the eye.
A business major is never afraid to put on their suit and go out into the world. Business majors are people who know what they want and work for it, always having a goal in mind and the will to achieve it.
Because business is people, teamwork is a huge part of the major. While most classes involve a mix of lecture, discussion, and activity, similar to the real world of business, projects and presentations are a major part of how we spend our time.
I’ve always been extroverted, but being a business major has taught me how to work with all types of personalities. For instance, in my business internship with MetLife, a life insurance company, I have to communicate with several departments run by many different sorts of people with a range of areas of expertise. Knowing how to communicate clearly with anyone and everyone is a must.
While every major prepares you for a career, a business major offers several unique advantages in being particularly career-oriented. In addition to learning to be analytical, confident, and talented in presenting and speaking, it requires you to develop soft skills – essentially, emotional intelligence. This includes knowing how to communicate clearly, awareness of the impact of your body language, and how to deal with people purposefully and effectively – skills that are essential in business and not taught in every major.
At Meredith, business majors are also required to complete a career toolkit – we must have a polished résumé, an updated LinkedIn profile, have completed practice interviews, and more – before graduating, ensuring we’re ready for the business world. We also have a business fellows program that arranges corporate site visits, brings in speakers, and helps business students find internships.
Business is a career-oriented field, which means knowing a lot about the real world of business is important for success. Because of this, business professors are more than willing to share their experiences with their students to prepare them for the working world. They often come straight from the business world, and not only have an abundance of practical knowledge, but are incredibly passionate, energetic, personable, and excited to talk about what they’ve spent their lives doing.
The professors not only know business theory but have examples from their experience to back it up. So when you see something on a test about a brand, for instance, that example your professor gave about the actual marketing plan for Bounty paper towels will come to mind. Because of this real-world experience, they have a lot of connections. In one of my classes, my professor brought in a guest speaker who worked with Coty, a beauty company in New York City. Halfway through her talk, she casually mentioned she worked in the Empire State Building. To be in class and see someone who had worked somewhere so well known – and to imagine we might get there one day ourselves – was inspiring. These sort of connections are not only cool but useful. Our professors are invested in helping us find jobs after college and are more than willing to put us in touch with resources and opportunities.
Another unique aspect of a business major is the fact that it is career-oriented but still very versatile. Business is in every part of our lives, from the stores we visit to the institutions we interact with to the apps on our phones. Because business is everywhere, everything requires business knowledge.
As a business major, you can work in an insurance company one day and a data storage company the next. There’s a demand for business analysts, project managers, marketers, accountants, and more. A business major gives you applicable skills you can carry anywhere you want to go.
With all these opportunities, the business world is growing increasingly diverse; women and other groups are playing a much larger role than ever before, and the business environment is becoming more welcoming every year. If you enjoy working with people, functioning in a fast-paced environment, and working toward goals, a business major might be for you.