After attending business school for 3 years, here are some of the reflections which I have which may be beneficial to all who want to study at business school. Do note that this is an account from my own experience and many other students may experience vastly different experiences. Here are some tips from me to make the most out of your business school experience:
1. Do as many internships as possible, across different industries, and different functions.
While in Nanyang Business School, and many other business schools, we would have one compulsory internship which we may have to complete, I encourage you to go out of your comfort zone to experience the different industries. Some of the benefits include the following:
Firstly, by having more internship experience, you can gain a better understanding of the world of business. Many industries operate in different styles and manners. Having experienced the automotive, information technology and medical device industries, I felt that despite having roles which were in business, in Talent Management, Market Research and Marketing, I could apply my business and analytics knowledge in a variety of ways. This allowed me a better understanding of how what I learn in school can be actively applied.
Secondly, you have more touch points to stay as relevant as possible. You will get to understand what are the skillsets required by each industry, and you gain a head-start compared with other graduates without prior experience in the industry. An understanding of the business operations in the role would allow one to connect the dots and grow to understand more on business functions and responsibilities.
Thirdly, culture. By having more internship experiences, you have the opportunity to compare the various kinds of cultures in each organisation. This would determine whether you believe that you fit into a particular company or industry. By seeing more types of cultures, as fresh graduates, we could also better discern what kinds of cultures fit our personal goals in developing as future business leaders.
If you need help on looking for internships, this post may be useful:
2. Try to work with different people.
While you may feel comfortable with just working with your closest pals sometimes, actively mixing it up once in a while allows the chance to tweak your working patterns to fit an ideal role.
More often than not, when you are working with the same people across different modules, you end up fulfilling a particular role in the group, be it as the one who leads in the discussions, the contributor, task manager and so on, and this may be a missed opportunity in trying something different.
By working with different people, you get the chance to get more creative and hone multiple skills, sometimes going just specifically on design and presentation, and other times managing extremely complex calculations. By actively switching up things, I found it an impressive learning opportunity for me.
3. Surprise yourself by going out of your comfort zone.
Many naysayers may say that in business school you are learning the same thing as everyone else, which means you are not really set apart from others. I would beg to differ.
Some ways which I managed to actively surprise myself to grow my learning experience:
- Joining over 7 communities during the course of my studies.
- Starting a profit-making small business and collaborating managing the end-to-end of the business with both business and non-business students.
- Going for an exchange programme to France where I had the chance to learn from many different cultures.
- And so on…
For me, I believe that my business school experience was a great opportunity to learn, grow, lead and serve. I hope that you would actively seek out internships, work with new people and go out of your comfort zone.
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