All the departments at MC are challenging, but also reputable to potential employers. As a prospective student or an undecided major, you might be concerned about your success in college with your particular major. In this series, bloggers ask professors in each department what a student can do for maximum achievement during and after college.
The first school we will feature is the MC School of Business, led by the dean Dr. Marcelo Eduardo. The business school offers a variety of majors, including Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Management Information Systems. Each major, though in the same department, may require different approaches in the classes they entail, especially when it comes to the business core classes that ensure a student has explored all the different facets of business. Dr. Sara Kimmel and Chris Smith have answered some general questions about how to prosper through the MC School of Business (for full answers including an additional professor's perspective, click here).
What do I need to know about business and the corporate world going into college as a business major?
Chris Smith notes that no prior knowledge is required, and that the business school is designed so that one with no knowledge of the corporate world could succeed. He hints that those taking economics or accounting classes in high school might find the college courses easier, but those who don't have that option are not at all behind.
Dr. Kimmel takes a different approach. She says that while you might not know what the business environment expects, you can practice in college the skills necessary to be successful in the corporate environment. These skills may include time management, practicing a hard work ethic, or developing a moral or ethical standard for yourself. She adds that a university degree does not make you immediately a corporate executive, but it does get your foot in the door to where you can work hard to get yourself up to that point.
What skills will I acquire leaving the business school?
Smith describes all the courses of the different majors, like accounting, finance, and marketing which will provide practical skills in those areas. The key skill he highlights is through the class "Faith and Business Ethics", which teaches students how to keep a strong Christian standard in the secular corporate environment.
Kimmel assures students that at the end of college you aren't to be fully trained, but rather you possess skills that make you trainable. These skills can include effective communication, analytic and quantitative skills, ability to learn, and love of the workforce.
How should a student study for your class/other classes like it?
Smith's focus is about pace. Reading chapters in the textbook should be for understanding, even it takes longer than average reading material. When it comes to test, he uses a football analogy. He claims that since Nick Saban isn't lining up his Alabama team for a full-pad practice game the day before an actual game, the student shouldn't be cramming the night before the test. Like football, the night before should be low maintenance and your mind should b at ease and ready.
Dr. Kimmel provides a list of tips, all points of which can be viewed in the link provided at the top or bottom of the blog. She focuses on engagement. This means showing up to class, paying attention in class, writing down notes, and other things like it. Her point is that if the student is active in class and aware of the material covered during class time, then studying will by consequence just be a review and nothing extensive.
How can I get involved in the School of Business?
Both professors mention the clubs that the business school offers (Accounting Society, Marketing Club, Investment Club, Service Club, and Women in Business). Smith alludes to the Speaker Series in which business practitioners, who are usually MC School of Business alumni, return to campus to speak on their success. Dr. Kimmel presents the opportunities for studying abroad or taking domestic trips with some of the clubs.
What are my career options?
Smith specifies the typical options each major at the MC School of Business grants. Accounting majors typically go to accounting firms, finance majors will work for banks or investment houses, and marketing majors could do sales or promotional work. Entrepreneurship majors will be prepared to start up their businesses upon graduation and business administration majors have a wide variety of options in the corporate world.
Dr. Kimmel wants students to know who they are as individuals when selecting a job. She notes that some graduates know the job they want, while others know in what field or company they wish to work. She encourages students to view the Occupational Outlook Handbook on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to research potential careers for a more personal resolution to the question of career options.
Do you have any general advice to a student entering the School of Business?
Chris Smith states, "It is not about who you are when you start at the School of Business, it is about who you are at the end of the process. Come into our programs eager, humble, and ready to learn and our fantastic faculty will have you prepared to move forward with your career. Oh, and learn Microsoft Excel."
Dr. Kimmel gives a bulleted list that is very applicable. Her advice includes using resources, reading the material, connecting with professors and other business majors, balancing the use of personal technology, and learning from mistakes, always having a good attitude.
Again, this information is only a summarized response to the questions asked, so feel free to click HERE for an extended response from each professor on the questions. These two professors are a great representation of the entire faculty in the School of Business, and all of the faculty are eager to help you in your personal collegiate goals.
In my experience as a finance major, every professor is available to help with total understanding of the concepts. Some professors ensure that every student understands lecture material before advancing, others provide numerous online resources to supplement in-class time, and others are available to talk with you personally about life in general. Mr. Chris Smith may not have mentioned it here, but I remember in an accounting class I had with him, he impressed on us for about 30 minutes the importance of being able to teach yourself material for maximum grasping of the concepts. If you have any other questions about life as a business major, feel free to ask in the comments below.
A currently thriving finance major due to great professors