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Business School Beyond Academics

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What is business school?
Non-academic skills gained in business school
Serving in student organizations
Healthy competition with peers
Participation in workshops and events
Career Fairs

Enrolling in business school is a popular choice among recent high school graduates. According to a report from, a website about the U.S. education system, business is the top choice for a bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree. In 2018, of 1.9 million students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., 386,201 graduated with a business degree. Something similar happened with master’s degrees: 192,184 students out of 820,102 graduated in the business field.

I hypothesize that media has increased interest in the business world through TV shows like Shark Tank or The Apprentice, among others. Young people get to watch and listen to success stories of business empires and startups, prompting their interest.

Below, I will provide various charts that give students an idea about the choices of education U.S. students make.

Popular choices of fields of study

Bachelor's DegreeBusinessHealth ProfessionsSocial Sciences and HistoryEngineeringBiological and BiomedicalSciencesPsychologyCommunication, JournalismVisual and Performing ArtsEducationComputer and informationsciences26%16.4%5.4%5.5%5.9%6.2%7.8%7.9%8.1%10.7%
FieldsBachelors Degrees
Health Professions2.44
Social Sciences and History1.59
Biological and Biomedical Sciences1.18
Communication, Journalism0.92
Visual and Performing Arts0.88
Computer and information sciences0.8
Master's DegreeBusinessEducationHealth professionsEngineeringComputer and informationsciencesPublic administration andsocial servicesPsychologySocial sciences and historyVisual and performing artsBiological and biomedicalsciences28%21.3%6.7%6.7%7.4%18.2%
FieldsMasters Degrees
Health professions1.25
Computer and information sciences0.46
Public administration and social services0.46
Social sciences and history0.19
Visual and performing arts0.17
Biological and biomedical sciences0.17

What is business school?

A business school refers to a university-level institution that offers knowledge about specific business subjects like accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management information systems, marketing, and more. You can choose to go for an undergraduate, graduate, executive, MBA, or PhD degree, depending upon what the school offers.

Jason Cirilo, a career development specialist and lecturer in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, says that “Business school is all about creating strong problem-solvers. It exposes students to ideas from around the world and teaches them how to be fluid in their thinking towards current business issues.”

And, certainly, I think this is true.

So, business school is so much more than just the academic curriculum. Business school is a learning experience that changes the way you approach challenges in life.

Non-academic skills gained in business school

When I was planning to pursue my master's in business analytics from the Jindal School, I had many questions circling in my mind. I was curious to know about what opportunities would come my way.

A business school provides education on academic theories with hands-on application of the same, in real life. You can sharpen a diverse range of skills. But before you start researching the business school and the course you want to study, you may want to look at what a business school teaches you aside from academic subjects.

  • Communications and people skills
  • Working in a cross-culture environment
  • Leading people and teams
  • Networking
  • Decision-making
  • Managing time and handling pressure
  • Presenting to the audience and reporting
  • Adapting quickly
  • Finding a work-life balance

Some of the skills will improve even more when you are an active student inside and outside the classroom. Seeking good grades in the challenging curriculum is essential, but that is not the only necessary thing. You may not fully take advantage of the overall experience if you only participate in the classroom. You have to apply what you learn in class and put yourself to work by participating in activities that will help you develop your skillset — step outside the classroom.

Serving in student organizations

Serving a club as an officer is a wholesome hands-on experience. A top-ranked business school has a considerable number of active student organizations. As a club officer, you will sharpen your management and communication skills from the ground level. You will be responsible for conducting events, calling in speakers from industry and engaging with club members managing projects.

Healthy competition with peers

Indeed, one great advantage that you get as a business school student is the peers you meet in your classes. When talking about grad school, the chances of meeting peers from diverse backgrounds increases. Your classmate may have an engineering background; they could be a marketing executive, a finance guy, an athlete, an entrepreneur, a healthcare executive, or even a cybersecurity specialist. If you stay open to different points of view and, people with diverse skills and knowledge, you will widen your own view of the world and everything around you. This will allow you to become a better person and have more information to make impactful decisions.

Participation in workshops and events

Seminars, workshops, events, conferences, guest lectures are the things happening outside classrooms. Events get lined up every week in all business schools. You may not need to attend every event, but yes, a good conversation with the event speaker — or random activity or participation with a colleague — may turn out to be fruitful. When you are in a renowned business school, experts and impactful leaders come to give workshops and seminars. Getting knowledge from the industry drivers keeps you updated about current trends. From personal experience, I can attest that listening to keynote speakers has motivated me to strive harder, every time.

Career Fairs

Career fairs are gateways to networking for students and job seekers. Recruiters and companies line up at business schools to hire students for internships and full-time job opportunities. These fairs let you make connections with recruiting teams. They will also sharpen your interview skills and help you figure out ways to sell yourself. Having a face-to-face interview with a recruiting representative will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses. This gives you a chance to improve yourself and to develop confidence. If you turn that chance into an internship or job opportunity, that would be an icing on the cake.

I came to know about all these great experiences and opportunities business school students can get only after I started attending the Jindal School. If you are like me and entrepreneurship is in your veins, start listing business schools you aspire to attend and enroll pronto. 

Sagar Patel

Sagar Patel

Sagar is an MS Business Analytics student at the Naveen Jindal School of Management. Apart from pursuing a degree, Sagar is a passionate writer, an avid photographer and a travel enthusiast. And all of these can be observed in the book that he has published, A Roundabout – Thoughts and Dreams. You can get his book from Amazon. He has a burning desire of marking a positive impact on as many people as possible. With the storytelling skills, he wants to make more of it in the business domain also.  Read more articles

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