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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Business School

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Contents
Start making connections as soon as you step on campus
Allow yourself to participate
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Have a routine down for yourself
Do your research for your classes
Don’t let rejection dishearten you

Going into my junior year as a marketing student in JSOM, I have learned various ways to make the most of my time as a business major. When students first join a university, they’re bombarded with information from different groups, organizations and experiences that can become overwhelming. To make your transition a bit easier, I completed a list of tips I wish I would have known before I started business school.

Start making connections as soon as you step on campus

Business school is all about networking and creating meaningful connections with people. The moment you step on campus, you will encounter a wide variety of people with varied personalities, characteristics and ideas that could widen your perspective. At the same time, you build strong and worthwhile relationships that will enrich your experience.

There are so many benefits of networking, such as:

  • having people who root for you
  • exploring and developing your goals, and
  • exploring and developing your skillset.

One way to create these connections is to use LinkedIn. This is a good way to find people who have the same major as you or have gone through business school already. Another way is to go to career fairs, now happening online, or hang out in common areas to meet new people.

how to start business school


Allow yourself to participate

If you want to make the best of your experience in business school, find ways to show off your skills and learn what you’re capable of.

Interested in marketing? Groups such as the American Marketing Association at UT Dallas or the Professional Program in Marketing are great ways to get an introduction to the marketing world. If you’re not able to join during your freshman year, find out the requirements that you need to work on to make it a possible opportunity in the future. Not only is it an excellent way to update your résumé, but it also gives you an idea of real life.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

We are all college students who deal with a lot of pressure to do well in our academics. Some of us juggle school, work, relationships and anything in between, which can become overwhelming. The good thing about college is that there are plenty of support systems available to support students’ going through difficulties. For example, office hours are there for a reason; don’t be afraid to go to your professor or a teaching assistant to ask questions.

One of the best pieces of advice I would give anyone is to take advantage of the resources that present themselves to you. For my degree requirements, I had to take Applied Calculus I and II, which I knew I wasn’t good at. I took the initiative of applying for Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), which helped me succeed in both math classes. There are other classes that PLTL offers that could be beneficial to you!

Have a routine down for yourself

One of the most important parts of business school is being organized and having limits. Spread out your classes so that you have time in between to destress, work on homework, eat or study. One of my worst decisions was putting three classes right after one another, which gave me at most 15 minutes to rush from one class to the other, and by the third class, I was exhausted.

My second piece of advice is setting a time to study every day and follow through. Write it down on your calendar, set the alarm or invite friends to study with you. Doing so, you’re more likely to go out to the library or another quiet place to make an effort to focus. Studying regularly also helps you retain information long term, instead of cramming for an exam the night before.

My last point on this subject: Know your limits. Remember that the essential part of accomplishing goals is feeling well physically and mentally. Similar to setting a time to study, set a time to exercise, meditate, relax or socialize with friends to take your mind off of academics for a bit. It’s important to have a balance so that you can recharge.

Do your research for your classes

I cannot stress this enough. Doing your research for classes is extremely important. If you’re more of a visual learner and need PowerPoint presentations to grasp a concept, find a professor who uses this. Google your professors. There is a ton of information online that will help you make the decision. If you focus on the professor’s research and areas of expertise, you can find someone compatible with your focus areas, so you would feel comfortable asking for help or a recommendation letter.

Don’t let rejection dishearten you

Lastly, don’t let rejection discourage you from finding the right opportunities. You may be starting and are eager to find places that will give you more experience in your field. Feeling impatient is absolutely reasonable and valid! I encourage you to find these experiences. However, know that rejection is also possible and could help you grow. Every lesson will lead you to the best position for you, the right one.

College is a new experience! We all will make mistakes and learn from them. These are only some examples of things I wish I would have known from the beginning. Either way, I am grateful for being part of JSOM and sharing my advice with anyone looking into entering the business world.

Featured Photo by Roshan Khichi @roshan__khichi

Sofía Martinez-Murillo

Sofía Martinez-Murillo

Sofía is a junior undergraduate Marketing student who is passionate about digital marketing and branding. She is currently a Social Media Marketing Ambassador for UT Dallas’ Dining Facilities and is a member of the Professional Program in Marketing. In her spare time, she is most likely volunteering for organizations such as UNICEF or painting with her friends.  Read more articles

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