College Major Deep Dive: Business and Finance
Join former Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business Angela Park-Pennington as she gives a deep dive on majoring in business and finance during college. During this one-hour CollegeAdvisor webinar, Angela will explain the types of courses you might take as a business or finance major, career opportunities you could pursue, and much more. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2022-04-07 College Major Deep Dive: Business and Finance
[00:00:00] Hi everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on College Major Deep Dive: Business and Finance. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists.
Good evening everyone. My name is Angela Park-Pennington. It’s wonderful to meet you all this evening, um, to chat about the wonderful topic of business. Um, so I am a former admissions officer and I also serve as an associate director of admissions [email protected] Uh, while I did not personally major in business, um, uh, at Berkeley, um, I started linguistics myself.
Um, my expertise in the realm of business majors comes from my time at the university of Southern [00:01:00] California, uh, where I served as an associate director of admissions for the business school there. Um, specifically the undergraduate business program, um, Marshall at USC. Um, so I, um, spent a lot of time talking to students who were interested in applying to our business program or business and accounting programs, um, talked to, you know, many students who were comparing, uh, USC Marshall versus some of the other schools on their list, um, to talk about the different experiences that they could potentially have, um, spoke with many students who were interested in learning more about career pathways that can result from my business degree, um, as well as having had many interactions and experiences with the, um, student body, um, at USC Marshall and kind of, you know, um, uh, understanding the experience of a business of an undergraduate business student, um, and, [00:02:00] um, some of the prospects they have in their future.
After, uh, business, um, uh, graduating with a undergraduate business degree as well. Um, so tonight I would love to share some of my insights and knowledge with you. I’m happy to answer questions. I believe we’re going to have some opportunities for Q and a at the end as well. Um, and I’ve prepared some slides and some information that I’d love to share.
Um, both talking about some of the similarities and differences between the business and finance majors, um, amongst just kind of the general, um, scope of, you know, um, uh, studying business, preparing for a career in business, um, and just general topics in that area. So that’s going to be a little bit about what we talk about tonight.
Yes. And real quick, before we get started, we just want to do a quick poll. So what grade are you [00:03:00] currently in eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, or other. And other can be if you’re a transfer student or taking a gap year, or if you’re appearing on the call with us. And while we wait for those, um, the, those responses to roll in Angela, can you tell us a bit about like some of the, um, some of the types of students you saw applying to the business school and like what some of their, um, qualities were that really out.
Oh, that is a fantastic question. Um, so during my time, um, uh, working in admissions at an undergraduate business school, one of the top business schools, um, it was, uh, I had the great pleasure of meeting many, many prospective applicants who, um, brought lots of different types of experiences as strengths and qualities, um, not just to their application, but also to the school once they matriculated, once they were admitted.
Um, so, um, oftentimes I think [00:04:00] some of the, the, what we would call the best fit student or some of the more stronger applicants, oftentimes some common characteristics that. Um, where students who, um, had a, had a solid kind of combination of strong academic skills, obviously. Um, but, but really also a strong drive to, um, innovatively solve problems.
Um, that’s kind of a generic answer. Um, and I, I can go into a lot more detail into what that really looks like on paper, how that translates into actions that you can take as well to demonstrate that. Um, but oftentimes, um, that was very evident to us on the application, um, through essays, through activities that they described, um, that showed, Hey, I really care about something in the world.
That’s either impacting. [00:05:00] And I want to do something about it. I think that’s the simplest way I can boil that down. Um, it didn’t really matter what that thing was, um, what that issue was, but that problem that they were trying to solve. So for some, it was, you know, on a grander scale on some, you know, it was on a much, it was on a very, very, you know, niche or personal scale to them.
Um, but in, in any case, uh, we were always quite impressed by the applicants that showed a drive to, you know, identify a problem and not just sit back and think, Hmm. That’s really inconvenient or somebody should do something about that, but really think about, um, what can I do about that? Um, that was always a strong, strong quality that displayed, not just creativity, innovation, leadership, and a desire, uh, um, uh, initiative, a sense of responsibility I could go on, but it also just showed a desire to, you know, um, D uh, explore their own [00:06:00] potential to, Hey, what, what can I achieve and how can I grow from this to definitely, uh, so it’s looking like we have a great mixture in the crowd.
We have 1% eighth graders, 5% ninth graders, 22%. 10th grade is 51% 11th graders making up the majority 16%, 12th graders and 6% other, and you can control this. Okay. Great. Well, welcome to all of the juniors in the room and do all of our other, um, our, our, um, sophomores and freshmen as well. Um, Move on to our first slide.
So as I mentioned at the beginning of the presentation tonight, I am going to be talking about a few things, just, um, I’ve broken them down into different slides, but overall, I want to frame this conversation about just the overall kind of scope and world of, um, business program, [00:07:00] undergraduate business programs.
Um, w we’re going to be speaking specifically, I just preface with that because I’m, I don’t want to mislead since the title of tonight’s webinars, business and finance, like business versus finance. Um, but, but, uh, but I want to talk about some things that are kind of on the peripheral of that topic as well.
Um, so just really generally, generally speaking the main difference between business and finance. And I also want to throw in accounting in there too, because that’s also often in a major that you will see as, you know, a, uh, a tertiary. Um, is that business, you know, as it may seem pretty obvious too, is a lot more general it’s, uh, it’s got a much broader scope.
So in terms of the curriculum, in terms of the optimal.
in terms of the experiences that you will have [00:08:00] the business. And usually the major itself is called business administration. Um, can vary depending on what school you’re looking at. Um, uh, it’s going to be a general overview of how to run, how to operate a business. So that’s going to be all of the things, um, that.
Imagine if you were starting a business on your own, um, and you were, uh, and some, uh, some of you, you may not have to really imagine. Maybe you have parents who are business owners who are small business owners. Maybe you have started your own initiative. Um, and then you will be quite familiar that with running a business, with operating a business, there’s a lot that goes into it.
Um, so I’ve listed a couple of things here, learning the basic principles of how to run a business like accounting, uh, management. If you have employees and staff, um, marketing to, you know, get the word out and express exposure and awareness about your, your business. [00:09:00] So there’s a lot that goes into just the general world of business slash business administration.
Um, whereas with finance, um, or accounting majors, um, very specific, um, uh, it’s, it’s a, it’s a major that really kind of funnels you into a type of career pathway. Um, whereas I would say with business administration or business majors, um, it’s a lot more open-ended, um, you know, those who major in finance will probably end up pursuing a career pathway or find it quite, um, uh, uh, you know, uh, easy to, um, Uh, find employment upon graduation in, you know, directly into the world to finance, um, or, you know, in stock and stocks or money management.
Whereas with business slash business administration majors very much more open-ended the end of the world is your oyster. [00:10:00] Because with, within any industry, you will be able to find a role, a business type role, whether that’s in, you know, consumer goods, whether that’s in healthcare, whether that’s in travel and tourism, whether that’s in, you know, beauty and, you know, cosmetics or in clothing and apparel or, you know, or furniture, it just, every industry you’ll be able to find, um, many, many roles.
And, um, that, that a business administration major could prepare you for. Um, In terms of the curriculum, the four year curriculum, you will find that a finance major is very much more quantitative, which means a lot more math classes, a lot more analytical courses, um, to prepare you for a career that is more rooted in data analysis, um, risk assessment in projections and forecasting, things like that.
You really need to have your math, your quantitative [00:11:00] skills, um, very, very foundationally strong. That doesn’t mean. Yeah. You know, that’s not quite so different for business majors. As business majors also have a strong quantitative, uh, course curriculum. Um, but there’s also an additional kind of focus on qualitative or soft skills as well.
Um, so they really want to produce. Graduate who is going to embody, um, where at least have the, the knowledge and education to embody strong leadership skills, strong communication skills, strong management skills, and so on and so forth. But for a certain subset of courses, there’s going to be a lot of similarity.
Between the business and finance majors. Um, I’ll talk a little bit more in detail about careers and future pathways and outcomes of business and finance majors and the later part of this evening. Um, but just kind of as a little peak, um, uh, business majors [00:12:00] often result in careers, um, eh, uh, spanning across, you know, a variety of industries.
Um, but those careers can result in, you know, uh, jobs in marketing, in sales, in HR, human resources, um, you know, obviously in management and leadership, um, you know, working as a consultant and advising, consulting other organizations on how to improve their business practices and decisions. Uh, many students go on to start their own businesses.
Um, so there’s kind of a multitude of there’s, there’s really no end in terms of the options that, that results from a business major. So, so really, really great for students who may be unsure of what they would like to do, you know, longterm. Um, but they know that. You know, they really want to have a strong kind of root in both their quantitative skills and their [00:13:00] qualitative skills.
Like, yeah, I enjoy my math classes. I really enjoy my stem courses, but I also really love getting creative. I also really love working in groups. Um, I, you know, I love debating with my peers, you know, I kind of embody both. I’m not necessarily specifically right-brained or left-brained I kind of, you know, would like to dabble in both, you know?
Um, and I don’t really know. From, you know, career goal yet. I think business is always a really, really strong major to select if you’re somebody who, um, you know, would like to have a solid academic preparation, um, to, you know, be able to make you a very, very versatile candidate for any number of types of careers upon graduation.
Whereas for finance, like I mentioned much more specific, a lot of finance majors, I won’t say all but many finance majors go on to work. Um, you know, specifically within the finance world. So whether that’s in, uh, in banking, um, eh, in financial institutions [00:14:00] directly, um, financial law, um, as you know, uh, personal finance, but many, um, many and for both business and finance majors, um, I see that many students do go on to pursue higher education, whether that’s an MBA, um, or like a master’s in finance, Um, various different types of certificate programs as you kind of, you know, um, advancing your career and, and learn a little bit more about where I want to specialize in or where I want to grow more in.
Um, I see that happening with, um, with alumni quite, quite often. So for the next slide, um, what are other majors in the field of business? So I see very often that students who may be interested in business, but are applying to a school that does not offer a business. Um, you know, maybe they offer, maybe they, uh, apply to [00:15:00] econ economics or, uh, for math.
Um, I, I see that happen often times. Um, the I’ve listed on this slide here, which you, you can see yourself. Um, there are these other majors. Um, there are oftentimes either entirely separate majors offered within a school, um, within a by college, um, or it’s, it can look like concentrations within the business major.
Um, so it, it can really, really vary depending on the school that offers the program. So as you’re doing your research and as you’re exploring different colleges and different business programs and comparing and contrasting, that is one thing that I would encourage you to really consider in your research.
If you are somebody who is. Uh, like let’s say you’re, um, you’re very certain that you want to, um, [00:16:00] that you want to study business, but you’re not necessarily sure. You know, do I want to, um, you know, go to a school that has a dedicated business program. Um, and you know, for example, USC Marshall, um, or, you know, Wharton at the university of Pennsylvania or stern at NYU, um, or Ross at the university of Michigan.
So those are, um, specific schools. Business schools within that university, they often have, uh, in this case, um, they almost always and often have a graduate program. So an MBA program that’s also offered at that school. Um, so, um, when, when you’re considering this, and this is something that you’re, you’re, you’re very, very certain about not necessarily.
The situation I was describing earlier where I’m not really, really sure what I want to do, but I’d love to have kind of [00:17:00] a versatile, um, major that prepares me for an open-ended, you know, career opportunities. Um, but not necessarily that, but on the other end of the spectrum where you’re very, very certain about a career and, um, and a future in business, I would highly, I would highly, highly encourage you, um, to consider those schools that are housed, um, that offer majors in business that are housed within a specific business school.
The reason I say that is because, um, the opportunities, um, that you can receive from, uh, studying. At a specific business school or just worlds different from, um, either doing a business major at a school that doesn’t necessarily have its own business department or business school, I should say. Um, or deciding to study econ or study math or any number of the other kind of majors that, um, students may, um, uh, choose [00:18:00] to pursue as an alternate because there’s their dream school maybe does not offer a business name.
And the reason I say that is because when you are attending a business program, um, that’s not just a business major, but a business program housed within a business school. There are so many different opportunities and resources that are specifically provided to you. Um, and I’m talking about business today, but this definitely applies.
If you have any siblings who are also, you know, in listening and might not be interested in a business, or if you’re kind of, you know, thinking about a couple of different major options right now, um, this definitely applies for, for other, um, uh, majors as well. If you’re able to, um, you know, apply to a school that offers a, um, a major house within a school.
That’s definitely the route that you want to go. Um, so for example, case in point with business, uh, whether it’s, you know, you mish Ross, and when you stern USC Marshall, um, the [00:19:00] experience that you will have as a four year Ross student or. Stern student or Marshall student is going to be very different from a student who is simply studying business as a major within the scope of their larger university.
Um, oftentimes a specific business school will have because of the fact that they’re also, um, you know, offering graduate classes, um, through their MBA program on campus, there are often, um, opportunities where you can interact with faculty members who also teach MBA classes. There are often, you know, a different resources that are offered to grad students that trickle down to you as well.
Um, there are, uh, uh, a ton of, you know, different connections and networking and career opportunities that happen due to the connections that. Um, school has through the MBA program too. So that’s [00:20:00] something that I really would consider, uh, an encouraged students to consider is not just looking at the curriculum, not just comparing and contrasting, you know, what am I going to be studying?
What are the classes I’ll be taking as you’re comparing schools and in your research right now. Um, but thinking about other things too, there’s a host of other factors to consider. Um, uh, when you’re thinking about the return on your investment of, you know, what’s going to be the best choice for me when I’m choosing which schools to apply to and eventually which school to attend, you know, what, uh, what are the, uh, what is the ultimate four year experience that I want for myself, obviously, a strong education, obviously a strong four year education.
Um, that’s going to prepare you to be a. Really competitive, um, applicant for the job field later on. Um, but also, you know, what are the internship opportunities that are going to go that are going to be available to you? What are the, um, you know, [00:21:00] recruitment opportunities that are going to be available to you, especially within the world of business?
Um, many students will, and if you speak to alumni, I think you’ll find that, um, very, very few students go from, um, having a blank resume and just a four year of just a bachelor’s degree going into a, you know, um, highly competitive. Um, you know, full-time job right at placement, right out of college, many, many times, especially with business.
Um, a lot of these students are doing internships, whether it’s summer internships or part-time internships over the academic year. Um, sometimes starting from their freshman year, oftentimes starting from their junior year. Um, and the reason for that, especially for some of the, uh, what, what we call in the industry, the big four kind of firms that the large corporate firms that do heavy recruiting from these, from these business students, um, are often [00:22:00] doing, um, uh, recruiting directly through their college internship programs.
So what they’ll do is have students, you know, apply for these very competitive internship opportunities, these internship slots, um, that they’ll do the summer between their junior and senior year. Um, and then during the. As senior year fall, they’ll extend an offer of employment. Like, Hey, we loved your work.
You were an excellent performer during this internship. Um, here’s our job offer that we’re extending to you just go graduate, finish out your senior year, and then we have a, we have a job waiting here for you. So that kind of internship, um, that takes place in that summer between junior and senior year is almost like their trial run.
Um, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity for students to, to, to, to experience. Is this the job that I want, that I really liked my team, that I like my boss, that I liked the type of work that I was doing. Um, so, so [00:23:00] that’s a little bit about, you know, why kind of having the, um, uh, internships, having a strict.
Built out resume, um, before even graduating in college is really important, which is also why going to a university going to a business school that offers those opportunities, offers those career opportunities, internship opportunities, and connections is super, super important. Um, for students who are interested in pursuing a career, especially whether it’s in finance or consulting or accounting, or are just in the corporate world, um, you want to make sure that you’re going to have those opportunities to start building your resume with internship and job opportunities as a college student.
Um, so this is going to affect, I think maybe your choices in, um, location of your university and opportunities at your, that your, um, business program will offer as well. Am I going to have strong recruitment? Are people going to be coming to [00:24:00] me because of the partnerships and connections my school has at my business program has.
Um, um, and am I going to have, you know, proximity to be even, um, you know, meeting others in the business world? Um, or am I kind of, you know, um, uh, isolated from those opportunities? So I am going to move on to the next slide, um, curriculum comparison, um, just real quick, you can see pretty clearly what I mentioned earlier that, um, there is some overlap in the curriculum between a business major and a finance major.
It starts to really divide, I’d say around the junior year, Um, as you kind of go into your specialization, so with finance or specialization is finance, um, but everything kind of leading up to that, um, is kind of the general education of business classes. Um, all business students, finance students, accounting students are going to have to take calculus accounting, a general econ class or two.
[00:25:00] Um, and then, you know, from there, it starts to slowly divide into, Hey, I’m a business administration student. So I need to take all of these other kind of general topics, um, that, you know, comprise the scope of business of administering business and management, marketing, entrepreneurship, data analysis, all of that.
Um, whereas for finance students maybe less, so important to understand, um, and, uh, um, all of those other topics, um, more important. To have a deeper dive understanding of some of the other topics that are listed here. Um, this is a very, very general overview and a very small snapshot. It’s obviously going to vary from major to major school to school.
Um, but this is just kind of a general overview, so that you kind of understand a little bit about how they’re kind of different to their core. Uh, I will also say to them, maybe I should caveat that, that, um, there are kind of differences in programs as well. So [00:26:00] if you are attending like a four year business program where you start taking some business classes, even from day one, as a freshmen, that’s not always going to be the case for all business majors.
That’s not always going to be the case where any major at any school, some schools are designed where, um, your first year. Maybe sometimes even into your sophomore year, you’re kind of slaughtered into just taking GEs general education classes. And you’re not really allowed that flexibility to start taking classes that you are interested in for your, um, for your major until a little bit later.
Um, that’s just kind of how it’s devised. Other schools will allow you to start taking some of your, um, your choice classes, your major classes and whatnot, starting from your freshman year. It’s not going to be a whole lot. It might be one or two. Um, but that’s also going to be, you know, something to think about when you’re comparing and contrasting different college options.
If you’re somebody who’s really gung ho about, I can’t wait to go to college. I can’t wait to start taking business classes and then you find out, oh, [00:27:00] I don’t actually get to start taking business classes until my junior year. Um, some schools, you actually don’t even know if you’re going to get into their business program until your junior year, even thinking about Berkeley, UC Berkeley, for example, you like, for example, with UC Berkeley, you would apply to UC Berkeley as a general UC Berkeley student.
And then in your sophomore year, you’ll apply to the business program. So there’s a, there’s a chance that you might apply to Berkeley thinking I’m really want to study business at Berkeley. Um, yay. I got into Berkeley, but then maybe not. So EA I didn’t get into the business program later on. Um, that’s, that’s something that that’s a gamble for some, for some applicants, something to think about.
So, um, very, very important to really kind of look into the nitty gritty. What it could actually look like for you, um, uh, uh, for the whole four year, for the entirety of the four years when you’re comparing and contrasting different schools, [00:28:00] not all school websites, I know, make it super easy to compare and contrast the different schools and what that four years will actually look like.
Um, but it does take a little bit of, of diving of digging, I should say. Okay. So common career pathways. I actually think I mentioned, I touched on this a little bit earlier, but with business, because it is a little bit more, open-ended a little bit broader. Um, in my experience, um, uh, with, uh, with students that I, and a specific business school like Marshall, um, a lot of students were hoping to, and a lot of students were eventually, um, pursuing career pathways and consulting, um, consulting, uh, ended up being a very popular career choice for students because they felt like they could apply a lot of their skills and knowledge that they gained from their, um, degree, um, into, um, into kind of one, um, career.
Uh, and the reason for that is because some of the other ones listed here, like for [00:29:00] example, marketing management, entrepreneurship, business analytics, things like that are a little bit, maybe more specific, um, with consulting, um, uh, it’s uh, it’s project based work. It is. Um, it can be exciting, especially for students who are, uh, for graduates who are newly graduated from school and are excited to kind of dive into the world and try a lot of different new things.
Um, so because, um, it can be. Project-based um, you know, you are able to try, uh, different things and you’re not kind of tied down to one for a long time. Um, but you’re also able to apply your, um, various skills of, you know, analyzing data, um, making strategic recommendations, um, based on your analysis of, um, of a business and how they have operated.
Um, so, so that has been, um, what I have observed to be a very popular career path and desirable career [00:30:00] path. Uh, for business administration graduates also have seen entrepreneurship being a very popular choice as well. Um, uh, uh, students who go on to pursue careers in marketing analytics, um, uh, project management, um, especially within the tech world has been a very, very, uh, Popular kind of career path for students outside, uh, graduating with a degree in business administration, um, with finance.
So a lot of students who are, I listed a couple of, you know, career pathways here as well. Um, many students we’re hoping to, you know, Uh, Atlanta career in, um, some of the larger banks. Um, I, I will say that, um, in your research, as you’re starting to kind of compare and contrast different business programs, you’ll find that, um, uh, different schools will often list on their websites, um, um, [00:31:00] their, um, uh, employment statistics.
So, you know, X percent of our graduates end up in, you know, this career path and that career path. And they’ll often break that down. That’s very, very helpful knowledge, um, for you to consider, um, especially if you are somebody who has a pretty certain idea of what you want to pursue. So for example, um, Uh, let’s say, um, uh, let’s say NYU stern.
So stern is, um, a very, very strong business program. Um, obviously located in New York city. Um, lots of students that graduate from stern end up working on wall street. Um, many students who graduate from USC Marshall oftentimes did not go on to work at, um, work in wall street. I’m not saying that they, none of them did many did.
Um, but it wasn’t necessarily, um, [00:32:00] Uh, the most popular kind of even desirable the most popularly desired, um, career path for many Marshall students. And the reason for that is because I think students realize the importance of kind of proximity making connections and building a network. And that becomes more.
And I think you’ll find too later on, it becomes increasingly important as you’re starting to seek out internship opportunities and networking opportunities. Um, proximity is huge. Um, uh, and in terms of the networking opportunities that you can make, um, but also in terms of the different internships and job opportunities that you’ll have during your four years, um, that’s also really going to heavily influence the types of careers that you go on to pursue as well.
Um, you will find that there are certain business schools that, um, Uh, we’ll, um, produce, um, almost like a feeder into certain, um, recruitment firms in, [00:33:00] um, uh, that heavily, sorry, firms that heavily recruit from certain schools for certain, um, uh, fields. Um, so you’ll see a lot of, you know, um, uh, um, uh, PR programs, um, uh, in whether that it’s, it’s in, um, consulting or in marketing, um, in program management, especially in the tech industry, um, in the entertainment industry coming out of, you know, the area of Los Angeles in California.
Um, and then you’ll see kind of, you know, the more, um, uh, finance focused career, um, aspiration, um, out of, you know, uh, areas like, like New York and areas that are closer to the east coast.
Yeah. So now we’re going to do another quick poll, um, before getting back to the presentation. So where are you in the application process? Hasn’t [00:34:00] started, I’m researching schools. I’m working on my essays. I’m getting my application materials together or I’m almost done. And while we wait for those, um, responses to roll and, uh, can you tell, uh, give some advice, some general advice on, um, what skills students can start working on now to help them to really take advantage of these programs when they’re in college?
Oh, sure. Um, let’s see. So I think. One of the main advantages of going to a very specific business, a specific business program compared to a larger university that doesn’t have a business program, um, is that the business programs generally offer, um, a lot of whether it might be business clubs, um, uh, director recruitment, um, uh, those kinds of career opportunities, um, oftentimes opportunities to travel as well [00:35:00] as do recruitment, as well as do internships.
Um, so opportunities abroad, um, partners, direct partnerships, um, with, uh, larger corporations and firms that do recruitment from colleges from specific college programs. Um, so that’s definitely one of the main perks. One of the main pros of attending a school that has, uh, attending a college that has a specific business school.
That being said, I don’t want to. Minimize the, the, you know, potential, um, value of going to a school that has a business major or an R you know, it doesn’t necessarily have a specific business school because those are the opportunities that you could seek out on your own, too. It’s just going to take a little bit more initiative.
Um, so that could be the same thing as maybe your high school experience to maybe your high school experience, um, does not, your high school does not necessarily offer, um, a ton of opportunities for you. And you’re kind of having to Wade through a lot of this on [00:36:00] your own, and, and it requires a lot more productivity on your end.
Um, that’s, those are great skills to start, you know, honing now, you know, how are you, uh, what are you taking advantage of in terms of opportunities and individuals who you have access to, um, if you don’t have access to, you know, how are you kind of opening up those opportunities? Um, those are, those are skills.
I would certainly practice now. Definitely. So it’s looking like we have 22%, haven’t started 61% of researching schools. 6% are working on their essays. 4% are getting the application materials together and 8%, the lucky few are almost done. Right. Okay, so kind of bouncing off of what, um, Mackenzie, you just asked that we just talked a bit, a little bit about, um, is what extracurricular should I be doing?
So what can I be doing right now to prepare, um, if you’re, if you are so lucky to be attending a school that offers business clubs, um, [00:37:00] uh, you know, uh, that’s fantastic. Um, if, if not, then consider starting your own business club. That’s again, kind of, you know, going back to what I mentioned at the beginning of the call, you’re identifying a gap or a need, and you’re filling that gap.
Um, there’s no business club at your school, then start one, um, get together other students who may be interested in business and start, you know, meeting once a week, um, or, or formally start a club at your school. Um, but you know, uh, center your meetings around. Um, you know, uh, topical issues that are happening in the world of business.
Um, maybe you’re really interested in a certain area of business and you find yourself going down, you know, uh, Google or Wikipedia, rabbit holes. And, um, because you’re so interested in this topic, then maybe you get your friends together and share your knowledge. Maybe you start a blog where you start writing articles to share the knowledge with other students, other young people who are interested in this topic.
[00:38:00] Um, so those are, those are definitely opportunities that, um, You know, may or may not depend on the rules at your school. But like I said, even if it’s not going to be possible at your school, then, you know, look online for opportunities there to starting a blog. That’s always really, really great universities.
Love to see students wanting to share their. Curiosity their knowledge and their passion with others. And I feel like a blog is a great way to do that. It doesn’t mean that your blog has to go viral and become the most popular blog in the world. Um, but just showing that effort is really great. Um, internships and volunteering.
That’s really awesome. Um, if you’re able to, you know, seek out and acquire internships that are reputable, that’ll actually give you an opportunity to learn from, um, you know, others who have more experience than you then that’s fantastic. But, um, but if you are not able to find, you know, a concrete.
[00:39:00] Internship like where it’s a fleshed out program that you have to apply for and become selected for if you’re not able to find those opportunities. That’s okay. Um, I always recommend reaching out to small businesses around you. Um, more than likely they could use a hand, they could use some help, um, like think about like the, the local mom and pop shop.
Um, and you know, maybe they’re trying to increase their business. Maybe they’re trying to increase their marketing. Um, think about how you might be able to help them. Maybe you have some, you know, some great graphic design skills. Maybe you could create some wonderful materials for them. Maybe you could, you know, get, um, them on social media.
Um, you know, maybe you can build them by, you know, think about what you can do to help, um, people in your community. Um, Those are all experiences that contributed to your own growth in knowledge and experience. Um, and you’re also doing, you know, um, a great thing for somebody else [00:40:00] and helping somebody else out along the way.
So it’s okay if it’s not a fancy internship and a large company does not have to be like that. If you are making an impact and helping another business, um, you’re, you’re absolutely going to learn from that. And it’s really at the end of the day, about what you learned from your experience. If you have an internship at a fancy company and you end up just kind of, you know, um, making copies, I don’t think that.
Is the case anymore for internships. I don’t think people make copies of these everything’s electronic now, whatever is the equivalent of, um, essentially kind of like insignificant, um, contributions or a little bit more menial, um, you know, more important than that, you know, more impressive than that is going to be the larger impact that you can make.
So if you help your local, um, you know, um, local coffee shop [00:41:00] run by a small family, you know, and, and help them, um, uh, um, get into their, their, um, Local, I don’t know, food magazine or something. Um, if you, if you can help that happen, um, that’s, that’s really impressive and you can, you can also really, uh, directly even kind of, um, correlate how your help impacted maybe their growth to maybe your increasing their exposure, helped them increase their sales by X percent.
Um, that’s something that you maybe not necessarily would be able to say if you had a small internship at a huge company, um, let’s say part time jobs. That’s always really impressive for a, not even just for business majors, but in general for, for college applications, I’ll say as an admissions officer, I loved seeing part-time jobs on students’ applications.
Um, that to me showed me. Not only were you able to acquire a part-time job, you were able to keep it, you were able to [00:42:00] keep a job. What does that mean? You able to show up on time, you were respectable, you are respectful. Um, you had good customer service skills. You had good organization skills and time management skills.
Um, being able to keep a job, um, especially the, the longer, the duration, the better, um, that, that really. Um, uh, shows a lot for your credibility because another adult person whose livelihood was based was somewhat dependent on your performance, um, was wanting to keep you around for longer. Um, so that’s, that’s always great to show.
Um, so it was part-time jobs. I know some students are like, oh, well, you know, I’d rather do something more impressive than get a job at my local, you know, John, but juice or Starbucks or something. Um, but there’s a lot to be sad for. You know, being able to, to hold down, um, those types of, um, jobs as well, um, independent initiatives.
So that’s kind of a general catch, all that I listed here. Um, kind of [00:43:00] similar to what I was mentioning earlier about the blogging opportunity. So if you are somebody who, you know, you’ve kind of exhausted your options, you’ve really thought creatively about me and what could I be doing? I don’t have many opportunities at my school or in my community.
Maybe I’m located in a place where these opportunities just don’t exist or they’re taken up by everybody else. Um, think about what you can do on your own. So I’ve worked with many students this year, um, this past year, Uh, we’re applying to, um, uh, to business schools, to business majors. And I, like I said, a lot of that kind of underlying, and then they are now receiving, you know, um, some, some really happy news and acceptances from, from the schools they apply to, which is really great.
Um, I think that the underlying common thread that I’m seeing is that for these students who were successful, um, they were. Um, a very, very clear in their applications about what they cared [00:44:00] about. Um, it’s not necessarily that they had the most impressive internships that they had the most, you know, um, uh, leadership titles on their extracurricular activities.
Uh, it was really that they were able to pinpoint, Hey, this was something I cared about and I wanted to do something about it. Um, so, uh, for many students, you know, the, the past couple of years with COVID, they saw that a lot of opportunities where, you know, for lack of better words were kind of taken away from them.
Um, you know, organizations shut down opportunities to interact with others shut down. Um, and it really made things a lot more difficult, um, for, for people to a, you know, obviously get together, but also for you to kind of create impact for other opera for others, um, for, even for you to. Learn about and, um, other opportunities too.
Um, but for some of those students, you know, they, they, they, um, identify thing that they really cared about. So for example, um, some students that I’m working with, even now, um, they’re looking at, uh, things that are [00:45:00] going on around the world. Um, they’re hosting fundraisers, um, they’re, um, you know, hosting different kind of opportunities to ex, to raise awareness around some topic that they really care about.
Maybe it’s, um, refugees from different situations happening in the world right now, maybe it’s from, you know, marginalized populations that are severely impacted by the COVID pandemic or from other, you know, different issues. Um, If they felt that their community wasn’t kind of stepping up to, um, provide them with opportunities to get involved in the issues that they cared about, then they started their own thing.
Um, it, and like I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t have to be the most successful thing in the world. It doesn’t have to, you know, even be featured in the news. That’s okay. You just want to be able to talk about it on your application, even if you only end up raising like $500, a thousand dollars and in the [00:46:00] grand scheme of things, whatever amount that seems insignificant or not impressive to an application that’s okay.
The fact that you sat down, you know, started jotting down, some ideas, put together a plan called up some people and said, Hey, let’s get together. This is something that I really care about. This is a huge problem. At least to me, and I want to do something about it. Um, and then you did something about it.
You put together an action plan and did something about it. That’s what you’re going to end up talking about in your college essays. And that’s really where your heart is going to show your passion is going to show and your, um, drive to actually do something about it. That’s the part of the colleges care about you actually doing something about it.
Um, so that’s kind of the generic catch all independent initiatives, find something that you care about, um, and, and try to come up with your own solution. Is there anything I can do right now in high school to increase my chances of getting in those majors? First of all, for business, for [00:47:00] finance, for accounting majors, for econ majors, all of that, you’re going to want to sh demonstrate a strong performance in math.
Um, so whatever the highest level of math is at your school, You’re gonna want to achieve that. Um, for business major specifically, there’s almost kind of a unspoken understanding. I say unspoken because they don’t necessarily list it on their website as a requirement. Um, but schools really want to see, um, calculus.
They want to see at least up to calculus in your math performance. So if your school offers calc AP courses, um, you want to take that. You want to take the exam you want to do well on the exam. If they don’t, you want to seek out opportunity. If, if they don’t offer that your school, you want to seek out opportunities to obtain that calculus access.
So are you looking for, um, you know, calculus courses at your local community college, if your local community college doesn’t offer it, you know, [00:48:00] find opportunities online, um, you know, really if you exhaust all of your options and you can’t find a way to take calculus, um, even, you know, a Khan academy course, whatever you’re doing to at least be able to list on your application, um, that, Hey, maybe I don’t have it on my transcript, but I was so interested and curious about it, that I went out of my way to, to educate myself or to take this self-guided course.
Um, that’s a really great way to demonstrate that, uh, propensity, that ability and that curiosity. Um, if you’re able to take even up to statistics, even better, um, strong leadership skills, this is going to, um, vary in how this, uh, manifests itself, uh, on application to application. So for some, it’s going to look like, Hey, What appears to be tangible leadership skills, because on my application, you know, I’m president of this club, maybe I’m the vice president of that [00:49:00] club.
Maybe I started, I mean, I’m the founder of this. Um, that’s great. Um, but leadership skills doesn’t necessarily always have to mean that if you attend a large school where, you know, you, you’re new trying to become the business, the president of your business club means it’s kind of a popularity contest of you versus 50 other students who want to show leadership skills on their application.
Um, that’s, that’s not a game that’s, uh, uh, odds heavily in your favor, uh, but you can show leadership skills in other ways. Um, and that’s the impact. So maybe you don’t end up having a leadership title, um, within that club, but perhaps you suggest maybe you initiate, um, and, uh, a great idea for, for some program within your business club.
And you are able to say, Hey, you know, Um, uh, had an idea for my business club to throw this event, to raise awareness for this issue. [00:50:00] And my club loved it so much and I’m actually gonna spearhead it. Um, and I’m going to pull together all these other people and all these other resources to launch it.
There you go. You don’t necessarily have the title of president of the club, but you can show your leadership skills in that way. Um, and then it’s not the qualities that I listed earlier as well. Um, so final advice, um, I’ve mentioned as kind of throughout this presentation, but I would really, really recommend that instead of just going on Google and listen, looking up, you know, the top business programs, um, uh, top ranked business programs, top ranked business majors, rather than doing that really, um, take a look at, um, the different kind of career paths in business.
Um, and then kind of work backwards from there. You know, how many of you really are familiar with what a project manager does or what a program manager does or an analyst does, or a consultant does, you know, Probably the most [00:51:00] generic career titles yet. So many business students go on to pursue those careers.
Um, so what does that mean and how can you really prepare yourself for a career in that? Um, so start doing a little bit of, I guess, backwards where think about what are the different career pathways that might be a good fit for you and what career, uh, sorry, what, what, um, uh, uh, college kind of education would all, but also best to prepare you for that.
Um, and then align your experiences and activities with that specific area of interest. Like I mentioned earlier with business it’s, so open-ended, you can find business in literally every single industry. So I would almost, again, work backwards, find an industry that you really care about and then figure out, you know, how can I plug myself in here?
Maybe I can plug myself in through marketing because I’m really great at, you know, um, my creative side, or maybe I can plug myself in through the accounting for this company. I really love numbers. Um, and [00:52:00] then, you know, uh, researching schools, you know, you’re, you’re considering many other factors outside of curriculum and academics.
Okay. Sorry. I’m kind of rushing through the last few slides here. Okay. Mackenzie, I made it to the Q and a. So that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful. And remember that you can download the slide from the link in the handouts tab. Um, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through your questions.
You submitted in the Q and a tab, and then read them aloud before our panelists gives you an answer as a heads up. If your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just make sure you join through the custom link sent to your email and not from a webinar landing page. Uh, if you join through the webinar landing page or the website, you won’t get all the features of big market.
So just make sure you join through the custom link. Okay. Now getting into the questions. Uh, okay. So, uh, one student is asking what are the best places to do an internship for our high school? Oh, um, so I, I talked about this a little bit earlier, you know, you can definitely try to, if there is [00:53:00] a company that you’re really just, I love this company.
Um, I am a huge fan. Let’s say, for example, you’re really into sustainability and there is a company out there that, you know, does sustainable. Clothing or sustainable packaging or sustainable, whatever. Maybe there’s a company that you’re a huge fan of reach out to that and say, I am a huge fan of your mission.
I love what you do. I am, I’m only a high school student right now, but I’d love to get involved. Um, and you know, if the smaller the company, the better, because the more chance that you, the less, the likelihood is just higher of you being able to get involved. Um, but I, but like I said, find something that you’re really, really excited about that you really care about, uh, and then find, um, a company within that industry and then start reaching out to them.
You know, people can read that. Feel when you’re genuinely interested and [00:54:00] when you genuinely care about something, um, and especially because if they are somebody who started a poll business in this field, and they are somebody who, who is super passionate about it too. And those types of people get really excited when they, when they meet kindred spirits.
When they see other people, especially young people who are also really passionate about it and they really want, and most people really want to help other people who have that kind of commonality with them. Think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that especially kind of in the startup world and the small business world.
Um, so I, I would really, really recommend reaching out to those startups, small or smaller businesses rather than like shooting for, I don’t know, a, the high school internship program at Google. Like that’s, that’s kind of going to be really, really hard. Definitely. I actually did reach out to a local business when I was in my junior year, I was in the IB program.
So we had to do this as a part of a class. And I ended up getting a really great [00:55:00] letter of recommendation. There are other webinars on this, on passion projects. So you can check those out to find out more information, but definitely those are just a good way to get, um, some experience and some, um, letters of recommendation.
And then also, even if it doesn’t have like a fancy title or job description, you can always put whatever name and a job description that you want. You can, uh, okay. Going onto the next question. Is it okay to not know what career you want to do right now, right? Yes. 100%. Yes. So many students, I, I CA the, the statistic is escaping my mind right now, but so many students.
Um, change their majors, um, at least once in college. And, um, and, and I think that’s why it’s important to go to a school that offers a lot of flexibility. Um, it’s, it’s important to go to a school that may offer you the opportunity to double major or [00:56:00] pick up a minor, um, because let’s, and it’s also great to study a major like business because it is a little bit more general and it is a little more open-minded.
Um, I saw many, many students that ended up double majoring or doing like a business major and then a minor in something else. Um, because it also helped them to really, really stand out and prepare them for, you know, whatever industry they were specifically going to target as. But yeah, absolutely. Okay.
You know, and that’s also why it’s important once you’re in college to start gaining as much experience as you can and exposure as you can. So that means joining a lot of different clubs, um, and to having a lot of as much internship experience as possible, starting from your freshman year, um, so that you can try out all the different things, you know, and see if this is a good fit for you.
Brooke quick. Um, for those in the room who aren’t already working with us, we know that the college admissions process is overwhelming for parents and students alike. Our team of over 300 former admissions [00:57:00] officers and admissions experts are ready to help you and your family navigate it all in one-on-one advising sessions.
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Now back to the Q and a. So another student is asking which math course is more desirable, statistics or calculus. Um, I would say if you can have both, then that’s the best possible outcome. Um, but most business programs do want to see at least calculus, um, If a statistic is a really, really wonderful skill to have, to be honest, I think it’s probably even a more helpful life skill than calculus.
Obviously [00:58:00] just, just really depends on what career path you end up having. Um, the statistics just helps you really understand like a lot of different things in the world. Um, but that being said, because you do have to take calculus in, uh, as, as part of your business major, that’s a, that’s a large part of the reason why business programs want to see you have calculus already as a high school student to make sure that they know you’re going to survive their, a calculus class.
You at least have the foundation for. Uh, so, okay. There are some very niche questions about varying fields. Um, a lot of students are asking about like when they’re in college, what is the best path to do so like double majoring or doing MBA programs and really just navigating college in order to have the best experience.
Uh, do you have any broad advice? There are some very specific questions. Yes. Um, you’re right. That is quite specific. And it can vary from case CA case by case. It can be [00:59:00] very dependent on your situation. It can be very dependent on the type of industry you’re trying to get into and the type of role you’re trying to achieve as well.
Um, I’ll answer a Richard question. I think that’s where you’re seeing from as well. Can you do all your four years business? Oh, wait. That was not the one. Well, okay. I’ll answer that one too. And then doing international business for an MBA, that’s kind of similar. So there are, um, you know, opportunities for, um, for wonderful career opportunities for students straight outside, uh, straight out of just an undergraduate degree, just a bachelor’s degree with your, um, uh, in business or in finance, you can absolutely have a fantastic career, um, in the business world or in the finance world.
Um, however, there are many people who also feel like that’s not enough, and I want to go back to school and get my MBA. Um, because I wanna, I wanna have a little bit more specific knowledge in maybe it’s [01:00:00] international business, or maybe it’s in this specific area within finance. Um, so that’s absolutely a.
For for students. Uh, that’s not something that I would worry about right now at all. Um, it’s, uh, you know, not something you even have to decide even in your college years. Um, many, most people do not go straight to their MBA right after, um, completing their bachelor’s degree. And the reason for that is because most masters in finance, most MBA programs like to see some, uh, work experience after college.
Um, and it’s, and it’s one of the integral parts of the application to an MBA program. Um, so that’s why you’d really, don’t have to worry about that at this stage. Um, you have all of college to figure that out. Um, and you know, depending on where your career path takes you after college, um, that will be a conversation that you’ll have, you know, um, with yourself and with your, with your, um, [01:01:00] CollegeAdvisor at that time.
Uh, going on to the next question. A lot of students who are asking about AP calc and calculus in general, um, do you have any tips on how to navigate that? And then another student’s asking, will it look bad if they’re failing AP calc, um, for those, um, requirements, um, if you are failing AP calculus right now, and there is a.
Um, a very good reason for that. That is absolutely something that you should address in your application. Uh, and most of your colleges will accept, you know, there’s a space on your application to include additional information. Um, that would absolutely be the most appropriate place to indicate, Hey, you know, for this calculus class, like I know calculus is really important.
It’s important to me. Um, it’s, it’s important to, you know, this major that I’m applying to. Um, the reason why I had a difficult time is [01:02:00] XYZ. If you’re able to explain that those circumstances that’s, that’s fantastic. Um, it might, it might or might not help your case because calculus is kind of that important to a business majors application.
If you are currently a junior and you are all, if you are already failing the calculus class I’m going to, or if you’re currently feeling that calculus class, I’m going to assume that it’s a little bit too late to withdraw from that course or to drop that course. Um, I would try to do really, really well on the AP exam at the end of the year.
And that way you can also, um, uh, argue that. You do you have mastered the content? It was something in the course that, you know, you struggled with, um, maybe it was maybe something was preventing you from, from submitting your assignments or something. Um, but yes. And in terms of the, the calculus and the importance of calculus, um, uh, it, it, [01:03:00] at the end of the day, it is, it is very important to your business application.
Um, and, uh, in general, having the ability to show your fortitude and your, your, your ability to, um, you know, do well in the very math, heavy coursework that is. Part of a business or finance major curriculum. Um, you really do have to prove that. Um, so if you’re a, I think I mentioned this earlier too, but maybe supplementing your current transcript, your current classes with courses at a community college.
Um, that’s, that’s wonderful, uh, especially in a, in being able to show and demonstrate your ability to take those college level math courses at that rigor, um, can really help you to strengthen your outlook. Yeah. Uh, for anyone that is struggling in any of your classes, it [01:04:00] is good to seek out help. So like going to tutoring or to, um, yeah.
Tutoring is what they call it in high school. Um, and ask your teachers for help or ask a friend if they can explain it. And if, um, you do have a teacher that maybe is a bit more difficult or you don’t prefer their teaching style, try asking another teacher that teaches the same content, um, for help. And then if that doesn’t work, they’re try and find their way, uh, that is going to be a big part of college is seeking out help when you do need it.
I did struggle in calculus, um, and going to tutoring was very hard. Um, so, uh, just because the gifted mentality, um, but that it did. It really did help me in the end and it has helped me in college. So really do seek those additional resources and supports, um, to really help you, uh, and just to close out the webinar.
Is there any advice you want to give to students? Um, they’re really asking, I’ve seen some [01:05:00] questions related to like specific interests, so like sports, um, fashion and other areas of interest, and really how to get into those fields or get into these programs with those interests. How can they really demonstrate like their uniqueness and their application and, um, get these opportunities get into these programs?
Yeah, that is a fantastic question. So the wonderful thing about applying to a business major is that you don’t necessarily have to have. Strictly business experience on your application. And what I mean by that is you don’t need to have started a business and have that on your application. You don’t need to have had an internship at bank of America and have that on your application.
You don’t need to have these very specifically business-y looking experiences on your application. You don’t need to have that. Uh, I mentioned earlier kind of like one of the main keys was just showing that you really care about [01:06:00] something that you really want to do something about it. So if you are somebody who already has identified something that you care about, like that’s, that’s, I’m so happy for you.
That’s so great because this is not, that’s not always the case for everybody. Um, so for example, let’s say you’re really, really interested in sports. Um, sports management is another popular area of business. Um, So perhaps you can, you know, show your interest in sports and whatever activities that you’re currently involved in and whatever things that you’re currently pursuing.
Um, and think creatively about how you can explore your interest in sports management. Um, you can always devise your application. You can always write your essays around, like, Hey, I’m, I’m super passionate about sports. I really want to study sports management. This is my dream career to, you know, um, manage my own sports team one day.
Um, and you know, [01:07:00] And you can talk about your passion and how you hope to apply your future education, your business education to that passion. So what I’m saying is you don’t necessarily have to have had the experience, um, in order to apply. So it’s a little bit different from, let’s say students who are applying to, you know, pre-med programs, those programs are very specifically looking for students who have had maybe some clinical experience, some PA like some patient interaction experience.
So what I’m saying with businesses, you don’t necessarily have to have had that you just want to just demonstrate that you have those skills and qualities and potential, um, to be able to apply the business skills that you’ll gain to the interests that you have. Um, so, so that’s, what’s really, really great about, um, a business major is that you’re just going to acquire a bunch of skills that you can apply to, um, so many different things in different industries and careers.
Definitely. And again, for [01:08:00] all the students wondering about specific, um, programs or requirements, um, check out the school’s website to, um, see what they require or call their admissions team, um, to see like what you need in order to get into these schools, into these programs, because every school has a different set of guidelines.
If you’re looking to apply to multiple schools, which most of you will be, um, make sure your. I think the requirements for the highest or the more strict school, I want to say, like the school that has the most requirements, you want to make sure you have all of theirs checked off, because that’ll pretty much ensure that you have everybody else’s checked off to.
Um, every school is different. It’s not impossible to get into these programs without like high levels of calculus. It’s just kind of recommended, uh, cause it will help you later on, but it isn’t impossible. Um, if you are struggling in certain areas and make sure to really show up in your other areas, such as your interests, your letters of recommendation experience really show up in the areas that you are strong in.
Um, It won’t [01:09:00] erase some of the weaker points such as if you have low grades or you don’t have the highest level of math, but it can show that, um, initiative and drive. And then you can just, um, take those courses when you’re in college. Essentially, those are great points, Mackenzie, and I hope that I didn’t discourage anybody too much with my emphasis on calculus early here.
Um, it’s certainly something that, you know, can help you stand out. Uh, and that’s some, some schools like to see, but it’s absolutely not going to necessarily be a requirement unless the college specifically says it as a requirement. Um, in which case, you know, totally fine. Uh, so yeah. Thank you everyone for coming out today and thank you to our panelists, Angela, I hope you found this information helpful.
And remember that you can watch this webinar on our [email protected]/webinars. Um, and this webinar’s being recorded. You can download the slides. Um, so that is the end of the webinar. And we had a great time telling [01:10:00] you about, um, business and finance majors, and here’s the rest of our April series.
What would we be talking about different ways to increase your admissions, odds, other majors programs and things you can do while you’re in high school to really help you stand out. So thank you everyone for coming out tonight and goodnight. Thank you everyone. Thank you, Mackenzie.