Whether you dream of being the CEO for a multinational corporation or you want to go back to your small hometown and run your own company, it can be difficult to decide how to shape your business career as you go off to college. Yet the more you know about what you want to do after you graduate, the more accurately you can choose the major, the internships and the opportunities that will prepare you for the life you hope to have. Asking yourself the questions below can help you decide what direction to take within the business school at your college or university.
There are a couple of money-related questions you should ask. How will you pay for your degree, and how much money do you want to make? For the first question, the answer might be some combination of savings, loans, scholarships and grants. Keep in mind that federal financial aid is not sufficient for many people and that you can seek private student loans for your undergraduate degree as well. You may want to check online to see what private lenders can offer you. The other question is about the type of salary you hope to make. This should be commensurate with how much money you are borrowing and will need to pay back as well as what you anticipate your other expenses will be after you graduate.
What do you enjoy? This may seem like an obvious question, but you would be surprised at how many people find themselves in business careers they have little interest in or aptitude for because they did not consider this. Rather than falling into a career with the first company that hires you after college, think more proactively about what you like to do and how you could transfer that into business skills.
Are you more comfortable dealing with people or data? If the former, a career in sales or human resources might suit you while the latter could mean you would be happy in marketing. If you like numbers, studying finance might be the right choice. Be sure to talk to your professors and other contacts about what is involved in various fields. Your school might also be able to give you access to an alumni network that could be helpful in this regard.
Where and how do you want to live? Is a work/life balance important to you? Do you want to have a family, or do you live to work? You can have a business career from almost anywhere, but there are certain fields for which you will need to be in a particular location. What about travel? Some people embrace a career that allows them to travel a great deal while others leave jobs because they are tired of living out of their suitcases. While you are still in school and before you begin interviewing for jobs, start finding out what you can about the work cultures of companies that you might like to apply at to determine if they will be a good fit.