5 Must-haves to prep yourself for a career in business before you graduate

The day I graduated from Symbiosis Centre For Management Studies, my father asked me only one question- “MBA or family business?”

I was in a flux. I was open to joining the family business, but not just yet. Also I didn’t want to be just another ‘body’. I wanted to be in a position to add big time value to it. Moreover, after spending 19 years of my life studying, giving exams and waiting for results, I didn’t want to go straight into another two years of reading textbooks at a business school.

I was hungry to do some real work, take on responsibilities, earn some money and create results that show me what I am capable of.

Business is a messy business (pun intended, but also true). There is no straight path to start a career in business. No textbooks, no exams and no grades can tell you whether you will pass or fail in business.

So, what can be done to create a strong foundation of business while one is still in college?

Here are 5 MUST-HAVES to prep yourself for a career in business even before you graduate.

1 Get your hands dirty in the real world

Business can only be learnt by DOing it. College is the best time to try your hand in a live business without feeling the fear of losing too much. Or, as Elon Musk would say, if you haven’t failed enough while at college, you haven’t made the most of college!

So, if you want to get ready to pursue the business world by the time you graduate, here’s a challenge for you-

Borrow Rs.1000 from your parents and double it a week!

2 Learn skills that will solve problems of the future.

The world around us is changing every second. What worked yesterday is obsolete today. Invest your time learning future skills that would be of value to any organisation.

Brainstorm and write a set of 5 points on how cutting edge tech like AI, ML and Robotics might impact your parents’ business NOW.

3 Free yourself from glamorous assumptions about business

If you can’t handle rejections, face difficulties, stay peaceful in chaotic situations or take critical feedbacks, it’s time to drop some fancy ideas that you may have accumulated about business.

Interview 3 of your parents’ friends who run a business and ask them about the tough times they have faced.

4 Pick lemons and sell them in the neighbourhood

Hands down, selling is one of the most important skills you can develop to make a career in business. At the age of 6, Warren Buffet earned few cents selling tickets of gum in his neighbourhood. A few young girls in my society pick lemons in summer from trees around the corner and sell them in the neighbourhood. When I was 17, I worked with a start-up in Pune and sold sanitary napkins to grocery stores.

Collect used items from 10 of your neighbours, and announce a Sunday sale in your society.

5 Nitro-boost your growth with right mentors

A mentor can accelerate the speed of your growth and learning. The right mentor will help you discover your strengths, take tough decisions and set high standards for yourself. That is how you will learn where to get started and how far you want to go.

Search for 5 entrepreneurs you feel most inspired by and find out how they got groomed for business.

Spend these years at college working on a string of real projects and taking on big responsibilities. Create a portfolio with a mix of different experiences beyond what college has to offer. That is a very powerful and practical way to develop skills and strengths that are required to be a success in business.

Don’t miss the chance of making your college life count, even if it means going beyond the four walls of your college and doing something on your own.
Watch our video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9G6etgDc6M

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