By Rebecca David
It’s 7:30 A.M. and I’ve already hit the snooze button three times. I wake up frantic, throw on sweatpants, brush my teeth, grab a granola bar, and bike to class. I arrive just in time and pull out my notebook as I wait for class to begin. My professor walks in and starts going over our presentation details for next week. This will be the first of two presentations for the semester. I’ll have to work in a team with students I hardly know and will end up doing more than my fair share of the work. We’ll dress in our best business attire, make a great PowerPoint, and divide up the presentation – our professor won’t even realize we pulled an all-nighter to finish it.
Is business school anything like real business? Sure, we learn about the essentials of finance, marketing, accounting, and the like, but how similar is our experience to the real world of business? In school, the majority of students study for an exam a few nights before the test, typically cramming and forgetting the information until the final. We give a few presentations per class and group work is emphasized. For many, we read the bare minimum of the news and about the stock market, just enough to mention something interesting in class so that the professor can mark down a few participation points. We spend the majority of lectures bored to tears and trying our best to keep from nodding off; yet we think we are ready for the real world.
In the real world of business, every day is a presentation. You have to come to work prepared for the day and ready to push yourself if you want to succeed. You are part of a team and you make it work because in the end, you’re not only representing yourself, but also the company you work for. In business, you can’t slack off for a few weeks, cram for the test, and get an A. Each day is a test; you have to retain the information you learn and put it to use, yet you don’t have to memorize countless terms or answer multiple choice questions meant to trick you. Every day is exciting because there always new tasks crossing your path. You are forced to think on your feet and the concepts you’ve learned in class come to life. You are constantly learning new things about yourself as you face new challenges and seek to improve yourself through the process. Your actions are assessed by customers, colleagues, and managers. You have to think through your goals for the future and how you plan to achieve them, and you strive for more than just a high GPA.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a business student. My classes are challenging and essential to understanding how the business world functions. Although my schoolwork doesn’t end after I leave class, I love the satisfaction of getting an A after studying all night for a test. I’m also involved in clubs and leadership positions that I won’t have time for once I start working full time, and I have many resources right at my fingertips. For now, I plan on taking advantage of the snooze button as much as I can, knowing that soon enough, I will have to make the transition from business student to business professional.