What your Business Degree Should have Taught you About the Real World

University daysI just recently completed my bachelors degree from Sussex University business school in the United Kingdom majoring in Business Management, with the hopes of receiving a huge pay check in the future, as did the over 2000 people in my lectures. Like majority of university graduates I spent a lot of my time cramming for exams, learning buzzwords, pulling all-nighters and nursing my hangovers. I loved every moment of my university life but was all too keen to jump into the corporate world straight after exams. Since working fulltime I have realized that there where important lessons that my degree did not teach me:

  1. 9am starts will never be easy: During my university life, I only had one lecture in three years that started before 10am, and it was an achievement if I made it on time. Jumping straight into getting up before 7am five days a week was a big shock and took a while for my body to get used to.  The reality of life means you will be starting before 9am, and no one will congratulate you for doing this.
  2. Attendance: At University you may have skipped a few classes and still managed to get good grades. This wont fly in the real world, rain or Libraryshine you will be there.
  3. You will not walk into your dream job: During my degree I had visions of walking out of university and becoming a CEO, alongside Alan Sugar. Reality is that you will work your way up within the business world. Any experience that you can get your hands of will help you get there and help you get noticed when applying for jobs. Tempory work is key to building your experience.
  4. The things you learn at university are not the things that land you a job. Congratulations you have just written 16,000 words on innovation, learnt 200 buzzwords and crammed for an exam that you can’t remember the name off, this is important for your degree though the majority of skills required for work you will learn from work experience and how you deal with problems.
  5. Professional experience is vital for success: Although being a member of the “Sussex Drinking Society” is a good experience, employers want to see experience on your CV. Working during university and in the holidays will set you apart from others and increase your chances of getting work, involvement in running societies and roles with responsibility will also boost your CV.
  6. You will never stop learning. Learning doesn’t end after graduation; you will learn something new every day of working life.
  7. Actions will have reactions: During university you can do what you please with little consequences, its ok to come to lectures nursing your hangover. In the real world actions have reactions and these do not go unnoticed by your superiors. The term YOLO should now leave your vocabulary you are now building your reputation.
  8. Network, Network, Network: Take time to meet as many people in different types of industries’ that you can, this will come in handy down the line when you are seeking employment and when you require references.
  9. Dress to impress: Ugg boots and track pants may suffice at Uni, this attire however will not help you to impress in the real world. Dress for the job you want, it’s always better to be over dressed opposed to under dress.
  10. The importance of a work life balance: Once you have found employment this will take up the majority of your time, as opposed to uni where you may find week days completely free. Evenings and weekends are now the only time to relax, make the most of it!


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