Many would say that what you do in college really plays a role in your career--specifically what you learn in classes. While in my experience, I would say I did not take much out of any of my classes, but instead learned in the field, I do also realize it really comes down to your major.
As a Communications major, I learned a lot of theory, but not much in terms of technical skills--of which I had to learn through the internships I acquired or jobs I had through-out college. Now, this isn't saying that college was not worthwhile, as I loved all my classes, but my thoughts in this blog were to talk about what portions of the college (or schooling experience as a whole) you take into account when you own a small business.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Ah, the dreaded homework. It was never fun back during any portion of my life and I can assume no one really liked it, but it really does carry over to starting up a small business. If you do not do you homework and LEARN, then you are going to have a lot of angry customers to one--and believe me, I'd rather have an angry teacher than customers. The point being, this lesson is that you should always do all your show and show all your work as well. Take notes, research, organize everything, and bring it in to show your teacher or in this case possible mentor, investor, customer, etc.
MAKE IT TO ALL YOUR CLASSES
Now, this is not saying if you honestly have a day where you are sick that you cannot miss it or your business will crumble, but as a small business owner everything does fall on you. Just like missing a day of school, sometimes missing a day of work yields endless amounts of paperwork that you will need to catch up on as well as just returning to your normal work.
STAY AFTER AND ASK FOR HELP
Unlike school, asking for help as a small business owner isn't quite the same as just staying late with a tutor, but the general idea of being confident in realizing you need help and asking for it is universal. Find a mentor, attend a summit in your industry, attend workshops to improve your craft and do all you can so that you can go back and do your homework as stated above. It is really hard sometimes to have a complete handle on everything, but the more you "stay after" or reach out for extra help, the more you will benefit as a small business owner.
GET INVOLVED IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
I am not saying for you to go out for soccer--although it may be a great way to unwind with a local pick-up game after work--but instead simply get involved to broaden you knowledge and public persona. If you are a small business owner, then get involved with local charities and events by attending with a booth with company information. You are not only being involved within your community, but also giving yourself added exposure.
Along with being involved in community events, also it is wise to continuously improve your skills as well. Instead of joining a club in college, why not take a certification class at your local community college or even online. These can be those pieces of standout experience that makes you unique from the rest of similar businesses in your locale.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
I'll admit, I was part of the sweatpants brigade in college that donned my schools namesake on my legs--and boy was it comfy--but that isn't going to make you credible unless you are in the industry of selling sweatpants. College does teach you that in the most important moments (interviews, presentations, internships, etc.) that dressing your best will either gain you respect and networks to jump into or make you look like a schlub--to be blunt.
There will always be time for comfy clothes, but if you are a small business owner, no matter where you are it is best to look your absolute best because any person you walk past or strike up a conversation with over your morning coffee could be a potential investor, customer or mentor.
I think these main points truly create a bridge between school and the work world. Every major has its specific skill set, but these ideas are universal and can only help you and your business.
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Socially Dedicated, a Philadelphia-based firm, provides marketing, content creation, public relations, business management consulting and social media management to small businesses. Check out our website or locate us on social media using the icons below.