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Ask the Career Coach: Business Majors and Business-Related Jobs

Q. Does having a business major on my resume REALLY boost my potential for getting a business-related job after college?

 
That depends on what you mean by a “business-related job.”  Unless you work for a nonprofit or government agency you will work in a business-related job, because you’ll be helping to generate profit for your employer.  By that definition, Bradley Cooper has a business related job, as does Taylor Swift and the software engineers at Google.  
 
Check out the first destinations of Wake’s Arts and Sciences grads, and you’ll see that majors from psych to religion land in profit making jobs each year, like consulting, investment banking, marketing, sales, and operations management.  However, there are some jobs that require a specific business related degree:  If you want to be an accountant, then an accounting degree is a must.  Itching to work in corporate finance?  Best to study finance.  That’s because these majors provide the technical skills required for breaking in.  
 
The bottom line is this:  Whether you’re an anthropology or business major, the process for “boosting your potential” is pretty much the same:
 
Explore the basic job functions in business and decide in which one(s) you’re most interested.  
  • Use the OPCD assessment tools to take a look at your personality, interests, and values.  You’ll get an idea of the jobs you’d find most satisfying, as well as your strengths and where you might use them.  
  • Read about your favs using these resources.  
  • Then shadow or interview people who perform those jobs.  There are thousands of alumni in the Wake Career Connectors Group, just waiting to hear from you.  Knowing what’s REALLY involved in any job will help you make a good decision about direction.
Ask yourself…
Am I excited about promoting a product, managing the finances, or making an operation run smoothly? Am I more psyched about producing the service a business provides, such as entertainment, healthcare, or advertising?  Based on your answer…
 
Create an action plan to gain the experience and skills you need to break into your field of choice.  
Map out a strategy with an OPCD career coach, who can offer insights on the numerous ways you can do this.   Opportunities abound, even on campus.  One chess champion caught the eye of a management consulting recruiter, because of his analytical and strategic mindsets.  History majors have  graduated to public relations jobs, because they sought out media internships.  
 
Be intentional about working the plan.  When senior year rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.
 

 

Carolyn Couch

A Certified Professional Coach and a National Certified Career Counselor, Carolyn Couch is Associate Director for Career Education and Counseling at Wake Forest University. She has been providing comprehensive career coaching for Collegiettes and Campus Cuties for over 15 years. She is a past columnist for the USAToday Online Career Center and a former board member of Dress for Success (Winston Salem NC affiliate), an international organization promoting economic independence of disadvantaged women.   

Send your career questions to her at couchca@wfu.edu.

A Certified Professional Coach and a National Certified Career Counselor, Carolyn Couch is Associate Director for Career Education and Counseling at Wake Forest University. She has been providing comprehensive career coaching for Collegiettes and Campus Cuties for over 15 years. She is a former board member of Dress for Success (Winston Salem NC affiliate), an international organization promoting economic independence of disadvantaged women, and columnist for the USAToday Online Career Center. Send your career questions to couchca@wfu.edu. Stay up to date on OPCD news and events by following WFU OPCD on Facebook and @WFU_OPCD on Twitter.
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