For certain young and ambitious entrepreneurs, college presents the perfect setting to learn critical management and leadership skills. A college education offers so many opportunities to students who want to learn more about how to start, run, and succeed with a business. And I’m not just talking about business-centric classes; I think nearly everything about the college experience can teach someone about how to be a better manager or entrepreneur.
What specifically makes college such an ideal setting for young managers and entrepreneurs to thrive? In a few words, I think it’s the collegiate atmosphere that encourages free thinking and independence that makes such an impact on business-minded students. But let’s go into more detail about how college teaches smart management and entrepreneurial skills to students.
Learn to succeed in group activities
In the professional world you have to work with other people—that’s true no matter what field you work in. And it’s an unfortunate truth that far too few people know how to work well in a group setting. Some people don’t know how to handle abrasive personalities, others aren’t accustomed to sharing their opinions, other still would rather do all the work themselves than share tactics with their peers.
College classes teach you early on about the importance of working well with others. Classes in just about every subject—from French language to electrical engineering—are bound to feature at least one group project requiring students to work together to earn a major grade. It’s in these group projects that the budding manager or entrepreneur should learn how to develop their leadership and communication skills. If you learn how to work well with your classmates, then you can surely refine those skills further to be used when you start your own business and hire your own employees to work with.
Foster a sense of self-reliance and personal confidence
Just as group exercises teach you to work with other people, solo assignments will teach you to rely on your own talent and abilities to succeed. College is the ultimate hands-off experience: with little input from your professors and instructors, you’re expected to read, comprehend, and utilize books and books worth of learning material over the course of a few months. For most people, college is the most intellectually rigorous and challenging time of their lives so far.</p>
Sure, you can study with classmates and ask for pointers from your professors, but you’re responsible for the bulk of the work that you produce in your classes. If you can perform well under pressure, and produce great work all by yourself, then you certainly have what it takes to succeed in the business world as a manager or an entrepreneur.
Develop the ambition to do great things
Perhaps the most compelling way that college teaches you to be a great manager is through the ambition that you can develop from studying a subject that really ignites your passion. Not everyone who goes through college figures out what career path they want to pursue, but those who do get the rare opportunity to make the most of their college education. What I mean by that is that college students with a solid career goal in mind (i.e. running a small business, becoming a manager of a tech startup, etc.) have a better idea of what classes would benefit them the most, and which professors they should learn from.
Better yet, having a clear direction in college helps students transform their professional ambitions into very real and viable career opportunities after they graduate. So an aspiring manager or entrepreneur would do well to figure out exactly what it is they want to do before they graduate so they can seize the full potential of the college experience!
Nancy Wood is a freelance education and business blogger writing for onlinecollegeclasses.com. Nancy is keenly interested in how business schools and MBA programs are shaping the CEOs and revolutionary businesspersons of tomorrow. Feel free to send her a comment!