Business and Leadership

To be a successful leader in the world of business, one must have a developed leadership style, one of the eight top career competencies as defined by NACE. Taking business classes is a solid decision to help acquire a broad baseline and background in the field; classes introduce students to the terms and language within each specialty. However, book knowledge is not enough to propel an individual forward. Understanding people and knowing when to step up is essential as you move forward with your career. Fortunately, UConn has multiple ways students can develop business savvy, and/or leadership techniques, regardless of their major or specific job interest.

Join a club: Did you know that UConn has more than two dozen clubs related to business? These organizations are open to all students, not just business majors, so they can be ideal for anyone interested in these industries. Venture outside of your comfort zone, meet new people, and develop a network of talented individuals who may also have similar goals and aspirations.

Besides the actual business clubs, joining any organization and then holding an officer or chair position, will also introduce you to some key skills needed to be successful in the business world. Check out alum Doug Bernstein, former SUBOG president who founded a highly successful toy company as a proven example. 

Participate in the Leadership Programs offered by Student Activities. These multi-week sessions offer advice and learning outside the classroom, providing a key understanding of this critical competency. 

Become a mentor – helping others as a peer leader will allow you to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills, key elements in an effective leader.  

Off campus, consider following thought leaders on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn: If there is a business leader or company you admire, following them will not only keep you informed of their latest ventures, but it will also allow you to analyze trends and understand decisions they make. This insight can be useful when considering your career path as you identify leadership and decision-making styles that resonate with you. 

As you participate in these and more experiential learning opportunities, you will build the skills needed for an internship, co-op, or job. You will come to appreciate working with others and how building a diverse network of people and experience can establish a solid foundation. Meet with the career coaching team in the Career Center to discuss your career path, your interest in business, and how to apply your leadership skills to your next opportunity. 

By Beth E Settje
Beth E Settje Associate Director, Experiential Learning & College to Career Transitions | Pronouns: She/Her