Is a business major right for you?

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By Prof. John DeSpagna

Campus News

The semester has begun and you are making progress toward your degree. One of the questions that may linger in your mind is, “What kind of job am I going to get when I get out of college?” Many opportunities are available in the ever-changing global business marketplace and this is an area that you may want to look closer into. Lets take a look at some of these opportunities.

Financial Planner
Let me lend a personal perspective here and talk about working on Wall Street. I spent 15 years in the brokerage industry and began as a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch. Do you have an interest in the stock market, sales, making stock recommendations and helping your clientele reach their financial goals? Then maybe a career as a Financial Advisor will suit you. You will need excellent prospecting and sales skills to create long-term relationships based on trust. As you gain this trust and experience, referrals from your clients will help you grow your business. Why not try and obtain an internship through your school with one of the local brokerage firms to see if this is something you want to pursue?

Some people like the security of working for a large organization because of the steady paycheck to pay your bills along with the health and retirement benefits. Others have this drive inside of themselves where they have to go out and start their own business and control their own destiny.  If you do not see yourself taking direction from a manager the rest of your career and like to take risks, then maybe going out on your own is the future for you. Life is a risk, go for it and start your own business. You can also look into buying a franchise with one of the major franchisers to go out on your own. My father started his own contracting business 57 years ago in New York City and the business is now employing a third generation member of the family. He opened the business with borrowed money and never looked back.

International Business
The globalization of the world’s economy in the last 30 years has created immense competition and demand for goods and services. This has also created more and more job opportunities. If you like to travel or speak a second language, then maybe this is an area you may want to look into. Being able to move around also gives you more opportunities for growth in your career.

Are up for the challenge of motivating and directing the employees of an organization in an efficient and effective manner to achieve organizational goals? You may see things through a different perspective than your manager, but can you motivate employees to achieve more while realizing you will be working 50 plus hours a week? Yes, your compensation will be higher, but are you ready to spend half of your day dealing with people and the potential headaches? You will be taking on a lot of responsibility and your success will be contingent on the success of the people you manage.

Do you like to be creative and know how to create demand for a product? Can you think of ways to get consumers to buy more of a product? Think of why we buy bottled water when we can get it for free from a water fountain? Think of the great job George Foreman did creating and selling the, “George Foreman Lean, Mean and Fat Reducing Grilling Machine.” He did a terrific job and he made millions by coming up with a great idea and excelled at marketing.

Health Care
One of the fastest growing sectors of our economy is health care. The aging of the baby boomers and unprecedented improvements in medicine have helped make this a growing field. Employers are going to need help building their staffs to take care of their clients. Accountants, financial analysts, managers and salespersons are all going to be in need in this field.

A career in the field of business can prove to be a very rewarding and satisfying one. A few of the opportunities have been mentioned here. Read up on some of these fields, take a course in that area of specialization, obtain an internship, talk to people in the field and network. What better investment can you make than investing in your future to be a success!

spanollo-copyJohn DeSpagna is a business professor at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York.