Summary: What does it take to break out of the management world with a business administration degree? Find out in this article.
Question: I’m 31 years old and have worked full-time and have gone to school part-time since I graduated high school. In the spring, I will graduate with a business administration degree. My whole career has consisted of administrative assistant positions to presidents and vice presidents. Although I feel fortunate to grow with this company and recently was promoted to supervisor for claims support, I do not want to be stuck in office management positions. How can I use my degree and find a career to fit my needs?
Answer: Congratulations on your perseverance as you approach the finish line to your degree marathon. An important second part to add to your question, “How do I find a career to fit my needs?” is “What are the needs of my chosen employer?”
To narrow the applications of your business degree, consider what type of business or organization you would like to work for. Then, focus on functions within the business and the needs within those areas. Do you see yourself in marketing? Have you considered human resources? Could the finance department use your talents? Maybe project management is more your cup of tea?
In some companies, breaking out of the administration role requires Houdini-like moves. Your recent promotion, however, demonstrates your employer’s belief in you. Capitalize on your reputation to open doors within the company, first as a learning tool in your current degree program. Use this final year to incorporate projects that allow you to delve into various functional areas by observing and interviewing employees in the business units within your current organization. Shadowing professionals, even for a day at a time, will provide clues to help you focus and contacts to build future relationships.
As you firm up your career goals and graduation approaches, don’t be shy about contacting your former presidential bosses, particularly those who would be likely to support your ambition for an expanded role. Their suggestions and contacts, inaccessible to most job candidates, could give you an edge in this competitive process.
See Finding a New Job within Your Current Company for advice about how to find a new job at your current company.How to Find a Career to Fit Your New Degree by Andrew Ostler