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How to Set Your Sights on a Management Job

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Summary: If your goal is a management position, this article has some advice on how you can get there.


Question: I am a sophomore working on a degree in business administration. I can’t really expect to be hired into a management position without any experience … or can I? What kinds of jobs will this degree help me get when I graduate?

Answer: Use your major to guide you but not define you. Most human enterprises, from commerce to health care to education to the arts, have a business aspect. The key is to identify the particular business activities (such as marketing, finance, or organizational development) that you are most drawn to and the work settings in which you would like to perform these business activities.

While you may wish to explore opportunities in a variety of settings, a sample of business-related career possibilities includes sales (provides a vital link between the customer and the product, and strengthens communication skills while providing exposure to many parts of an organization); research associate (acts as a junior consultant to support senior staff); and retail manager (manages a variety of aspects of a business purchasing, personnel, customer service, and accounts).

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If management is the position and level to which you aspire, you might seek an entry-level position as a manager trainee. Once again, it will help to isolate the specific business functions and the types of organizations of interest. Because your first trainee role will serve as a stepping stone to other positions, go after organizations that have a reputation for excellent new-hire orientations and trainee programs.

As a sophomore, the best course is to study strategically, which means taking advantage of every opportunity available to you in your concentrated college environment. Sample a variety of business courses, fully involve yourself in classroom discussions, get an internship for experience, develop leadership skills through extracurricular activities, and make contacts with alumni. You will be building marketable skills while gaining exposure to potential career paths.

How to Set Your Sights on a Management Job by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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