What business schools should tell you, but sometimes don’t.

Let me start by being really open… I believe the University of Tampa tries exceptionally hard to communicate what the “real world” is like.

What do I mean?

Think of those classes where someone always walks in a bit late, and maybe very unprepared. This happens in the work place too, but not very long because the person is usually gone. In the classroom you have second, third and maybe even fourth or beyond chances; this is not so in the workplace. In a professional setting, it is expected that you will come in early, leave late, and have the answers (or work diligently getting them). This seems a bit basic, but truly “being there” makes a huge difference.

Being present is only an entry ticket to my next point, relationships. Relationships are key in a world that is moving toward group leadership. It takes significantly longer to build a relationship than it does to destroy one. The corporate world gives us this example on an almost daily basis. What do you think when I say Toyota? What did you used to think? One mistake, one fault, one bad decision can cause the entire company to fall apart. The same ease of destruction holds true in personal/professional relationships as well.

How do you build relationships?

The most important aspect is communication. As you may have read, the majority of communication we engage in is non-verbal. So, how aware are you of your non-verbal communication?

Another important aspect of relationships, is trust. As I previously illustrated, trust is not something easily earned, but is easily lost. I have always regarded character as, what you do when nobody is looking, and would never know different. Being open and honest with others will do wonders in depositing some equity into the trust fund.

The last thing I would encourage you to consider, being true to yourself. In a world where we are valued to the extent of our personal balance sheets, it is important to take a step back.

You may want to ask the following:

Do I do work that I love, or do I do work for the money?

Do I value relationships or things more?

Do I wake up looking forward to my work, or waiting for Friday to get here?

Do I encourage others, or do I find fault in what they do?

The reason I am asking for you to reflect on these, is the world handsomely rewards people for doing these very things… think about it. As my colleague pale rider shared, sometimes the greatest fulfillment comes from experience. Having a job is important, but QUICKLY find out what you are passionate about, and go about doing whatever that is. You may find this is simple advice, but I will tell you it is much harder to follow.

You have the world in your hands. Economies will ebb and flow between good and bad, but there is no time like today to make a choice for a better tomorrow.

I wish you, above all, a happy and fulfilling life.

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.” – Oscar Wilde

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6 Responses to What business schools should tell you, but sometimes don’t.

  1. ckumka says:

    Two statements that really stood out to me in the blog were:

    Do I do work that I love, or do I do work for the money?
    Do I wake up looking forward to my work, or waiting for Friday to get here?

    I quickly found this out after I had my first internship during this past summer. I have pushed myself to feel as though I need to put all of my focus towards how much money I will make, once I immediately get a job out of college. Yet, I have more recently taken a step back and re-evaluated my next step. Graduating in May is exciting, while also very scary. Not because I’m not ready to move on from college, but because what exactly I’m suppose to do I’m not sure.

    While under the influence of my internship I have followed my true passion… the love of sports. The feeling of having to figure out exactly what I want to do has sense somewhat decreased because I know what I feel passionate about. I don’t want to have a job just to wish away the weeks so it’s Friday, like the blog stated.

    I have been lucky enough to develop relationships with many people in and around the sports industry and I agree with the fact that relationships are essential to successfully job placement. I too want to feel as though I have to world at my hands come May, but I also want to be ready to grab exactly what I want.

  2. nickysgurl1098 says:

    “It takes a lifetime to earn trust, but only suspicion, not proof, to ruin it.”

    I guess I’d have to agree that UT does a good job at preparing us for the corporate world. We have high expectations held and most do strive to meet that standard. I think what UT fails at doing is making us REALIZE what is going to happen. I’ve been told what is going to happen come diploma time, but it’s hard to grasp the reality that THIS IS IT.
    I’m not gonna lie, I graduate in May and I’m scared to death that I won’t find a job or do a job I hate to pay bills. College is kinda a “paradise” setting with some work thrown it, especially here in sunny Florida. It’s hard to think that in a corporate setting, people don’t get the second chances and that life’s harsh realities will come crashing down on us this coming summer.
    You said, “You have the world in your hands. Economies will ebb and flow between good and bad, but there is no time like today to make a choice for a better tomorrow.” Wow…. I wish some of the things you wrote about I had learned as a freshman. I think the hardest things for seniors to understand is that these classes are it. After this, there isn’t the second chance. There is only the chance to get fired. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to experience an internship so I feel like I’m going to have a rude awakening come May.
    I don’t think that we, as a senior class, are scared of what is to come, but the lack of knowing what it is truly like. Kinda like the analogy, you can’t learn to fly unless you’re willing to jump. I just hope that when I take that leap in May, the relationships and all my hard work, will account for something and that I won’t land face first.
    I appreciate the advice and hope that I can take it with me in the work setting especially about building relationships.

  3. Sarah Ward says:

    Thankyou for being so open and honest in your post. I just wanted to say I appreciate your advice and really enjoyed reading it. I’d really like your answer to this question…In reality, how important is corporate culture?
    For example, if you work at a company where the corporate culture is unprofessional (i.e. people, including managers come to work at least 30 minutes to 3 hours late, and everyone leaves by 3:30pm when work is from 7-4), realistically, should you be at work at 7am and sit in your car for 45 minutes until the first person with a key comes and stay in the office until 4 but you literally have nothing to do, or should you just join the crowd?

    • SMBA 715 says:

      Sarah,

      I can tell you corporate culture is extremely important. Let me take a step back, and say corporate culture is not just how people act.

      For the remainder of my response, I will assume what you posted is your actual work situation.

      The fact that you asked the question, I believe, indicates you know there is a problem. It may just be that particular location or branch that acts a certain way. While the ‘local’ mentality may be very laid back, that probably is not be reflective of the company as a whole. Also, keep in mind the manager just may not be very engaged, and allow others to do what they want. You may consider the following:
      1. Review your firm’s policy about scheduled shifts and pay guidelines. In many cases, if you show up to work for a scheduled shift, at say 7am and can’t start due to not having access, your company may require you to be compensated for the time spent waiting.
      2. This ‘work ethic’ if I may, would not be acceptable at most places. It is easier to maintain a good work ethic, than it is to suddenly develop one.
      3. Your time reports can be pulled by management at any time, which could paint a picture as you being part of the problem. (If I were taking over or auditing an opportunity location, I would in fact do this)
      4. If you have nothing else to do that is work related by the end of your shift, why not brush up on your skills? You could review process and/or policy documents… better yet, see if you can learn another function from a peer. (The more stuff you can do, the more valuable you become to the firm)
      5. I would not be shocked if you find that work environment radically changing in the near future. Should word of the inefficiency get out, you may see people be forced to leave. Looking forward, how would a ‘new’ manager/supervisor view you.

      Be smart. Be proactive. If things do not change, you may want to consider the future implications of staying there.

  4. Verner Dsouza says:

    When it comes to building corporate relationships, I’ve read about stories where all some employees really care about is building strong relationships. This is particularly significant when it comes to dealing with bosses. Is it true that trying to be a boss’ best friend can get you higher up the ladder than one who wants to solely get recognized for his work instead of focusing his time and energy on building strong relationships?

    I didn’t know that corporate culture was really important for leadership. I’ve always had the notion that excelling in your work is the key to success.

    I appreciate your advice on building trust with colleagues and being passionate about work. Well, my goal in life is never call work work.

    • SMBA 715 says:

      Verner,

      I believe you can be friendly with a boss, without being friends. I would say that sometimes crossing that line may not be a good idea. These two statements contradict each other at first glance, but if you look deeper, you will see I mean it may be wise to build a friendly relationship that does not result in you and your boss being friends necessarily, but rather one built on trust, respect and mutual understanding of each other. It could be construed as (and may in fact be) a case where being friends for the ‘next step’ would later be frowned upon as the boss would consider themselves used.

      I suppose it is a shift in paradigm that I am suggesting, one where relationships are valued intrinsically and not just as means. This is not to say, however, that relationships are a substitute to doing quality work… in fact, this is a minimum expectation in many cases to even embark on building a relationship.

      As for corporate culture, it is essential in adapting your leadership style. If you are too ‘hard-charging’ in a laid back culture, you could be viewed as (you fill in the blank). Likewise, if you are too ‘laid back’ in a more aggressive culture, then you could be pushed out of the way. In either case, and the many cases in between, the important thing to remember is context. Corporate culture gives us a framework to operate in and from. Corporate culture should help us to tailor our leadership style to match this framework, after all, people in the firm have expectations of themselves and other based upon it.

      I am glad to hear your focus is on keeping work fun and enjoyable, don’t lose that!

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