The L&S Business & Entrepreneurship Career Community has a new name!
Look below for relevant events and throughout this page for resources to help you learn about and land a position in this field. You can also subscribe to this community’s newsletter for job/internship updates, employer events, and more.
Want personalized advice to figure out your next steps? Matt & Tiana can help!
L&S students and alumni have the knowledge and skills to be successful in business careers. In fact, many employers seek out liberal arts students to meet the unique needs of their organization. Learn more here about how your L&S degree could translate into a career in consulting, finance, human resources, sales, marketing, actuarial science, and more!
Actuarial science is a discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess the liabilities and risks a company faces when it offers an insurance product or pension plan. By analyzing numbers, historical information, and economic trends, actuaries evaluate future events to minimize undesirable outcomes. Actuaries most commonly work at insurance companies, consulting firms, or for the government, in disciplines including life, health, property & casualty, and pensions.
Consulting involves providing advice, strategy, and solutions to clients across many industries including businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations. Consultants can work in niche areas related to their expertise, or broad areas including management, strategy, and technology consulting. Consultants use fact-based, analytical thinking to break problems down into components and solve each component for a company or organization.
Entrepreneurship can come in many forms. While it is most commonly associated with the activity of starting a business or product line, it can also be applied to working at a new company or even bringing a new idea or opportunity to an existing venture.
Financial services is concerned with the allocation (investment) of assets and liabilities over space and time, often under conditions of risk or uncertainty. There are many different subcategories of financial services that offer unique experiences and types of work including corporate finance, investment banking, commercial banking, asset management, real estate finance, and personal financial planning.
Human Resources involves supporting the employees of an organization. Typical responsibilities involve recruiting and staffing, compensation and benefits, training and learning, employee relations, and organization development. Each of these functional HR areas deal with helping employees in an organization perform more effectively and satisfactorily on the job. While some HR professionals may have responsibilities spanning across many of these areas, others specialize within one area.
Sales & Account Management roles often involve developing and maintaining relationships with customers on behalf of an organization. Common tasks may include making cold calls, researching clients, giving presentations, negotiating contracts, visiting customers, and preparing sales reports. Professionals in this field can utilize their persuasion and relationship building skills to sell nearly any type of product or service to a wide variety of customers.
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Do I need a specific major to work in business roles?
No! We have alumni in all areas of business. Similar to what is needed on a resume, there will be some specific skills and points of emphasis, depending on the roles you are most interested in. For example, consulting roles will look for leadership, finance roles will look for analytical skills, and client relations will look for communication skills. The skills needed might be obtained through your major, a certificate, or through everything else you do outside of academics. It might be helpful to talk to alumni from a similar academic background as yours to learn more about their career path. We have alumni who are interested in meeting to talk with you. Check out our Career Conversations here to learn more.
When do jobs and internships get posted? Are internships paid or unpaid?
Because many business roles are hiring proactively, you’ll see the most recruitment and job/internship opportunities posting in August and September of the fall semester, often for roles that start the following summer. While most opportunities will be posted in the fall, when you are ready to start your search you’ll see that there are still many opportunities because some companies recruit year round, and others have slightly different timelines and hiring needs. There is never a bad time to start searching, but if you can be ready before the fall semester starts, you’ll have the most opportunities to interact with.
Typically you’ll find paid internships over the summer between academic years in business roles. There are always exceptions, both in terms of finding an internship during the academic year or encountering an unpaid internship. If you have financial need and your internship doesn’t meet that need, SuccessWorks has a program to offer paid and supplemental pay for internships. Learn more here.
Are sales jobs only for used-car salesmen or telemarketing?
Not at all! What most people imagine when they hear “sales” is what is commonly known as ‘outside sales’, and even that is a large category to stereotype. Sales is any way the company interacts with its customers/clients. This includes ‘inside sales’ activities like customer experience, account management, service support staff, and sometimes product development. Outside sales is any sales activity that goes out from the company – i.e. making sales calls, driving in new business and yes, making cold calls.
Common advice is usually that sales is enjoyable when you’re passionate about your product/service. Instead of imagining a used car salesman, imagine the job that sells Google services, or medical devices, or event planning services.
Does finance require a specific degree to enter the field, similar to accounting?
No! Because it is a regulated profession and involves a specific math-set, an accounting career does generally require a degree, especially for more advanced positions. Finance, however, is not the calculation of funds (as accounting is), but the strategic use of funds. This means a candidate can often be taught the principles of finance on the job, but the asset of a finance professional is their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These can be gained from any liberal arts degree that teaches the student to connect disparate ideas and think comparatively.
Is an MBA good for anyone who’s interested in business?
They’re great, but not always the right choice for everyone. An MBA is an excellent addition to a resume when it is pursued with purpose. Simply put, completing an MBA program does not guarantee you a pay raise or a Wall Street job. MBA programs are designed to augment and focus an already-existing business knowledge. Most MBA programs strongly encourage candidates to spend a few years in the workforce to best prepare them for the coursework of an MBA program.
How do I get experience to qualify for a job in business?
The business field is possibly the most flexible of career paths to begin. Many entry-level jobs require a baseline proficiency of administrative, communication and problem-solving skills which can be met by a variety of experience that students gain through their college career. Broadly speaking, anything you are doing to show you can work well with others and get things done will help. That experience might come from a student job, class project, through campus involvement, or internships.
The trick for you as a student is to explain to others why your experience is transferable. If you can make the connections clear enough, you can make a good case for your candidacy for more positions than you think! Remember, we can help you figure this out! Make an appointment with Matt to get advice on your options.
Am I too late to apply for jobs in investment banking or management consulting?
Never! It certainly pays to start as soon as possible with high-competition jobs like those on Wall Street, but that just means now is a great time! If you are interested in high-competition career tracks but aren’t sure where to start, begin by networking with alumni in the field to learn about how they got to where they are. Networking will help clarify your options to pursue the career, and will earn you friends in your new networking contacts along the way. You can do this networking at Career Fairs, alumni events, or even via LinkedIn.
When should I make an advising appointment with Matt?
If you have an initial draft of your resume and a sense of what you like and enjoy doing, that can be a great place to start exploring careers within the business field relevant to your skills and interests. Here are some helpful resources, including meeting with our peer and grad advisors if you are looking for help building your first college resume.
Also, if you have a specific role in mind (e.g. I would like to get an internship in consulting), let’s connect to talk through important aspects of your search including hiring timelines, best practices in submitting application materials (e.g. resume), networking, and interview process.