How to Stand Out as a business major blog

How to Stand out as a Business Major


Are you fascinated by subjects such as marketing, finance, management, economics, and entrepreneurship? Do you enjoy keeping up with business news and trends? Do you have strengths in areas such as analytical thinking, problem solving, communication and leadership? Are you comfortable working with numbers and data? A business major may be right for you. Many people do not realize that the top business programs are highly competitive.

If you are considering a business major, there are a few things you will want to consider to be prepared and stand out in the admissions process. These include which high school courses will be essential to follow up on. What business concentrations will be available to you? Many colleges will ask students to choose their major, and students will apply directly to the major. The most competitive applicants have completed a summer job or summer internship and have some leadership experience in high school.

What Are The Business Concentrations In The Business School?

The business major tend to concentrate on topics that will serve you well after you enter the workforce such as:

  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • International Business
  • Business Law
  • Management
  • Information Systems

What Classes You Should Be Taking In High School

Mathematics: Courses such as Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus are crucial for developing analytical and problem-solving skills, which are essential in business disciplines like finance and economics.

English/Literature: Strong communication skills are vital in business. AP English classes can help you develop your writing, speaking, and critical thinking abilities, which are essential for effectively conveying ideas in the business world.

Economics: Courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics provide fundamental knowledge about how markets, economies, and policies function. Understanding economic principles is essential for various areas of business, including finance, marketing, and strategic planning.

Business/Entrepreneurship: Some high schools offer courses specifically designed to introduce students to business concepts, such as marketing, management, entrepreneurship, and business law. These courses can give you a glimpse into various aspects of the business world.

Computer Science/Information Technology: In today’s digital age, proficiency in technology is essential for business success. Courses in computer science or IT can provide you with valuable skills in data analysis, programming, and using software tools commonly used in business environments.


Some high schools offer business electives but many do not. If this is the case you should consider taking a community college class to help you stand out.

Community colleges typically offer a range of business classes that can provide a solid foundation for various career paths. Here are some common business classes offered at community colleges and why they are useful:

Introduction to Business: This class provides an overview of various aspects of business, including management, marketing, finance, and operations. It’s useful for gaining a broad understanding of how businesses operate and the different functions within an organization.

Accounting: Accounting classes cover fundamental principles of financial accounting, including recording transactions, preparing financial
statements, and analyzing financial data. These skills are essential for anyone interested in careers such as accounting, finance, or entrepreneurship.

Marketing: Marketing classes teach students about market research, advertising, branding, and sales techniques. Understanding marketing principles is valuable for anyone interested in product management, advertising, digital marketing, or starting their own business.

Business Ethics: Ethics classes explore ethical issues in business, such as corporate social responsibility, ethical decision-making, and sustainability. Understanding business ethics is important for navigating complex ethical dilemmas in the workplace and building trust with stakeholders.

Business Law: Business law classes cover legal principles relevant to business operations, including contracts, torts, intellectual property, and business structures. Knowledge of business law is essential for entrepreneurs, managers, and anyone involved in business transactions.

Management: Management classes focus on leadership principles, organizational behavior, human resource management, and strategic planning. These
skills are valuable for aspiring managers, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in leadership roles within organizations.

Finance: Finance classes cover topics such as financial markets, investment analysis, risk management, and financial planning. Understanding finance principles is essential for careers in finance, banking, investment management, or corporate finance.

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship classes provide practical guidance on starting and managing a business, including business planning, market analysis, funding strategies, and risk management. These classes are ideal for aspiring entrepreneurs or anyone interested in innovation and business development.

These business classes are useful because they provide practical knowledge and skills that are applicable across various industries and career paths. Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, advancing in your current career, or exploring new opportunities, taking business classes at a community college can help you develop valuable skills and knowledge to achieve your goals.

Extracurriculars

Extracurricular activities can play a significant role in preparing for entrance to selective business programs like Wharton or enhancing your experience as a business major. Here are some extracurriculars that align well with a business major and can help you stand out in the application process:

Business or Entrepreneurship Clubs: Joining clubs or organizations focused on business or entrepreneurship can provide valuable networking opportunities, access to workshops and seminars, and hands-on experience with real-world business challenges.

Internships: Securing internships with reputable companies or startups allows you to gain practical experience in a professional setting, develop relevant skills, and build your resume. Look for internships in fields such as finance, consulting, marketing, or operations.

Leadership Positions: Taking on leadership roles within student organizations or community groups demonstrates your ability to take initiative, collaborate with others, and manage projects effectively. Consider running for club president, organizing events, or leading a team project.

Case Competitions: Participating in case competitions allows you to apply your business knowledge to solve real-world problems, develop presentation skills, and work in teams under pressure. Look for local or national case competitions hosted by universities or industry organizations.

Finance or Investment Clubs: Joining finance or investment clubs can provide opportunities to learn about financial markets, portfolio management, and investment strategies. Participating in stock market simulations or managing a student-run investment fund can enhance your practical skills.

Extracurriculars to help students stand out

  • Community Service Projects: Volunteering for community service projects or nonprofit organizations demonstrates your commitment to making a positive impact and developing your leadership and teamwork skills outside of the business realm.
  • Research Projects: Getting involved in research projects related to business or economics allows you to explore academic interests, develop critical thinking skills, and potentially collaborate with faculty members on published research.
  • Entrepreneurial Ventures: Starting your own business or launching entrepreneurial ventures demonstrates your creativity, innovation, and ability to take calculated risks. Whether it’s a small-scale startup, e-commerce venture, or social enterprise, entrepreneurial experience can be highly valued by selective business programs.

By engaging in these extracurricular activities, you can not only enhance your skills and knowledge as a business major but also demonstrate your passion, initiative, and leadership potential to admissions committees at high-selective business programs like Wharton.

  • Summer Programs: Participating in a pre-college business summer program can significantly enhance your college application and provide valuable learning experiences. Here’s a brief overview of the programs mentioned, along with what they typically offer:
  1. LaunchX

    Overview: LaunchX (formerly MIT Launch) is an entrepreneurial summer program where high school students create real startups. Participants learn from industry experts, gain mentorship, and collaborate with peers.

    Highlights:
    • Develop and launch a startup.Intensive curriculum focused on entrepreneurship and business skillsNetworking opportunities with professionals and like-minded peers.

  2. Penn’s Leadership in the Business World (LBW)

    Overview: This intensive program is designed for high school students interested
    in business leadership. It includes lectures, workshops, and team projects led by Wharton School faculty and guest speakers.

    Highlights:
    • Exposure to Wharton School’s business education.
    • Hands-on projects and case studies.
    • Leadership training and development.

  3. Athena Summer Innovation Institute at Barnard

    Overview: This program empowers young women to develop their entrepreneurial skills and create impactful projects. It emphasizes leadership, innovation, and social change.

    Highlights:
    • Focus on female leadership and entrepreneurship.
    • Workshops on innovation, business strategy, and social impact.
    • Mentorship from successful women entrepreneurs and leaders.

  4. Business & Leadership Immersion at Georgetown

    Overview: This program provides an introduction to business concepts and leadership skills. Participants engage in interactive workshops, company visits, and networking events.

    Highlights:
    • Comprehensive curriculum covering business and leadership.
    • Real-world business exposure through company visits.
    • Interaction with Georgetown faculty and industry professionals.

  5. Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business

    Exploring Entrepreneurship: foundrysummer@fordham.edu
    Finance Institute: Wall Street in the Classroom: financeinstitute@fordham.edu
    It’s a Small World: Global Finance & Trade in the 21st Century: financeinstitute@fordham.edu

    • Exploring Entrepreneurship. High school juniors and seniors can explore entrepreneurship in New York City at the Foundry, Fordham’s hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.



Benefits of Attending These Programs:

  • Enhanced College Applications: Demonstrates commitment to learning and
  • leadership in business.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with peers, mentors, and industry professionals.
  • Skill Development: Gain practical skills in entrepreneurship, leadership, and business strategy.
  • Unique Experiences: Provides rich material for college essays and interviews.

When choosing a program, consider factors such as location, duration, cost, and specific areas of interest within business. Each of these programs offers unique benefits that can help you build a strong foundation for your future studies and career in business.

Business Competitions

Participating in high school business and entrepreneurship competitions can significantly enhance your college application, especially if you’re planning to major in business. These competitions not only help you develop critical skills but also provide a platform to showcase your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Here are some notable competitions to consider:

  1. Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition
    The Blue Ocean Entrepreneurship Competition is one of the largest student-led entrepreneurship competitions in the United States. It encourages high school students to create innovative business ideas that align with the “blue ocean strategy,” which focuses on creating new market space rather than competing in existing ones.
    Benefits:
    Encourages out-of-the-box thinking and innovation.
    Provides mentorship and feedback from business professionals.
    Opportunity to compete nationally and win prizes.
    Eligibility: Open to high school students worldwide.
  2. Diamond Challenge
    The Diamond Challenge, organized by the University of Delaware, is a prestigious global entrepreneurship competition for high school students. It offers two tracks: Business Innovation and Social Innovation.
    Benefits:
    Access to a network of mentors and judges who are industry leaders.
    Educational workshops and resources to help refine your business ideas.
    Significant prizes and scholarships for winners.
    Eligibility: Open to high school students aged 14-18 globally.
  3. GENIUS Olympiad
    The GENIUS Olympiad is an international competition focusing on environmental issues. While it encompasses various disciplines, it has a robust business category where students can present innovative solutions to environmental problems through business plans.
    Benefits:
    Emphasizes the intersection of business and environmental sustainability.
    Offers a global platform with participants from over 70 countries.
    Provides substantial recognition and awards.
    Eligibility: Open to high school students globally.

Additional Competitions to Consider

Preparing for Competitions

  • Start Early: Begin brainstorming ideas and forming your team well in
    advance.
  • Seek Mentorship: Find teachers, local business leaders, or college
    students who can provide guidance and feedback.
  • Research and Plan: Thoroughly research your market and competitors, and
    create a detailed business plan or pitch.
  • Practice Presentation Skills: Effective communication is key to winning
    competitions, so practice delivering your pitch confidently and clearly.

Participating in these competitions can provide invaluable experience and help you stand out on your college applications. They also allow you to build a network of like-minded peers and professionals, which can be beneficial for your future career in business.

In conclusion, standing out and preparing for a business major requires a multifaceted approach. Prospective students should focus on building a solid academic foundation, particularly in mathematics and economics, while honing soft skills like communication, leadership, and teamwork. Students can develop these skills by taking on leadership positions in high school. Engaging in extracurricular activities and internships can provide practical experience that will set you apart from other applicants. Additionally, developing a solid understanding of current business concentrations within the school of business at your intended college will ensure that you have a solid grasp of the business curriculum. Combining academic excellence with real-world experiences through summer jobs and internships can make you a standout candidate for admissions.

Also Read our Blog about Extracurriculars: Identifying The Best Extracurriculars for Your College Applications