As one year winds to a close, it's time to reflect and think ahead to all we can do and accomplish in the next twelve months. We’ve all heard the same old New Year’s Resolutions over and over: work out, eat healthy, sleep more, get organized… Basically, to be a better person. But what about becoming a better business student?
While those resolutions might be great choices for your personal life, don’t forget to set some resolutions working toward your academic and career goals, too! Luckily, we have a few suggestions.
1. Learn Tableau
As students, we're so lucky to have many resources at our disposal—including using Tableau for free. If you're not familiar with it, Tableau is a data visualization software that's becoming more and more important in today's data-driven business world. Not only will familiarity with the software make you more attractive to companies and employers, the gorgeous charts, graphs, and analytics are sure to set your case competition slides and group project presentations apart as well. Download your free student copy of Tableau Desktop here.
2. Get Foster Excel certified
It's one thing to claim you're proficient in Excel on your resume, but actually being certified can help you stand out from everyone else in the pack...who is also claiming they're proficient. No matter what concentration you are in Foster, being comfortable with Excel is a must, so head to your Canvas dashboard, click on Foster Excel for Business and start taking those quizzes today.
3. Spruce up your LinkedIn
Whether you set up a profile freshman year and forgot about it, or just haven't looked at it in a while, spend a few minutes making sure your online resume is as great as you are. Are there any new awards you should add? Skills you should list? Have you taken on any new responsibilities in your clubs, jobs, or internship? Make sure your profile is up to date and truly represents your achievements and hard work!
4. Set up some informational interviews
You hear about how important they are all the time, but it can be intimidating to actually make them happen. If you needed a little push, this is it! As Junny Rzeplinski said in her keynote address at our 7th Annual Etiquette Dinner, "networking is about knowing someone who knows someone who can help you." Professionals are often eager to help students, so take a deep breath and work up the nerve to reach out to that Nordstrom brand strategist or Boeing supply chain manager you want to learn from.
5. Network with your peers
While you're networking with current business leaders, don't forget to make connections with the future business leaders all around you—your classmates in Foster. Get to know the people around you! Ask someone you've admired from afar to join your group project if you end up sharing a class, or reach out to one of your club's exec members to ask about their experiences. You never know where a simple conversation could lead you.
6. Do a case competition
They're a rite of passage for any business student, and will push you to take what you've learned in the classroom and put it in a real world application. If you're already a case comp veteran, try one with unusual subject material, like the the Global Health Business Case Competition, or see what it's like working with a new team. This is a great chance to put all that peer networking to good use! You could join a consulting club or the Global Case Competition Club for even more practice.
7. Get more involved in the Foster community
There are a ton of opportunities for you to get more active in school outside of the classroom! Try volunteering to help run a case comp, join a club committee, apply to be a Foster Ambassador, rush a business fraternity, or ask your favorite professor if they have any research projects you could be a part of.
8. Attend a Leaders to Legends Breakfast Lecture
One of Foster's hidden gems is their Leaders to Legends Breakfast Lecture series, which hosts prominent figures from the business community to share their insights. Past speakers include leaders from Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, and McKinsey & Co., and the featured speaker will be from JP Morgan Chase on January 17th! This is a great opportunity to hear from experienced business professionals and you can also enjoy provided breakfast and coffee. Though these events charge a $10 entry fee, they're free for students and the early morning timeslot makes it easy to fit in your busy schedule.
9. Figure out all those databases in Foster Library
Your tuition helps pay for access to this industry info, and it's about time you figured out how to actually find it. This data can be a huge help for your class projects, case competition, or when you're prepping for a big interview. From industry profiles to market trends to financial analysis, you'll be able to find just about anything. Available here.
10. Visit Foster Career services
There's a whole office in Foster dedicated to helping you achieve your career goals—take advantage of it! Make an appointment to get some advice, have them look over your resume or LinkedIn, or even practice a mock interview. (Plus, if Paccar and Dempsey's team rooms are packed and you need a place to study, see if the interview rooms in Foster Career Services are available! First come first serve for 2 hour blocks.)
Don't feel like you have to tackle everything on this list—even one or two of them can still make a big difference!