Business is one of the most popular degrees for students to pursue. Between 2014 and 2015, nearly 358,000 jobs requiring a business management degree were posted in the United States. Of that number, 85 percent required at least a bachelor’s degree. The Community for Accredited Online Schools has published a guide that was created to help savvy business students, regardless of their educational level, access resources to help them excel in school and flourish in the business world. A special section catering to a wide range of student populations is also included, with individualized resources for varied demographics.
Resources for Special Interest Business Students:
- International Students:
Aside from the typical pressures of academia, international business students also contend with new teaching and learning styles in an unfamiliar place. These resources are designed to alleviate some of that stress.
- Communication WorkshopsOpen to both domestic and international students, resources like the one offered at Stanford help students build their confidence in communicating – be it oral, visual or written. Professionals leading these classes also help students polish their skills and avoid common misusages from using English as a second language.
- iVoice Translator ProInternational business students have enough to worry about without language barriers. iVoice is a voice translation application that can listen to and identify 33 languages and produce a text version in the student’s native tongue. This app is perfect for students to use when following along with a professor’s lecture in class.
- International Student OfficesWhile often providing general services, these offices often work with other departments on campus, including the business school and career services. International students may be able to work with their international student office to get business-specific assistance and career advice when needed.
- International Student AmbassadorsPrograms such as NYU’s Stern School of Business offer profiles of their international student advisors. These pages offer insider information about what it’s like to be an international student with in the business department while also answering common questions about transition and different teaching styles.
- Students with Disabilities:
Many students with disabilities elect to pursue business degrees, and there are many resources out there to help them succeed in whatever path they choose to pursue. The resources listed below represent a range of assistance available.
- Business Plan ScholarshipFit Small Business created this $1,000 cash scholarship specifically for students with disabilities pursuing business. Those eligible must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program and have written a business plan. To apply, students should submit a 500 to 1,000 word essay about what they learned from completing the plan.
- Internships for Students with DisabilitiesThe Viscardi Center created the Emerging Leaders Internship Program for students with disabilities looking to gain experience in a business environment. They must be currently enrolled in college and have some type of disability. The project is funded by UPS and overseen by the National Business & Disability Council.
- Job ResourcesNortheastern University’s Career Development office provides a comprehensive listing of national websites that post jobs specifically for students with disabilities. Some of the websites posted are specific to a company or industry, while others aggregate listings from across the country.
- People with disabilities starting a businessThe Small Business Association has compiled a list of helpful resources for students or graduates with disabilities who aspire to start and run their own business. Aside from questions to consider, the resource also offers online seminars specific to this population and links to other helpful services.
- LGBTQ Students:
Resources and organizations aimed at LGBTQ college students can support those students during their undergraduate or graduate business educations. Some of the best organizations serving LGBTQ college students and their allies are listed below:
- Reaching OutReaching Out MBA was created specifically to empower and support LGBTQ students pursuing Master’s in Business Administration. The organization educates students about the challenges and opportunities of being an LGBTQ MBA student, inspires them to be leaders, and builds connections among other LGBTQ MBA students.
- LGBT Business School StatisticsProspective business students who want to know how many LGBTQ students are pursuing an MBA at one of the 38 schools of business listed can use this helpful research to ascertain if the school is a good fit for them. This research is updated often, and currently shows that approximately three percent of MBA students identify as LGBTQ.
- Out for BusinessThis LGBTQ student club at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business serves as an excellent example of a LGBTQ resource. In addition to advocacy measures, the organization also hosts regular events, such as MBgAY, their annual charity drag show for LGBTQ business students.
- Out for Undergrad This volunteer-based organization works to ensure all undergraduate LGBTQ students reach their full academic and professional potential by hosting conferences throughout the country. In addition to engineering, marketing and tech conferences, the group also hosts an annual business event.
- Women In Business:
The National Women’s Business Council reports women currently own 36.3 percent of all American businesses, an increase of nearly eight percent since 2007. The resources listed below have been curated to help female business students succeed.
- American Business Women’s AssociationThis professional body brings together businesswomen from across the country to network and empower each other in their career pursuits. Some of the benefits include access to an annual conference and a career connections portion of the website. Recent graduates are encouraged to join.
- The National Association of Professional WomenAs the largest professional networking association for professional women, the NAPW offers myriad career services to their members. The group offers professional networking opportunities, networking events, career assistance resources, and educational tools to help women continue building their business knowledge and skills.
- Women in Business ScholarshipZonta International provides 12 scholarships of up to $7,000 internationally and 32 district/region scholarships of up to $1,00 each year to women undertaking business degrees. The Jane M. Klausman scholarship is available to any woman, regardless of age who is undertaking a degree related to business.
- Women’s Student AssociationLocated at the Harvard Business School, this type student-driven group exists at many different college campuses throughout the country. The version at Harvard includes weekly meetings, a conference drawing together dynamic women in business, and a series of talks throughout the academic year.
- Homeless and Low-Income Students:
More than 58,000 students marked that they were homeless on the 2013 FAFSA form, and approximately 11,600 of those were students majoring in business or a related field. The resources below help students focus on their education rather than worrying about a bed.
- CARE CentersKennesaw State University provides an exceptional example of institutions providing assistance to students who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Some of their services include year-round dormitories, food assistance, scholarships, and access to basic personal care items and bed linens.
- National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and YouthNAEHCY provides a comprehensive resource for students experiencing homelessness called the “College Access and Success Toolkit.” This handbook answers many of the common questions students may have about attending school while dealing with homelessness and highlights numerous helpful resources.
- National Center for Homeless EducationThis nonprofit organization works with homeless youth and students to help them find housing and other necessities – including food and clothing – while in school. While this is a national group, students can research their area to see if a similar regional resource exists.
- Scholarships for Homeless StudentsThe Chicago Coalition for the Homeless offers a variety of scholarships to homeless students who are able to excel academically against the odds. While the majority of these are based in Illinois, students seeking this type of funding can research their area to see if a similar program exists.
- Veteran Students:
After returning from military service, veterans have been out of a classroom setting and may wish to find likeminded individuals who are experiencing the same transition. Or they may wonder about financial assistance available to them. These resources provide help for those topics and more.
- Application Fee RefundDid you know that some schools offer an application fee refund for individuals applying who have previously served in the military? NYU’s Stern School of Business highlights this growing trend within college admissions. Be sure to check if your prospective school offers this discount.
- Student Veterans of AmericaThis professional organization has chapters all over the country for students with prior military service seeking a governing body. The group also provides scholarships, a national conference, and helpful transition guides for students entering academia after active service.
- Yellow Ribbon ProgramAlso known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, this service provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs covers tuition and fees for a public school in which the veteran is a resident. If the student wants to go to a private institution, the bill can help lower those costs dramatically.
- Veterans in Business AssociationGroups like the one at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business are designed provide support and guidance to veterans enrolled in a business program while also helping them to build knowledge and learn transferable skills that will serve them well in the business world after graduation.
- General Business Student Resources:
For your students considering going to Graduate School after getting their undergraduate degree those resources are covered in the full guide here: https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/business-schools/student-resources
- Advice from the Expert: Taking Advantage of Resources
How can students go about finding resources tailored to business and business programs that will help them succeed in the real world?
Like making any informed decision, it is imperative that you get a variety of opinions about each and every business program. Do you read only one review before buying a car? Probably not. My recommendation is to start with a search engine and to get creative with what you’re looking for. Do you require information about a specific concept? If you have questions about it, you can be sure thousands of others have had questions before. Moreover, there are significant amounts of resources and publications that are specifically tailored for people in the business world – think about Bloomberg, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and so on. Business students will be in that world soon enough. Why not let it help you with your studies? Tapping into these established resources is a perfect way to start studying “reality” while still in a classroom setting.
What resources did you take advantage of while in school?
Schools offer these resources and nobody seems to use them. When I was in school, I took advantage of every single resource available. I regularly spoke with teachers. I exchanged class notes. I read significantly detailed books about a wide variety of topics, just to get a better understand of how the business world works. I tutored those younger than me to re-sharpen my skills. I socialized with my colleagues. Now, I do business with some of them. I went to see an academic advisor at least 15 times, to refine the career path I wanted to take. I asked for a coffee meeting with a ton of highly-respected people, just to get an opportunity to pick their brain.
With your knowledge of the business world, how would you suggest for students to combine resources and improve their overall business education?
Think of it as a three-dimensional spider net. One topic is interrelated to numerous other ones. There are both higher and underlying layers. You might learn a concept on one layer – but have no experience in another. You might be an expert with financial statements, but have never negotiated a contract. You might know how to find and hire a great employee, but you don’t know how to manage an ERP. The key is to combine both your theoretical and practical knowledge with a sense of curiosity. Ask as many questions as you can, and gain as much exposure and experience as you can. You can never stop learning.