Business School Student Questions (Need Advice)

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Bhayes, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Bhayes

    Bhayes
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    Hello, I'm new to this forum.

    I just want to say that I think its great that forums like this exist. I will try other forums, websites as well, but I thought to start here.

    Mainly because, sometimes in life its hard to ask questions to other people because a person (like me) may rightfully feel intimidated or scared to ask these questions in person face-to-face. And In my case I have a lot to fear. Fear of embarrassment.

    I have a series of questions or Problems-Learning Issues. First let me talk about who I am and my situation.

    I’m 27 years old and I’m returning to undergad business school in the spring of 2011. I don’t consider myself to be a smart person from an academic knowledge perspective as a business school student. My level of study skills and my knowledge and experience as a student, I have a so so track record.

    I would even go as far as saying that I'm terrified that people will find out that I'm VERY DUMB.

    My major is international business. I know the goal is to EARN A DIPLOMA/DEGREE so that i can GET A JOB start a career and compete.

    I understand all that, but as far as my knowledge and experience in business, the world or what business is, I have to admit I’m a dumb person with a so-so track record academically.

    I have tried to find self help book titles that would help a person like myself and I have had alittle luck but not a lot.

    1) Writing About Business To Economics & Business Journalism– Terri Thompson

    I like this book specifically because even though its aimed at smart people who want to be business journalists it has been the first book that i have read that attempts to tie economics, politics, news, business history, government institutions, business concepts, international business together in a mostly coherent way. That emphasizes “hey reader you need to learn this.” I now get it that business concepts are all a series of complicated interconnected network of topics and basically it ATTEMPTS to explain where does wall street meet main street from a business perspective. Basically it’s a collection of college thesis’ from top level business journalist students at Columbia university on different topics. But the way it presents the material is meant for the advanced academian and sometimes, I have to research some of what it presents on the internet because it talks to the reader as if he/she understands everything. But it is hard to read sometimes but not with every chapter.

    At amazon.com there is a good preview.



    2) Careers in international business: - Edward J. Halloran
    This is a great book. Reading the first book “writing about business” gave me a sense of the meaning of the word (FREE TRADE) and so on. I think the “writing about business” book helped me understand business in general so when I read this book I really got a lot of what it says, but not everything. It starts out giving us a generic perspective of why it’s a good idea to go into international business and the state of the world today and what a person must do career wise. But its just TOO GENERAL. this book is good because it sort of supplements the previous book in that i talks about international business specifically and what FREE TRADE is. i think that is easy reading and its good but I need alittle more.



    1. Discovering Your Career In Business
    This book emphasizes self-essment and so on. But again its just too general in what it presents. It doesn’t really help me understand business . it’s a book created by the guys at a site called (careerleader.com)

    And finally there is a site called tutor2u.net it offers materials on different topics its UK site but it’s a good site. Some of the stuff there is good but there is just too much information to sort.

    One thing I realize is the word “business” just like “international business” is a very generic broad topic it encompasses lots of different things and so on. And I guess I need to define my nitch of where do I fit within all that.

    Thru a family friend connection i got the opportunity to work as an office assistant at what is called a Holding Company. I liked this because it gave me the opportunity to SEE business from an investment finance persepective. This holding company was doing i guess what would be considered international business of a sort.

    but i have to admit that i didn't always understand everything that i saw and heard. Some of it was alittle over my head (FINANCE & INVESTMENT). I was fortunate to have had people around me who were patient enough with me that protected me from embarrassment who understood me and cared about me and basically gave me something to do in the office. I was lucky.


    but my main concern is.

    What can I do to enhance my learning of business concepts and international business at the most basic level and atleast do it in a fun way if possible? Sometimes these books are a bore.

    I keep thinking that there is an author or a website that understands this that will really speak to ME and motivate me. Everything I have found is either TOO TECHNICAL, TOO ADVANCED or TOO GENERIC and simple and BORING or the text is out of date 10+ years old.

    the library at the business school i go to. Most of the material there is way out of date.

    I realize that maybe I can only I can answer this question because different people learn in different ways. What may be a problem for one person may not be a problem for someone else.

    if I am going to be a successful business school student I have to get on some type training regimen from a business learning knowledge perspective that helps me build up my self-confidence first then my knowledge then my skills. So when I go back to school next year my mind will be ready to receive the information.

    Its Kind a like how a person learning a new language has levels like intermediate, level 1, level 2 and then advanced etc.,

    I also need to be in search of mentors or role models as well.

    But my issue is most people who are my age range in the setting I exist in are progressive minded folks who are to put it bluntly, they are mostly all a bunch of SNOBS, not everybody but most are. People in general sometimes have a tendency to get competitive with each other in their own heads, I for one have been guilty of this myself in the past. So because of the competitive energy between people, sometimes even between professors and students nobody really wants to mentor someone else or even give advice. Or they try and do it badly.

    I get real bumed about myself when I read that elementary school kids are learning how to start their own companies/business’ and trade on the New York Stock exchange and so on while i struggle to give the definition of what a bonds and securities are. It get real depressed. I have been able to hide my dumbness and get away with it for a long time. I have been lucky. i have tried real hard to protect myself from getting hurt.

    How did I get to be so very dumb, it’s a very long story.
    And of course real experience, there is only but so much you can learn from a book. A friend of mine who is a investment banker told me that
    “there is a war going on out here. And there is only but so much you can get from a classroom and a text book”

    So if anyone here has any suggestions on books, authors, websites or anything that can help me or someone like me, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Bhayes and thanks for posting your detailed questions.

    First of all I would suggest that you stop feeling "dumb", that kind of attitude or belief will only serve to hinder you, so work hard on dropping it. There is nothing to be gained from thinking like that, so it is time to stop thinking that way. I know that this is obviously much easier said than done, but I'm sure that you know in your heart of hearts, that you can change and eliminate that belief, if you really put your mind to it. The truth is that intelligence and talent are often overrated.

    There are countless people in the world who have wasted their talents and have not achieved their full potential. Wasted talent and genius are almost a cliché. There are also lots of examples of people with limited abilities who have tremendous achievements. The most important factor in your success is not your level of ability but your attitude plus how you use and develop the ability that you have.

    As regards preparing yourself to maximise the opportunity of attending business school, I would suggest the following;

    1. Start a small home based business. It really doesn't matter very much what the business is, just try to base a small business around something that you enjoy. You could even start a business related blog and make regular posts on business related topics. If you used a service like Blogger or WordPress.com you would not have any start up costs. Alternatively if you have a small budget you could register your own domain and get a shared hosting account. The links below should help you with this;

    Useful Online Business Resources - have a look at the Blogging (if the idea of a blog interests you) and Making Money Online sections.
    Featured Website Development, E-Commerce & Making Money Online Threads - again have a look at the Making Money Online section.
    Useful Business Resources / Links - have a look at the Business Ideas section.

    The objective of setting up a small based business is not necessarily to make money, but to allow you to apply what you learn in business school to a real live business. I actually quite regret not doing something like this, when I went to college.

    2. Read business newspapers, websites and relevant trade press. This kind of reading will reap tremendous rewards in terms of the real world business knowledge that you will pick up. The importance of doing this cannot be underestimated, in my opinion.

    I hope this is helpful to you and I wish you the very best of luck with everything. Please post back with your thoughts or if you have any further questions.
     
  3. Tecknowoman

    Tecknowoman
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    My biggest advice is to find a mentor.
    Try to get some time with people successful in business, read about people like Richard Branson. I have been told that "rework" by Jason Fried & David Hanssen is a must read business book.
    Immerse yourself in business, surrounded by business and by people who are where you want to be. Th
     
  4. Bhayes

    Bhayes
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    Thanks for the quick responses.

    To fergal i appreciate the "get rid of the poor atitude first" advice. you are right. sometimes im too hard on myself. and your advice is good advice. i will remember your advice and try to keep my head up.

    But i have to say this. if you had to walk a mile in my shoes you would understand why i have the beliefs-limitations i have.

    its a real challenge to live in an environment where you are always PUSHED on stage when you aren't ready and are FORCED to compete with others who are SMARTER and MORE TALENTED than you are, And then people laugh at you and tear you down because you don’t meet the expectations projected on to you. You don't feel confident in yourself and overtime it becomes emotional abuse. Your fear everything and become a nervous wreck.

    Again from a study skills perspective i just have a poor track record and my BUSINESS SMARTS well they are lacking. I have developed some self-esteem issues on top of failing and not knowing how the dots connect. To put it simply, 5 years ago i was burned out so i left school.

    Luckily i met some people who really cared about me deeply and gave me a job and i got the chance to REST.


    I was attending Howard University school of business. I'm sure you can find our business school website thru google. but when i entered school in 2001 i went down there looking for mentors but i was unfortunately surrounded by talented people who were all a bunch of SNOBS both students and professors. I accept the fact that life is not fair. I have built up a thick enough skin now and I understand that no one is gonna spoon feed you in life.
    On top of my family drama it was just hard. in 2004 i was simply burned out and couldn't take it anymore.

    And to teknowoman on the mentor side. The investment banker friend i mentioned in the previous post was a mentor. He was to one who gave me a job. He and i were best friends for while. He was like a big brother. very smart nice guy, but he was a good tutor who is great at explaining how things work. he was also good at drawing diagrams.

    I always felt comfortable asking questions and it was easy because he agreed to never embarass me or hurt me or tear me down for not knowing and understanding something.

    But recently he was having some domestic issues with his wife & kids (divorce) he has decided to back away from me completely. Its odd because i REALLY NEED his mentoring now more than ever now that im going back.

    But for reason i cannot get into he and i have went separate ways and to put it simply. He was a tremendous help because while i didn't always understand everything that the Holding Company did, i felt great because i felt like it could ask ED questions and not feel embarassed. Or rather he could help me cut out the extrenous information that is involved in Business Learning - Education and for a while he was even doing alittle hand-holding from a coaching persepctive. And the decision to split from me permanently was sudden because I was finished asking him questions about things.

    In todays world, most men just don't do this for other men. A man might do this for a woman but men in general compete with each other in their heads. I too in the past have been guilty of this.

    i understand i can only get what i put in. i have to put forth the effort and get my own.
    But yes i need to drop the "im dumb attitude" and "find new mentors" and "start my own business" but i just need a pep talk because starting where im coming from is not easy.

    i can't be the only person in the world who has these types of issues. infact i only really feel comfortable admiting this here on this message board because emotionally i doesn't cost me anything. no body can laugh or hurt me or can say "You're business school student and you didn't know that? Gee you're dumb! ha ha ha!"

    if i could find a forum that's aimed at business school students around the USA and Abroad and get suggestions and get a good discussion going. that would help.

    But thanks for the responses. Even though I kinda already know that I have to find new mentors and read more and start my own business (which is hard when you have two jobs on the side and 0% experience) I appreciate the conversation.

    Just writing down how I feel and venting it out helps inspire me to do the right thing.
    Thank You!
     
  5. Tecknowoman

    Tecknowoman
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    Hey Bhayes you know what you are already doing great. You are taking action, you know the value of a mentor and so you are already more successful than the majority of the population.

    I don't know what's gone on with your mentor but unfortunately through life relationships come and go but don't let any of the feeling, hurt, loss or the like block you from seeing a new mentor opportunity. We can't always see the bigger picture but I can tell you (and I've had a number of bad JV souring deals of late) that there is always something better if you look for it.

    Its OK to feel bad, negative, down at times you are human and we all have varying life experiences and circumstances

    On the men and mentoring side I can tell you the best mentors I know are men and I as a woman have often felt it hard to break into their inner boys club circle whilst doing work with women has just been a bad experience at this point. BUT as soon as I let go of my "feelings" and judgements on the circumstances things start to fall into place.

    Reading your sstuff you know what you have to do, find a way to let go of the negative stuff the judgements. Focus on the good about you (including that you are one of the few who went out found a mentor, is asking advice, is leveraging forum collective brains trusts). Stop running the negative self talk - what happened with your mentor is about your mentor and you cannot change that - you can only see if you did anything that contributed, learn and move forward.

    As a mentor of mine says always ensure you fail forward. The only problem happens when you fail fatally (give up because you encountered an obstacle). Take the experience, learn, move forward, find ways to make your dream happen, leverage the good self talk and get ahead.

    You are already on the path and doing it so just keep it up, keep moving forward and keep finding the answers you need. You can do it. Just from your posts here I have complete confidence that if you can shift gears back to the positive you will achieve great success for yourself.
     
  6. Bhayes

    Bhayes
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    thanks for the pep talk.

    here is my plan.

    the books i mentioned. especially the (writing about business) book by terri thompson.

    is a great outline on "business" what i will do is for every section it covers. i will try to find a professor in the specific discipline on campus. like Politics, accounting, international business, insurance etc., at howard and try to schedule Q&A sessions with these professors during their office hours.

    When i was in school in 2004 i was too burned out to do this. i didn't even understand what questions to ask. infact it will be alitlte bit of challenge creating an outline of questions that are coherent that will not TAKE UP all of some elses time.

    but maybe its better this way. when i was with my investment banker friend he didn't always have the free time and the energy to sit down with me and go thru all this in the way i needed. he would generalize about things and i would nod but i didn't always get what he was saying.

    but i think i should just compile a list of questions or a worksheet that will help me understand what i don't understand. infact when i actually do this i will update this thread and let you all know of my progress.
     
  7. Bhayes

    Bhayes
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  8. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Bhayes thanks for your feedback and kind words. We are always happy to help our and I sincerely hope that everything works out for you. You have received some good pointers in this thread and we'd be delighted to help you with any other questions you have. It would also be great to see you replying to threads posted by other members.

    Good luck with everything!
     
  9. Tecknowoman

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    I second Fergal! We're here and this is a great community with lots of people who will happily answer questions & as I said we all have different experience and circumstances.

    Good luck with it all and always happy to help! Post and feel free to PM if you ever feel you need to.
     
  10. scifi

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    U know Bhayes....Congrats to you...
    "Its never late to learn running if u make a courage to start walking...."

    u have taken a great step...now don't weaken u'r self by thinking negative abt you..
    Things look scary if you look from distance because they are very unclear.....
    Once it is within reach everything becomes clear and the real situation can be seen....
    So if you are thinking too much without seeing the actual situation u are making mistake...
    although u'r efforts are gr8 but if they are in the wrong direction, u will end up making things just more complex 4 u.....
    So its better to have a real idea of actual situation ..go to the school once..talk to people and teachers there..get u'r self counseled from a previous(pass out) student of that B-Schooll..then decide Plan of action analyzing vis-a-vis u'r strength and weaknesses......:)
     
  11. Bhayes

    Bhayes
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    thanks for the advice. i appreciate it.

    i will keep everyone posted. on my progress.

    teknowoman & fergal you both have been very nice and i appreciate it.
     
  12. Tecknowoman

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    Bhayes I'm sure I speak for Fergal when I say "our pleasure"
     
  13. RestOwner

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    Nice! I think I could use this as a reference in the near future if ever I would be needing advices with regards of how I could optimize my business.
     

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