In this interview, Edukasyon.ph’s very own Chief of Staff to the CEO, Judge Calimbahin III, shares his experiences as a former Management Engineering student at Ateneo de Manila University.
Thinking about running a business someday? You’re definitely not alone. With more millennials braving the seas of entrepreneurship and giving life to their own witty and innovative ideas, it’s no surprise if you’re considering it yourself.
Now that you’ve decided to take the first concrete step towards your goal by enrolling in a business course, here’s what you can expect:
- How can incoming Business majors prepare for this course?
Business degrees are often very general – they teach you the basic skills and knowledge you’d need to form a business, but very seldom do you find courses that are specialized.
Another important thing to note is that the classes are mostly theoretical —they often don’t teach you the specific questions you might have about running a business (such as how to register your business in the Philippines). In this sense, the best way to prepare is to get yourself out there and expose yourself to different businesses – reach out and ask your family / friends running businesses how the experience is.
- What unexpected challenges did you encounter along the way?
The biggest challenge was that I had to learn things I had zero interest in. As I mentioned, Business degrees are very general, which entails for you to learn skills throughout business: marketing, finance, strategy, etc.
Most of the time, you’d find yourself taking classes that are not necessarily in line with your interests or skills (for example, even finance-centered business majors have to study marketing). As with any class, it’s a challenge to learn something you have minimal interest in. HOWEVER, the gains are huge – having holistic knowledge of the different aspects of a business is key to running a successful one.
- What motivated you to finish the course in spite of these challenges?
It’s important to have an anchor as to why you’re study business. It shouldn’t be business for business’ sake. Ask yourself: what are you in the business of? What do you want to achieve with your business? In my case, I was motivated to finish my degree because I knew that business is a powerful tool to create sustainable, scalable impact. Having this end goal in mind will motivate you to push through.
- Do you feel that you have been prepared well for your career path? How so?
Quite frankly, no. I was one of the people that took business because it’s the “best” course in the “best” school. I was caught off guard when I was going through my classes. I was in my 3rd year when I realized business (sales, in particular) isn’t for me, and I could have prepared better for that. However, because business is a very broad course, I was allowed to explore other aspects of it such as finance, strategy and organization development (which I ended up liking).
- Any more tips you would like to share?
Look for opportunities to apply your knowledge: business requires both theory and application. If you find opportunities in your school to start a business, do it! It’s the best way to learn the concepts in action while staying in an environment where it’s safe to fail (school).
Explore specializations. Some schools offer minors for those interested to specialize. Once you know what you want, take that specialization. It will go a long way in helping you with your career, and getting a head start in a career path you actually want
to help you (or a friend) get started on deciding what course to take and where to take it.