The September ritual of selecting classes usually takes place in a fog of bad criteria: uninformed friends, overly invested parents, and the never-ending quest for no early morning classes. I have some advice to add to the mix: If you plan on going into business, take courses that typically aren't listed among the traditional requirements like accounting and marketing. Even if you don't want a business career, give my suggestions some thought, because you'll have to work at some point, so you might as well make a little money at it. And besides, these courses will help not only your career, but your life.

This class will be a terrible ordeal for non-theatrical types, because they'll feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. But acting class is one of the fastest ways to learn how to convey what you mean. Successful people can do this by using verbal and non-verbal cues.

We each feel many emotions simultaneously. Leaders manage their emotions so they convey the appropriate one at the appropriate time. Acting class will help you to understand if you're doing this well, and if not, how to improve. I'm not implying that all business people are actors. In fact, I mean the opposite: business requires honesty, and a good actor must tap into his or her true emotions to act honestly. Most incompetent leaders try to lead with emotion that isn't genuine. You will avoid this by taking an acting class.

Intro to Psychology
Somewhere among the textbook pages of theories and statistics you'll find invaluable nuggets of information on how people perceive each other in the workplace. The most interesting lessons are about how people make judgments about others and try to control the judgments that others make about them.

You will learn that visual perception is everything and first impressions are hard to overcome. Once you understand why, you'll be able to make a better first impression. You'll also learn why people remember negative traits more than positive traits; if you divulge weaknesses during job interviews, hiring managers will remember them more clearly than your strengths.

Emotional intelligence is an ability to understand other people, and many pundits believe that emotional intelligence is more important than business skills when it comes to success in the corporate world. A literature course teaches you to empathize with characters and understand other peoples' values. So your best business text might be a novel.

People who work out regularly are more likely to impress interviewers and get promoted than people who don't. Knowing how to work out correctly is a big factor in whether you'll keep it up once you're working. However, it's a learned skill that takes time and a good teacher. At college you've got tons of time (compared to when you have a job, a mortgage, kids and a dog) plus use of the gym is free.

Take a bunch of classes — swimming, pilates, karate. Something is bound to stick. And it's easier to learn them now than when you're 35 and bored with the your gym routine.

What you love
Having a balanced life and making time to do what you enjoy becomes harder after college. Use this time to figure out what excites you, not what excites your parents or grad schools. Growing up doesn't mean getting drunk on a school night. It means ceasing to worry about or rebelling against what others want you to do and starting to figure out what makes you tick. This isn't easy. But if you continue taking classes that you think you SHOULD take, you'll be unprepared for work.

Review the course catalogue honestly for what really interests you. Ask yourself what you'd take if you could choose anything. Then take it. You'll learn about yourself. The class may be boring or it might be a great topic that you love learning. This is the same process you'll use to find a career. You will probably do it two or three times in your life. So get good at it now, while someone else is paying your rent.

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1 reply
  1. Proteas
    Proteas says:


    Penelope,we meet at last..

    Do we really need to even start an undergraduate business degree if we want to become -successful- enterpreneurs???

    I admire you as a writer…cool,calculating,honest,brave

    Like ya’ Read ya’

    and you Keep Up the Good work have won me,but I have high expectations of you now.Don’t let me down!


    Greece (!!!!)

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