Friday, January 13, 2012

What I Wish They Taught in Business School

I just had my one year anniversary at my current job. It made me start thinking about what I have learned while working here. I also thought about what I learned throughout my four years at UT and how I have actually applied that knowledge in my current position. Here's what I figured out:
  1. Business school should require all students to take psychology and sociology classes. I have come to realize that to be successful in a business environment, the ability to communicate to all employees and adapt your communication efforts on an individual and group basis is just as important, if not more so, than knowledge and abilities.
  2. They should teach you how to operate a deluxe copy machine. I know this sounds crazy, but I didn't know how to fax, scan, add ink, etc. to this gigantic printing machine in the copy room. I could have developed the Theory of Relativity, but without this secretarial knowledge, I would still have been viewed as a moron.
  3. They should tell you to have a candy dish and to keep it stocked. It's the fastest way to make friends, I'll tell ya. Beware though, run out of candy and they sometimes get angry.
  4. They should tell all students that Casual Friday does not mean wrinkled jeans and tennis shoes--no matter what anyone tells you. We have had several interns who come in on a Friday in just that, and it is bad news. Luckily, I was raised by a man who wore a tie no matter the day and a woman who always wears a blazer. I didn't have to learn this lesson the hard way.
  5. They should tell you to hang interesting, meaningful things in your office. I currently have a large painting of a magnolia by my favorite artist, my grandmother, directly behind my desk. It always sparks conversation on local artists, the movie/play Steel Magnolias, etc. I also have a photo with Warren Buffett, UTK memorabilia and three framed quotes displayed. Having my office decorated with personal things certainly creates easy conversation. It also just makes me happy to come to work.
You know how I was able to convince a colleague to take that picture of me holding up the #1 sign? Bribed her with candy. Business students should seriously be learning this stuff.


  1. OK, I'll bite. What are the three quotes? And what is the pic to the right of your diploma? Looks like little squares of lots of pics? Love the Warren Buffett photo AND the pearls AND you! I can't believe it has already been a year. Congrats!

  2. The three quotes are:
    1. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
    2. "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling."
    3. "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people."

    To the right of the diploma is the framed newspaper article with photos of all the new Loaned Executives for United Way this year. I was lucky enough to be one of them.

    Thanks, Aunt Jackie! By the way, I've already used my vintage pink kitchen timer, and I love it! :)