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How to Prepare for a Business Course

So you’ve got a place on a business course. First of all, congratulations! Now  this is where the real work begins! A business course can be your ticket into a very lucrative career path, as long as you get the most out of your course.

Take it from me; preparation before you start your course can save you a lot of unwanted stress later down the line!

This preparation can start before the first term has even begun. “But how?” You may ask. Luckily for you, here are a few tips for the best ways to prepare for your business course, which will put you streets ahead of your course mates. Prepare to impress!

Know your new business course…

It sounds like a no brainer, but plenty of people will turn up to university with no idea about the modules, assessments and requirements  of their course. Awkward…

Your first port of call should be the university’s website. Refamilarise yourself with the blurb about the course  and  what your modules are about. Find out what books you need to buy, and study materials you may need. This is also a top tip in preparation for the student lifestyle: if you find these early, you’ve got more time to shop around for cheaper deals!

Then look and see if there is any preparatory work you could busy yourself with right now. Some courses require reading or even written work to be completed in the weeks leading up to the course – you don’t want to be caught out in your first seminar!

Know your university…

With your offer on the table it is time to find out more about where you’re going. How are you going to get the most out of you university and advance your business ambitions? All it takes is a little bit of research. Find out what business related clubs and societies your university offers (there will be more than you may think!).! Then scope out what links the university has with businesses: Do they run open days, talks or networking events? Raise your awareness now so you don’t miss out later.

It has also become the norm for universities to put on “offer-holder open days”. These are invaluable sources of information and a chance to ask the question about your business course to-be, extra-circular activities and university life that you couldn’t find in your own research. There will also usually be a free lunch!

Read about business…

This is your first step on the road to attaining that elusive prize they call “commercial awareness” and starts to get you into the right frame of mind for your course. There are hundreds of books, journals, magazines and newspapers brimming with business information. So where do you start?

It’s definitely is important to read business and financial newspapers and magazines such as the Financial Times and The Economist. But before you go diving in, make sure you know what’s going on behind the scenes so you can get the most out of what you’re reading.

Christopher Stoakes’ Know the City: 2013/14 is pretty darn useful on this account. It gives a good grounding on the financial markets and covers the recent crises in global and eurozone finance to boot.

Now you’ve got the basics down pat, you are free to pick from the vast array of business and finance newspapers, magazines and journals. I would recommend starting with one of the Financial Times, The Economist, The Spectator or The Week.

Get some work experience…

It is never too early to get some first-hand experience of the world you want to go in to, and there are more and more opportunities opening up for first year students with some of the country’s biggest financial firms, banks and professional services firms.  If you are feeling particularly ambitious (and wise to the importance of work experience), then there is no better way to prepare for a business course and your career than by working in business!

By Nathan Ladd, Editorial Intern, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com