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University of Massachusetts – Online
Argosy University
CAREERS | BUSINESS | February 16, 2012

Leadership Skills: Using College to Become a Business Leader

Many college degree programs are now emphasizing leadership skills to ensure students success when they enter the workplace. There are plenty of ways to expand your leadership skills as a business professional while pursuing your degree. If you’re interested in moving up in your chosen career path, try getting involved with these student groups, taking these courses, and pursuing these disciplines.

“To be a leader in any field a student chooses to study, he or she must know three things: how to motivate others, influence outcomes and build relationships.”- Evelyn William, Associate Vice President for Leadership Development and Professor of Practice at Wake Forest University.

What careers emphasize leadership skills?

People who are interested in business leadership skills go into every career field. However, if leadership development is something that you are passionate about, you might want to go into one of the following fields:

  • Career Coaching
  • Corporate Leadership Development
  • Education
  • Human Resources

What should I study in order to learn about leadership?

Many colleges offer courses in leadership like:

  • Gender and Work Roles in Society
  • Information Technology
  • Leadership Communications
  • Leadership Ethics
  • Leadership in Work Settings

How else can I develop leadership skills in college?

Career Services offices in college often offer a variety of professional development programs and resources.

For example, Career Services at Star Career Institute sets students up with a variety of externships and keeps a job placement board for graduates. They host resume writing and job search sessions for students, as well as provide professional counseling for all students and alumni. Additionally, Schiller International University holds weekly workshops for students looking to develop leadership skills. These workshops include Interviewing Skills, Job/Internship Search and Networking, and Career Planning.

Getting involved in student groups can offer infinite possibilities for leadership.

Many colleges have student group offices and advisors who can match students up with the best group for them. Once you’re involved in a group, make a point to get to know as much about the group, its members, and its history as possible. If it’s something you’re passionate about, there are almost always opportunities for honing your leadership skills within these groups. If your school doesn’t have a formal student activities office, gather some like-minded friends and start a group yourself. Founding a student group exemplifies leadership, organization and professional mindset that are valuable to employers.

Holding a steady job and moving up in a company are great ways to develop leadership skills in your field – or any field.

By showing your dedication to a company and moving up the ranks, future employers will see your dedication to your work. Oftentimes, an internship or an externship can turn into a consistent job, so make sure that you approach it with a professional mindset and take every opportunity to showcase your leadership skills within a business.

If you have a great idea for a business, take the opportunity to start it in college.

Student entrepreneurship is booming, and it’s great to work closely with experienced professors to begin to build a brand. Many college students are well-versed in today’s expanding industries, like technology and consumer products, so don’t hesitate to develop those business leadership skills by leading your own company.

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