We asked Dr Martin Rich, Senior Lecturer at City’s Business School (Faculty of Management) for some advice for young people interested in studying business at university. “The first point is that as teenagers you may well already have experience of managing something. If you’ve been in a sports team, or if you’ve been one of the organisers of an after-school club, you will have encountered some of the same issues that managers in businesses and other organisations are dealing with all the time.” Our Business worksheet linked below will help you reflect on your experiences to get you to start thinking about all the relevant skills you might already have!
Learn by looking at what is around you!
Martin went on to advise ”you can learn a lot just by looking at businesses that they already know something about, and unpicking what might or might not have made these successful. What sort of key choices did the management of the business need to take which contributed to their success or otherwise? What sort of cases are there where the managers would have been faced with ‘wicked’ problems where there is no obvious right solution? Did they make decisions in the past which, with hindsight, might have looked unwise? A lot of understanding of business strategy depends on understanding these issues.”
Martin says “There are a lot of areas within business management, and you might want to consider whether you are particularly attracted to any of these. Or you might like the idea of being generalists who understand how all these different areas fit together. For example, many businesses will have managers who specialise in areas such as finance, sales and marketing, operations and logistics, human resources, and information systems.”
“There’s a lot around about what managers are expected to do. A good source for anybody interested is the report by the Chartered Management Institute and the Chartered Association of Business schools at https://charteredabs.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/21st_Century_Leaders_CMI_Feb2018.pdf which focuses a lot on the sort of skills that we set out to develop amongst Business Management students”.
Why not read about what a day in the life of a Business Management, Economics and Accounting or International Business student looks like? There are also lots more resources, information and careers advice for you to browse and inquisitive activities to try in our Business worksheet.