Business administration students have a lot to look forward to. The business world is in near-constant flux due to new and emerging technologies, consumer demands, climate concerns, and political shifts. However, that means it's also quite demanding to be an undergraduate business student. Thus, we have created this resource page to help students find the resources they need to thrive, not merely survive.
No matter what your specific concentration ends up being, you can find a strong foundation with the resources below. In fact, you might consider bookmarking this page for later reference, since your needs may evolve over time.
Resources for Before and After College
Resources for Business Administration Students
As you embark on a search for the best business school, it's vital to consider their accreditation. You might be familiar with regional accreditation, which is absolutely vital, but also look for accreditation from program-specific agencies. In the world of business degree programs, there are three stand-out accrediting bodies: AACSB, ACBSP, and IACBE. Each has a rigorous set of standards and awards accreditation to only the best programs.
When these independent assessors visit business schools, they scrutinize the program's faculty, curriculum, testing methods, and more. They essentially turn each program upside down and make sure that each piece of your education meets their stringent standards. In fact, if you are on campus during an accreditation period, you might even be interviewed by an accreditor.
This accreditation is more than a mere status symbol, however. Your knowledge and skill base will reflect your quality education and your school's accreditation status will make it easier for you to get into graduate school later on. State licensing boards also look at accreditation when reviewing your education, so if you aim to be a CPA or some other licensed finance guru, you may need transcripts from an accredited school in order to be eligible for a license. Further, if you are seeking tuition reimbursement from your employer, you will have a stronger case, and may receive more aid, if your school has proper accreditation.
Questions About Financial Aid
Paying for college is always a major issue for students and their families. Costs have been rising steadily, if not steeply, over the past few decades and students now need to become even more creative with their financing. Long gone are the days when students could cover most of their school costs with a summer or part-time job that pays minimum wage.
To help fund your college adventure, you'll first want to look for federal grants and scholarships. These funding sources are ideal because they don't require that you repay them back after graduation. They are also great because they carry with them a level of status. You can tout your scholarship on a resume as proof that you were a good student who caught the attention of a scholarship fund.
As a business student you might seek out professional associations that award students with specific business scholarships. You can also seek out other independent foundations that wish to help fledgling business professionals. Further, if you are a woman, there are often special scholarships from organizations that hope to further diversify the business community or their own organization. There are also special scholarships for minorities from many of the same organizations.
However, it's almost a statistical certainty that you may need to take out student loans to help pay for at least a part of your education. It's advised that you first apply for federal loans, which often have better interest rates and repayment options. If you happen to exhaust your federal borrowing, there are always private student loan lenders. Private lenders may be useful if, for instance, you can cover tuition with scholarships or cash but still need a bridge to help you finance your living arrangements.
Associations for Students
Joining a business association might seem a bit premature to some undergraduate students, but it's a smart move. Not only will you receive special publications, including regular newsletters, but many associations offer free webinars and other materials that will inform your studies. Imagine how your professors will be impressed when you cite cutting edge research or articles unavailable to the rest of your classmates. Furthermore, there are loads of other benefits to joining a campus or national organization.
Many national, professional associations also offer special grants and scholarships to their student members. If you earn one of these, your discounted membership dues could pay off big-time. Furthermore, you'll be privy to exclusive opportunities to meet potential mentors and access job boards when you're ready for a job or internship.
Meanwhile, if you join a student-only campus association you will be building friendships that will last a lifetime. These connections will persist throughout your career and might even result in jobs, partnerships, or other business opportunities.
- Phi Beta Lambda:
This is an offshoot of the FBLA clubs you may have seen in high school. This outstanding organization has been facilitating business relationships for decades. Seek them out on campus or start your own chapter.
- Beta Gamma Sigma:
Membership in this international business honor society will raise your status in the business community from the minute you walk at graduation. Members can take advantage of internship opportunities, scholarships, and more.
This is the organization that is most well-known for certifying CPAs. However, they also offer membership to students from other disciplines. If your interest is in finance, this might be a terrific organization to join.
- Association of Latino Professionals for America:
Latino professionals nationwide are a part of this brilliant network that seeks to strengthen and develop your community. There are 160 student chapters nationwide. If there's not one on your campus, contact them and see if you can start your own.
- Beta Alpha Psi:
At over 100 years old, this is one of the oldest business organizations in the nation. Members enjoy an affiliation with one of the best-respected student organizations and you will find that the network of alumni is there to ensure your success.
Student or Open Access Journals
Students can benefit so much from keeping current with the latest business news or thinking. You can easily bookmark a few of your favorite business resources online to read in your downtime or you might make a habit of visiting the library to peruse the periodicals. This practice will benefit you in the long run and can even pay off in your schoolwork. Since you'll be up to date, you might discover hot topics to tackle in your term papers. The list below is mostly comprised of mass-market business periodicals, but also academic journals. Try to keep yourself apprised of not only day-to-day happenings in business, but in the bigger-picture, academic view as well. Your professors will appreciate your eagerness and drive to learn.
Business Administration Study Resources
Though your professors surely assign fantastic textbooks and utilize other great learning tools, you can always augment your academic work with various online resources. For instance, some business concepts are abstract and can be hard to grasp. Thus, you might seek out a YouTube video or another website that explains the concept in a slightly different way so that you can cement your understanding. Furthermore, when you are on break between terms, these resources are a great way to brush up on concepts you've either learned or will study in the upcoming term.
- Gregg Learning:
Mr. Learning offers a great number of courses on the administrative aspects of business. He focuses on topics such as public administration and leadership, but also touches on human resources.
- William Ackman:
This video covers the highlights of finance and investing in an hour. Use this video as a way to brush up on terms or to stimulate a discussion of the topics with friends.
- Yahoo Finance:
Yahoo Finance was a pioneer of online financial information and they've continued their work on YouTube. The channel features interviews with top finance experts as well as features that focus on current events in politics and the world.
This might be a finance student's dream come true. Investopedia features in depth articles that explain tough business concepts in the simplest ways possible. They also cover topical issues such as taxes, politics, and market news.
Apps and other software are the tools that help us get so much done. In fact, you could hardly be a college student at all without a laptop and at least a smartphone. Since there are so many options out there, and many overlooked gems, we assembled a short list to help you load your devices with tools that will help you succeed through college and even later in life.
In particular, it can be helpful to find open source solutions to your academic computing needs. These software packages, such as LibreOffice, are full of features and robust computing solutions for business students and everyone else, too. Not only are these packages terrific, they are free to download and use. There aren't even any annoying ads or donation buttons. If you're a college student on a budget, you just found one way to save a lot of money.
This app will help all students stay on top of their myriad of to-do lists, paper reminders, and their social calendar. Many other apps offer organization, but Any.do stands out with its cross-platform capabilities.
- Audio Memos:
It can be hard to catch every word your professor says, so this iOS app will record the lecture for later review.
This handy organizing tool not only facilitates your calendar but it will store notes on upcoming projects, help you work with your team, and brainstorm your next big venture. Evernote allows you to integrate photos, web pages, and other pertinent information so that you can build a more comprehensive view of whatever topic you have at hand.
This is PowerPoint for people who don't like PowerPoint. You need to access it on your laptop and the company offers a special student discount. Your next class presentation will wow them all.
If you need free office software that includes word processing, spreadsheets, drawing tools, a database application, and presentation software, this is for you. Each part of this office suite can export documents in nearly every format, including those for Microsoft applications.
Internships are a terrific way to start building experience in the real world. You might find a position that resembles a full-time, summer job or you could work part-time during the school year. In fact, internships come in all shapes and sizes. You might intern for a local small business or join a massive intern program through a top corporate leader.
No matter what your internships look like, try to arrange for at least one during your business school years. Not only will you have fun, but you'll build a resume that will attract attention upon graduation.
Here is a small list of major corporations that offer stimulating, career-building internships to students:
Resources for Students and Professionals
Business Administration Certification Options
If you already have a college degree in some other field, it's not too late to join the business world. Many colleges and universities offer certificate programs to help bolster your credentials. It only takes a few courses to attain a certificate, so you won't need to make a huge time commitment. Plus, there are many online options for certificate students. Furthermore, even if you have a business degree you might work towards a graduate certificate or find certificate program at the undergraduate level that will bolster your knowledge of a specific area, such as accounting or information technology.
Here is a short list of great schools to get you started on your search for the business certificate that's right for you.
- UC-Irvine (online)
- University of Washington – Professional and Continuing Education
- Notre Dame Online
- Purdue Global
- UC Berkeley Extension
- Imperial College of London via edX
- Northwestern University
Resources for Business Administration Professionals
Membership in a professional business association is a big part of many people's success. When you join an association, you are immediately privy to special, proprietary information, including peer-reviewed journals. Associations also provide fellowship, leadership opportunities, and educational resources that not only stimulate your mind, but which may be vital to maintaining a professional license.
Many associations have chapters near you and may even have statewide organizations that can allow you the chance to pursue leadership. They also offer state, regional, and national conferences, depending on the association. Conferences are fantastic opportunities to become immersed in your profession, to meet colleagues from all over the nation and world, and even gain a few valuable insights.
- Chartered Association of Business Administrators
- Academy of International Business
- American Management Association
- American Marketing Association
- American Bankers Association
- Financial Planning Association
- The Sales Management Association
- Independent Community of Bankers of America
- American Women's Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Institute of Internal Auditors
Journals are a vital part of keeping on top of your field. They are often written by top business leaders including academics and even investment bankers, so they go deeper than the daily business news. They address current topics and even try to solve historically difficult problems. You owe it to yourself to subscribe to at least one, and to encourage your firm to maintain a periodicals library. Use the following list as a kicking off point for a lifetime of learning.
Industry Conferences for Business Administration Professionals
Conferences are fantastic opportunities to expand your professional network, learn a lot of new things, and even enjoy a few moments of fun and comradery. Depending on the conference, it might be a smaller local affair for your state business association or it might be a huge gathering in Vegas that comes with its own smartphone app. Regardless, the speakers and panel discussions are sure to be scintillating and insightful. There's no better way to take a few days away and also bolster your business knowledge and career. Your firm and your long-term career will surely benefit from regular attendance to one of these, or any other, business conferences.
- Global Entrepreneurship & Business Management Summit:
Entrepreneurs of the world unite to share experience and wisdom at this international conference. This conference is aimed primarily at women entering or continuing their entrepreneurial careers.
- Southern Gas Association – Supply Chain Management Conference:
Logisticians from all over will descend on this conference to learn from keynote speakers and panelists alike. This conference is aimed at top supply-chain executives in the natural gas industry.
- People, Analytics, and Workforce Planning:
This human resources conference features speakers from top firms as Cisco, Chopra Coaching, Human Capital Institute, and more. If HR is your thing, this is conference is a must.
- Institute for Supply Management Annual Conference:
This is perhaps the very top conference for logisticians nationwide. The ISM has been honored with top speakers as Nikki Haley and General James Mattis, among many others. You'll have to pick an educational track for this conference, so bring your thinking cap.