What’s Happening in Grantham’s School of Business?

Career-Starting Tips: What’s Happening in Grantham’s School of Business? (Podcast)
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At Grantham University, we believe in going the extra mile to help you prepare for a successful job search. Recently, our Career Services team met with Grantham’s Dean of the Mark Skousen School of Business, Dr. David Marker, to discuss what changes are happening in the school to help students excel as business professionals down the line.

What are you doing to improve your prospects? Climb the corporate ladder? Move on down your career path? Whatever term you use to describe your professional promotability or ability to transition into a different job with more responsibilities and rewards, what are you doing to get there?

Pursuing a degree from an accredited, respected business school is a great first step. Enrolling in a school that’s as serious about your success as you are—in and out of the classroom—is even better. Earning it at Grantham University, where they are constantly refining programs to meet the demands of today’s business best-practices will ensure you’re ready to meet the needs of today’s business environment.

“We get this question a lot,” says Doug Dimler, Career Services Coordinator. “What skills should a student be developing in the workplace to assist them with their next career move after they earn a degree? Or even while they are still taking classes?”

What Do Employers Want from Employees?

“I’ve talked with a lot of employers about what our students need and what many students lack,” says Marker. “It comes down to two things. First, employers are looking for students who know how to look at an environment and determine what the problem is.”

More than just a business skill, problem-solving is a vital life skill. Figure out how to get to the root of that problem, gather relevant data, organize the data, analyze the data and then, most importantly, come up with a solution.

“A problem without a proposed solution is just a pain,” says Marker. “That just makes people angry.”

What Else Are Employers Looking For?

“The second thing,” says Marker, “which is a part of this, is a trait: you have to be curious.”

But it’s not like being a three-year-old and asking ‘why?’ all the time. “Again,” says Marker, “you’re just making people angry.”

In business, companies want professionals who are curious. They’re looking for employees who see a process and want to know why it’s done that way, or how their actions impact another department, or any number of things in their company and around the industry. They want people who wonder why something exists the way it does. They want employees who ask, ‘Why is this happening?’

“On my way to this very meeting,” says Marker, “I got pulled into an office with the question, ‘why does this thing exist in this particular way?’ And my answer was, and I chuckled, because it’s historical. There’s no other reason.”

If someone isn’t curious, the question never gets asked. If the question never gets asked, problems remain hidden. If problems stay hidden, solutions aren’t proposed, and opportunities to run the business more efficiently, more profitably for all are lost.

“I’ve asked this question before, myself,” says Marker, “but I hadn’t been pushy enough to get to the answer. When somebody asked me why it existed and the only response I can give is: because it was that way when I came here - It’s not a very satisfying answer.”

“It’s because I said so,” says Jeromey Bell, Associate Director of Talent Development and Career Services.

“Well,” says Marker, “that’s essentially what it was. A former provost said that’s the way it is, the way something should be. And we all just said ok. And I’m sure there are reasons why that person said it should be that way, we just don’t know what they were.”

The point is, curiosity, channeled curiosity, is irreplaceable in an organization. You can make yourself incredibly important to your company by just wondering why it is something exists the way it does and then—and this is key—pursuing it.

Two Final Thoughts

“If you were to offer any words of wisdom to those considering a degree in business,” says Bell, “what would you say?”

‘Two major themes,” says Marker. “One, keep yourself open. Open up all of your senses. Don’t keep your head down. Walk with your head up. Walk with your senses open. When you walk in the halls of your organization, or wherever you are, keep your head up.

“And two, be curious about the environment where you are operating.”

Being open and being curious: These two things will help you at each stage of your education and at every stop along your career path. Incorporate these traits into your coursework. Make them a part of your daily life. Honestly, they’ll help you go far.

Download Our Podcast

Now that you’ve gained some insight into what’s happening in Grantham’s school of business and what employers are looking for in a business professional, take some time out of your day to listen in as Marker, Bell and Dimler continue to explore the many advantages of a business education at Grantham University.

About The Author

Brandon Swenson, communications manager, is on Grantham University’s editorial board. A veteran and college graduate himself, he understands the benefits and intricacies of government education programs, such as the post-9/11 GI Bill. Brandon earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City toward the end of his nearly two-decade tour in the United States Marine Corps.