Carving out a successful career is one of the most important things we all do in our lives. For many people, this involves moving into the world of business and finding a corporate role that suits their interests. Although this can involve working in areas such as finance, customer service, or marketing, business administration is one role that is enduringly popular.
Professionals in this field oversee the general day-to-day operations of an organization and are central to how they run. Without business administrators in place to manage people or drive a firm toward its strategic objectives, organizations would not be able to function as effectively.
As a result, qualified business administrators are in high demand and are valued members of staff in the places they work. In addition, this role is also a popular career choice because it offers good working hours, competitive rates of pay, comfortable working environments, and the chance to operate as part of a larger team across a business.
Career progression in business admin and the professional network
The chance to progress your career as a business administrator is also another feature of this job that many find appealing. Successfully working in this role, for example, enables administrators to pick up high-level business experience and get a taste of the requirements of senior roles such as chief operating officer or chief executive. The training needed to move into business admin successfully is also handy for career progression and enables people to accumulate advanced business knowledge.
One thing that can really help when looking to enhance your career in business admin is boosting your professional network. Your professional network is a group of business professionals you come across in your working life that you are able to establish a positive working connection with.
By building up your professional business administration network, you are able to find out about the latest career opportunities from people within the industry or call on them for advice when looking for your next professional challenge. Enhancing your business admin network is also a good idea in general and gives you a group of people in the industry to turn to when you need advice in your daily role.
How can you build a strong professional network as a business administrator?
The modern world has delivered a few effective ways in which you can grow your business admin network. Social media is a good example to begin with and this is especially true if you use LinkedIn to grow your network online. This corporate-focused site brings people from all over the business world together and makes it simple to find new people to add to your network.
It can also be useful to look out for real-world networking events happening either locally or nationally. Both of these sorts of events are perfect for helping you connect with new people and adding them to your professional network moving ahead.
Perhaps the best way to expand your network as a business administrator though is via further education. This involves committing to academic study in order to upskill in your role and grow your network.
The modern education sector even offers convenient virtual courses for working students to engage in. The benefits of online MBA programs at St. Bonaventure University (SBU) show not only what these kinds of programs look like but also how ideal they are for building a stronger professional network. When you also factor in how online Master of Business Administration programs at places such as SBU also offer the chance to progress in your career and move into higher-paying roles, their appeal is obvious. The MBA at SBU specifically offers flexible learning and offers students the chance to graduate and move forward in their careers in as few as 20 months with knowledge of business electives and ethics, improved decision-making and financial management.
How further study helps students expand their network professionally?
When it comes to the best career tips across the corporate world, there is always lots of useful advice to take on board. This is especially true in terms of the benefits a strong network can have for business admin professionals and how further study can be one of the best ways to boost your own. This really is one of the most useful things about pursuing your studies as a working adult, in addition to the new knowledge and business admin skills you will learn.
But why does further study in business administration help students to grow their professional network?
Shared learning environments
One of the most effective innovations in education recently has been shared learning environments. These settings enable students to study in spaces that they share with other students and can have a range of benefits. Whilst being able to evaluate their own learning through seeing others’ understanding of a topic is one, the chance to network in a more relaxed, informal way is another.
Shared learning environments allow for this to happen by giving students somewhere they can chat, discuss their course, and generally get to know one another a bit better. This is naturally good for building up their professional networks in business admin and being able to access fellow students who would be willing to join their network. It also enables students to get an idea of who people are before adding them to their network, ensuring they only bring people into it that they gel with.
Access to industry experts and faculty staff
Any decent course based on business admin will be taught by tutors who are experts in their field. This can often be people with a background in business who have the most useful knowledge to pass on and first-hand experience of what they are talking about. The vast majority of business admin courses will also see students taught by a range of tutors across various modules. This enables them to access a range of trained educators who are able to pass on a wealth of key business information.
Over the course of their studies, it is possible for students to build close connections with these tutors and integrate them into their professional network. This not only provides a simple way to grow their network in business admin through further study but also adds people to it who can offer trusted business advice when needed.
It is not just course tutors who this applies to either—it is likely students will find other faculty staff to add to their professional business admin network when studying who bring real value to it. This could be a faculty careers advisor, for example, who can help you to find new working opportunities, or an administrator at the faculty with whom you can exchange best working practices with post-studies.
For the same reason, students should find that the best courses in business admin also bring industry experts in to take guest lectures or talk to students. This gives students easy access to these business titans and a chance to network with them. The real beauty here is that you have already established a connection before adding them to your network, so they will be more likely to remember you and offer help if you ever contact them.
Collaborative projects with other students
Pursuing further studies in business admin naturally involves completing assignments, giving presentations, and working on projects. Although this can be done mostly by yourself, all the best courses give you a chance to work on collaborative projects with other students at times. As this implies, it sees students working in groups to complete projects and help develop key business skills (such as teamwork, leadership, and communication).
These kinds of collaborative projects are another example of how further study can boost your network professionally. As the other people you work with will most likely be from a business administration background too, they are ideal choices to expand your network in a way that truly adds value to it.
Even if the people in your group are from other business areas or other backgrounds, they can still have their own unique skills, perspectives, and ideas which help bring diversity to your business admin network. This can prove highly beneficial when you turn to your network for help on an issue that you are unsure of how to handle in your own role post-studies or during studies.
Collaborative projects are also great for boosting your professional network as they make it very straightforward, convenient, and easy to do. As you are already working with the other students in your group, you do not have to make any effort to find people to add to your network.
Being involved with other people in group projects also enables you to gauge who has high-level business admin skills that could benefit your network or which people you feel would make a positive addition to it. If you work with someone whom you connect with personally and who is a real problem solver, you are able to see this first-hand and know they are worth networking with.
Case studies in the real business world to utilize
Case studies are a key element of further education in business administration and enable students to see real-world examples of a certain business model in action or how a certain methodology works in practice.
In essence, they allow students to see how what they are being taught in the classroom actually works in practice and how they might best integrate this knowledge into their own organizations. There are lots of famous business case studies that courses in this area might touch on—from the Malden Mills case to the famous 1982 Tylenol scandal.
But how can case studies within further education help students grow their professional network? To begin with, further investigation into certain studies may put them into contact with people in the wider business world to add to their network. If students were looking at a certain case study, for example, and spoke with someone directly involved in it, it would then be simple to add them to their network moving ahead. In addition, looking at case studies may bring new people and new organizations for students to add to their network who they might not have known about otherwise.
Industry events and seminars
Although much of the learning any course in further education may offer takes place in the classroom, all the best programs will also include trips out to the top industry events in the business world. Good examples of this include the Project Summit Business Analyst World event in Washington DC, or the Inbound event in Boston.
By giving students the chance to attend key business events such as this, further study helps deliver a massive networking opportunity to them. This is because industry events tend to attract large crowds of business professionals and people working in business admin. These are the ideal people to add to any professional business network and the events help students interact with them in a place that is perfect for doing so.
As people who attend these events are also there to build up their own professional group, students will find it easy to not only access lots of people to engage with but also talk to people who are interested in connecting. As a result, attending industry events as part of any business administration course offers the chance to boost your professional network quickly, easily, and effectively.
Although engaging with tutors, faculty staff, other students, and professionals at industry events all shows how further study can expand any business admin professional network; it is key to consider past students as well.
All the best universities, for example, will have an alumni network which helps to connect students who studied at the same institution with one another. Joining an alumni network is therefore a quick and simple way of accessing more people to network with— particularly those who now work within business or people from your course with whom you have lost touch but now wish to contact.
The interesting thing about this is that you already have something in common with other alumni in terms of where you studied. This common ground can make it easier to network with them and help integrate them into your own network moving ahead. This connection can also make fellow alumni more inclined to help when you need advice or be more ready to join your professional network. If it is someone from your own course you are reconnecting with, the bonds you share from studying at the same time should also make networking with them easier.
Due to this, and the ease these networks bring in terms of contacting other alumni via the place of study itself, they are certainly a good way in which further study can boost your professional group in business administration.
Internships and work placements
This is the last major way in which undertaking further study in business administration can provide a boost to your professional network. Some courses will make internships and work placements part of their curriculum and this sees students sent out to complete them. As well as enabling students to put what they learned into practice, these internships and placements are ideal for meeting new business professionals and adding them to your own network for future reference.
This can often be people who you might not have come across otherwise or businesses that you would not have gotten to know outside of your studies. By having the chance to work directly with them and showing them what they are capable of, students can make a positive impression when on placement.
This makes it more likely that people will want to become part of their network and also more likely that they will flag up exciting new opportunities they hear about. As with industry events, placements also make it simple to meet lots of new people to network with in one place and without any hassle.
Does online study offer the same networking advantages?
Studying online has really taken off in the last few years and is especially good for working professionals who are looking to gain extra qualifications. It is a lot easier to fit classes in when they are online rather than trying to attend timetabled lessons in person around your busy working schedule.
One question that you may ask, though, is how effective online learning is for building your business admin network. Many people may worry that studying from home might prevent this or make it harder to do. The simple truth is that all of the advantages we have listed above apply to online studies and this makes these courses great ways to develop your professional network.
Working on group projects is simple through online meeting platforms such as MS Teams, for example. Alumni networks are open to students who study virtually. When you also consider that online students will still have the chance to attend industry events in person with their cohort, online courses are taught by expert tutors to engage with, and case studies form a key part of any online business admin program, this gets even clearer.
Further studies and stronger business admin networks
As the above shows, there is no doubt that deciding to engage in further study for business administration can have a very positive impact on growing your own professional network. The above examples of how this happens are all powerful ways to not only add numbers to your business administration network but also real value.