I still have memories of my college days and they are the best ones. Not because it was fun but because of the rigorous development we had to undergo. I was a business management student and from day one our college staff was clear that we can have fun only after the work is done!  It was the most exhilarating time that made me realize that we can achieve so much than what we set for.

If you are a student of business management, it is safe to assume you aim to achieve something big in life. I have hardly come across any student of business management who aims low and wants to stay that way. Every one in this field knows that there is a lot to gain in business be it the corporate world or the entrepreneurial arena. And in order to get somewhere it takes hard work, knowledge and a great deal of perseverance.

This is the reason one has to clear multiple rounds of aptitude tests, group discussions and interviews before any candidate is selected. These selection rounds are also a nightmare every business student dreads. How does one prepare for such rounds on a budget? Surely not everyone is fluent in speaking, or knows everything. Is there a way for students to find resources without breaking the bank? Well, keep reading if you want to know more.

If you are serious to get placed with a good company, you need not attend high end coaching classes or pay an exorbitant tuition fee. You need to utilize resources that are around you. These five study resources are not only inexpensive but are easily available and will help immensely during job selection and interview rounds.

 

1. Newspaper:

Do you remember writing an essay about the newspaper as a kid. Well, believe every word you wrote! The daily newspaper is a goldmine of information for business management students and if you haven't made this a habit yet, start now! And read the whole paper. Yup, you heard me, the whole paper, top to bottom, left to right, section to section and page to page.

Now you might be thinking; What???You can't be serious! Oh yes I am!

Every paper comes in not only with news, it's much more than that. Newspapers are a medium to give updates, share opinions, important news, local events, religious beliefs, sports updates, corporate news and last but not least the editors message. Every article has a different style of wording in it. Every article is written to communicate something. For example: An article reporting an attack will have words expressing remorse, fear, frustration and anxiety, even though it was meant to communicate facts.

A business report on a company making loss will use assertive wordings of hope and will mention their future plan to boost income. An article on sports will praise sportsmanship and will report how the match was played in order to emphasize the effort it took to win.

If you want to develop vocabulary for aptitude tests, prepare for an interview and learn to ace group discussions; look no further my friend than your daily newspaper. And yes when you are done reading the paper, there is no harm in playing the games in there!

 

2. News Channels:

I never understood why did we need several news channels that run 24 x 7 and 365 days a year. I mean why? And all of them relay the same news! My professor once pointed out that the same story can be said in different words and it will impact your way of looking at it. Our opinions are formed by using all our senses,audio and visual etc. Trust me not all channels out there will help you, but there are some really good ones that you need to tune in and learn.

Just like newspapers are essential to improve your reading and vocabulary; news channels are essential in developing controlled body language. Remember we are talking of resources that are easily available. Switch on any news channel and observe how the orator reads news. Their modulation of tone and face gestures when good news like peace treaties, match wins, successful rescue operations are mentioned and then observe how they handle the not so good news about someone being hurt, or the death of a celebrity.

Secondly, look at how debates are done on these channels. Each debate had to be moderated and each participant needs to present the facts. Look at how these participants put across their points. In any debate, the moderator and audience ( that is you ) will be inclined to listen to the more dominant participant who acts assertively, speaks simple yet logical language and who mentions facts correctly.

You will develop reasoning power, a way with words and will learn to use positive body language through this medium. Not to mention you will get updated with the current news.

Remember, just because you are in business management you don't need to speak like thesaurus! Simple language with confidence and accuracy of facts! That's what management is about. 

 

3. College Library :

Okay, I'll just put it out there. No one likes their college library and the only times I have entered it was when I had to get some research done for my projects or when friends would beg me to use my card for a book they wanted. I did waste my time, but I changed my ways when I saw one of my batch mate who was a Hindi speaking guy and was weak in English coming out with a novel. 

I looked at him and said, wow you have time for that? He just smiled and left. I saw him the next day behind the college stairs reading loudly to himself and going over and over some passages he thought were difficult. This guy was placed from college in a really good company with a higher package because he was the first to clear the group discussion round. Imagine that!

Books are your friends for life in this field- we have safely established that by now. And your college library will have the most expensive books, magazine subscriptions, alumni assignments, not to mention so many case studies for no extra cost to you. If your college does not have a library, then please go to your local library. Libraries might be an outdated concept but they are the best resource you can get without going broke.

 

4. Internet:


When I was in management school, the internet was not so popular. We did have an internet cafe but those were the times when Orkut was still around. Now the internet is a different tool all together. The problem is advanced tools and technology creates more competition. Nevertheless, this comes handy when you look for the right things. There is no dearth of free learning resources on the internet. Gone are the days when recruiters used to look for candidates whom they could teach. These days  candidates who know it well are in demand. You need to up your game by updating your knowledge and learning presentation of ideas.

The internet is the only source where you get to have mock interviews, extensive case studies, free aptitude tests, personality scores and many helpful blogs and videos that can help you prepare for not only interviews but even on work projects. And this doesn't cost much at all. Need I say more?

 

5.Business Magazines:

And last but not least, get your hands on as many business magazines as you can. Yes, vocabulary is important. Yes, group discussion skills are important, but you need to understand where you stand.

When I was being interviewed for campus placement, my nerves were all over the place. And as I was about to enter, my placement officer asked me - have you decided on what to ask them if they tell you to ask anything?

I was like um, no! And he gave me a business magazine with the company's profile in it and said in a disapproving tone...sit and read!

I did! I read word for word and asked my friends to cross question me till I was confident.

Well, I got selected that day but it was like I was saved on razor's edge. I have never given up on researching and reading beforehand since then.

You are about to dive into a world of business where corporate strategies are key. And no other resource can give you better insight than business magazines. The best case studies, the best interviews, the best cause-effect analysis and stock market reviews are here. Don't ignore them. Read them, study them, analyze them. Corporate laws and corporate dynamics are best learnt from here. Statistics is another key point that is discussed in depth and it helps a lot.

 

Conclusion:

All in all, you have limited time to study so use it wisely. Most of the students I have worked with seem to have their line of interest well-defined and they work only for it.As a student, you will be tempted to only go through resources which interest you, but challenge yourself and you will be amazed how good you can be.

Try to learn things which you don't know. Go online and find information on the topic and keep searching till you understand it. Ask professors for help. Practice and keep taking feedback from peers, seniors, professors. Try to improve what you can as soon as you can.Form study groups and discuss and you will be surprised on much you can develop your self. That too on a dime...now that's something my friend! All the best and do let me know if article helped!


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