Business Majors from an English Major’s Perspective
by Anthony Betori | Loyola University, Chicago
The New York Times’ piece “Skating Through B-School” asks whether or not being a business major is as good an idea as it once was. Citing decreased standards as well as decreased student potential in every business program except the flagship ones at schools like the Wharton School of Business, the piece asks whether being a business major means getting a job out of college, or if it’s just another fluff degree.
Let the record show I am not a business major. I’m an English major, one of those silly little liberal arts degrees that usually necessitates the question, “Well, what are you going to do with that?” I think the answer I give would be very helpful for most business majors, as well as all other majors, to hear.
The field of English has the distinct honor of being a non-essential. If the world ended tomorrow, we wouldn’t need to be versed in the finer details of Russian Formalist literary theory. This is true of all arts majors. We don’t have the luxury of chromosomes and gradations, and as such we are forced to make our major viable. We’ve got to choose a career path and stick with it.
Business majors need to realize that this is true for them as well. Yes, you’re taking econ and marketing, but unless you’re getting internships and making a splash in your community, you’re not going to get hired. College can’t be just about fun, as the emphasis so often seems to be. College is about preparing yourself for your future.
You don’t need to be learned in a trade to be relevant. Especially considering America’s particular luxury, we have the ability to do really whatever we want with our lives. But, in order to do that, you need to be dedicated early on. You need to be in the top ten percent of all of your classes. You need to be applying for jobs and building your resume.
We’ve all heard the joke of the Mrs. degree, or those of us who are in college merely to find our life partner. Any major can become the equivalent of this. The way to break this is by making yourself stand out and by realizing that college is nothing if not an opportunity to give you every tool you’ll need to succeed. Business majors especially need to hear this: your degree won’t get you your job—you will.Anthony Betori is an NGJ Voices Correspondent and a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago studying English. He also writes for the Loyola Phoenix.