After two years at CCBC, I transferred to the Robert H. Smith School of Business at UMD. In addition to giving me a job, it helped me develop a wide network of professionals to refer to for, well, professional things as well as give me a mental breakdown a week. More importantly, business school engraved in me skills that I will be sure to teach my future offspring starting at age 3.

I present to you – 5 things I learned from business school that didn’t involve the words asset, liability, or equity.

  1. Look people in the eyes when talking. Especially during interviews but even on day-to-day operations, keep eye contact. We all seem to have A.D.D these days and this can help both parties remain present, resulting in a more fruitful conversation. Make the other person believe you can see deep into their soul… maybe not too deep; don’t make it weird.
  2. Master the art of handshaking. This means no palms-are-sweaty, knees-weak, or arms-are-heavy (Eminem song reference for those who aren’t widdit). Your handshake game should be so strong that it reveals your fearlessness and confidence, but also modesty and openness to new ideas. Remember hands that are firm get the worm. (I just made that up).
  3. Don’t read off the PowerPoint slides. This one we all should’ve learned in high school, but alas! It took sitting through about a hundred boring presentations for me to really learn. Keep your audience engaged by talking directly to them instead of the screen. See number one. This may require a bit more preparation so—
  4. Be prepared and know what you’re talking about. Whether it’s for a class presentation or an interview, bring your best. Don’t be the person who doesn’t look up what the acronym of the company even stands for before interviewing with them (@me).
  5. Group projects don’t have to be painful. Get yourself to the final stage of grieving and accept them nowbecause TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAMWORK. Also, group work will never cease to exist – even tax accountants, the boring ones, work in teams. The sooner you accept this, the better you can improve your teamwork skills, and the less you’ll wanna strangle your teammates.

Sometimes I still doze off mid conversation, have sweaty palms when I shake someone’s hand, and send passive-aggressive texts to that one person that contributes NOTHING to the project. But at least now I’m aware that it’s no way to live life.


If you have any tips that’ll get me up the ladder of professionalism, comment down below! Hope this post gave you something and if you find yourself in a professional situation where you don’t know what to do, smile and fake it till you make it!