Updated Aug. 16, 2018: Suchetha Subramaniam, BBA ’18, is currently part of the Sales & Marketing Future Leader Program at GSK.
Grab your books—it’s time to go back to school!
Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a senior, the beginning of a semester is the perfect opportunity to make big plans and set challenging goals. It’s an excellent moment to try new things—so with this in mind, we asked rising senior Suchetha Subramaniam to offer a few tips that will help business students succeed.
Subramaniam is a double major in International Business and Spanish. She’s also the president of the College Council—the organization that oversees nearly 30 student professional organizations (SPOs) at the Fox School—and she recently completed her fourth internship in a financial advisory program with Merrill Lynch. Subramaniam’s long-term career goal, she says, is to “work in the financial advisory space, with an international nonprofit specializing in business development in Latin or South America.”
From risk-taking to strategic networking, here are some of the secrets that have helped Subramaniam find success during her time at Fox.
5. Join Student Professional Organizations
“Joining an SPO is the best way to get into the business world as a student,” says Subramaniam. “They’re a great way to network yourself and to network your abilities, to learn about possible career paths, and to speak to professors. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to interact with many top performing students and these relationships will help me in the future. I got some of the best work experience I never would’ve gotten otherwise through SPOs.”
4. Take Professional Risks
“When I came to Temple, I knew Fox was a highly-esteemed school and I knew that the discipline of business is broad enough that I’d find my niche in due time. I had no background in finance, but all of a sudden I decided to apply for a financial advising internship with Merrill Lynch. It was very challenging for me, but I realized finance is a field I can truly see myself working in. I never would’ve discovered this passion if I hadn’t taken a risk and been willing to try something new.”
3. Talk to Your Professors
“Professors all have office hours and you should take advantage of that. Professors are incredibly intelligent and experienced, and they are great people who want you to succeed. All you have to do is make an effort and show them you’re a curious, functioning person with feelings and they’ll reciprocate. One of my professors even put me in touch with someone in her personal circle and this helped me get an interview I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Talking to professors can open up so many new opportunities. It pays off. And they’re such nice, knowledgeable people, so why wouldn’t you want to get to know them?”
2. Go to Events You Normally Wouldn’t Attend
“Last year, Fox played a part in bringing Colin Powell to campus. I had no intention of going; I saw the flyer, I saw the invite, but didn’t think much of it. But I was pushed by some faculty to go because it was a once in a lifetime experience. I was able to speak to Powell individually, and I got a picture taken with him. He’s one of the most influential people in our recent political history, so that was really cool. His speech was on leadership and inclusion, and it was incredible. He was so inspiring and there were so many things I took away from it that I can apply to my future and to different leadership roles.”
1. Network, Network, Network
“On day one at Fox, they had us go to a networking event with faculty, the deans, and other students—they literally threw us right in the deep end. We’ve all heard it a million times: ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ That’s so true in every facet of life and your professional career. At Fox and Temple, we have all these interesting people around us who are doing and will go on to do great things; we’re all on the same trajectory, but working in different fields. I see networking like a plant, where you’re the main branch and each person you know branches off into a different one. But once you make a connection, you have access to their network as well, and this opens up new paths for you.”