Coming to a business school likely means you have some interest, one way or another, in business. But learning about business, something I’d consider as a really quite practical industry, in a lecture theatre, classroom or through reading typically isn’t enough, in my opinion, to learn about business. This, incidentally, is one of the reasons I chose to study at Warwick Business School in the first place, as there are many practical elements to the course to compensate for this.
Given how practical business is, it makes sense that learning about business requires some practical application of theories and frameworks in order to be truly learnt. For example, you may learn about the different forms of companies in lectures and how to go about registering one, and the pros and cons of each, this knowledge will then be cemented once that theory has been put into use and you register a business. This is a very basic example, largely because it’s very straightforward, but it makes the point.
From a personal perspective, I think I can lend some value to this theory (that practical applications cement understanding). When I first came across it I thought it sounded like a reasonable theory (not really unlike others I’d heard of informally previously), and I certainly already knew that I found the modules which I enjoyed most and found the easiest correlated with those which I regularly utilised in the course of running businesses. But I don’t think I realised the extent. Since learning about this theory, I’ve gone back and looked at my results in different modules over the past couple of years. The ones which I did best in (in the vast majority of cases) were in modules which I directly used practically, and so was able to reflect on what I’d learnt and cement my understanding of it with practical applications. These include modules in entrepreneurship, new business, business law, marketing etc… Whilst the ones I didn’t do so well in, things like corporate finance, accounting etc… I’d never really used practically before.
I guess I’m trying to give some advice here. If you’re going to be studying business, take time to reflect on what you’ve leant and if possible use what you’ve learnt in lectures in some way. This could be through a job, your own project, university societies etc… because for me, it’s clearly really helped my understanding and improved my results! If only I knew of this back in first year…
That’s all for now,