Business Career Field
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A common perception is that business means working in a formal environment for large corporations, but there are many different company sizes and cultures. Consultants, sales representatives, and marketers need strong relationship building skills. Much of the work revolves around working closely with people, both internally (your team) and externally (your client). They also have the ability to learn information quickly. Consultants will be immersed in a project quickly and will be expected to advise on complex problems. Sales representatives need to learn as much as they can about the product or service they are selling before pitching it to an audience. And marketers need to be aware of factors that could impact the demand or awareness of a product or service.
Click to expand each yellow box below for opportunities in this career field!
Some positions have certain degree requirements but others do not. Therefore, it is possible to get a business-related position even if you do not have a business-related degree.
O*NET, a free online database that provides career information including job duties, salary, and job growth information for hundreds of careers to start exploring careers in this field. For more information, see this list of sample titles to get you started:
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist (please note: this requires an advanced degree)
Market Research Analyst
Below is a small sampling of organizations and their positions that have recruited CLA students in the past. For a more comprehensive list of job openings, search Handshake, a free database of internship, volunteer, and job postings for UMN students.
Account Manager, ShopNBC
Business Analyst, Keyot
Business Management Associate, General Mills
Business Management Consultant, Boom Lab
Marketing Manager, Ameriprise Financial Inc.
Project Manager, 3M Health Care
Sales/Marketing Coordinator, The Caldrea Company
Business Coordinator, Katapult Network
Business Development Consultant, ComPsych
Sales Rep, Oracle
Recruiter, Robert Half
Seek out opportunities, such as those listed below, to develop the 10 Core Career Competencies. Teamwork & Leadership, Oral & Written Communication, and Applied Problem Solving are especially valued in the business, consulting, marketing & sales career field.
Internships and Part-Time Jobs
Below is a small sampling of organizations and their positions where CLA students have done internships and part-time jobs in the past. For a more comprehensive, search Handshake, a free database of internship, volunteer, and job postings for UMN students or search for on-campus jobs. As you are looking at opportunities, please keep in mind there are CLA Internship Scholarships you can apply for!
Merchandise Analyst Intern, Kohl’s
Retail Marketing Intern, Minnesota Wild
Human Resources Intern, Thomson Reuters
Buyer Assistant, Fly Feet Running
Corporate Sustainability Intern, Andersen Corporation
Market Research Intern, HealthPartners
Financial Planning Intern, Ameriprise
Creative Marketing Intern, Dalco enterprises inc.
Marketing Intern, Anagram International
Brokerage Intern, River Realty
Finance Intern, Webb Financial Group
Financial Analyst Intern, General Mills
Human Resources Intern, Lunds & Byerlys
Private Client Group Intern, RBC Wealth Management
Sales Intern, Marsh & McLennan Agency
Accounting Intern, US Bank
Insurance Brokerage and Consulting Intern, Wells Fargo
The Center for Community-Engaged Learning has advising staff that will help you get connected to one of the 300+ community organizations that match your interests.
Join a Student Group
Consider getting involved with a student group. Use the search function to find groups that match your interests. Here is a list of groups that may be of interest to you:
American Marketing Association - their goal is to promote a better understanding of marketing and its role in the business world.
Connect with the Learning Abroad Center!
How to Break Into Consulting: Interviews for consulting positions will likely include real client scenarios. Deloitte, a consulting firm, offers some valuable resources with examples of how to prepare.
The Marketing Career Path: From Entry-Level to Chief Marketing Officer. In addition to Handshake, marketing jobs are also posted on these common websites.
Job & Internship Search Sites
Handshake - search this free database of internship, volunteer, and job postings for UMN students, you can filter by your career interests to find opportunities that connect with your career goals
Building relationships, also known as networking, is another important strategy, click the "Building Relationships" yellow box below for advice for how to approach this!
CLA Career Field Internship Abroad Spotlight | Business
Study & Intern in London
Gain experience in Business and deepen cross cultural understanding by interning abroad on a program with business focused curricular and experiential opportunities.
Program: Study and Intern in London
Location: London, England
"I gained a plethora of new business skills, knowledge, and personal confidence which will benefit me through college and into my professional career. The Study and Intern in London program helped me prove to myself that I am able to thrive working abroad and with people that come from all over the world."
- Supply Chain Administrator-Wine Distributor
- Human Resources Assistant-5 Star London Hotel
- Finance Assistant-Cancer support Charity
- Operations Analyst- Ecological Cleaning Supply Company
This is just one of many internship abroad programs you can engage in through the Learning Abroad Center. Visit the LAC’s Internships Abroad page to learn more about
Other locations with a strong Business focus
Study and Intern in Sydney
Study and Intern in Barcelona/Business in Barcelona
Study and Intern in Florence
Study Abroad in Dublin
Talk with and Observe Professionals
Networking can help you explore a career field; start by doing informational interviews which is when you set up a time to have a discussion with people who are in organizations or professions that are of interest to you to ask questions about their career path. Then, find opportunities to observe (or Job Shadow) these professionals at work, so you can get a better sense of what that career would be like. Find alumni and professionals to speak with by searching the free to use Maroon & Gold Network which allows students to do highly tailored searches to find alumni and professionals in the community who share their specific career interests. For example, you can browse the network to find individuals who are willing to share insights by industry, college, major, degree type, employer, location and more. You can also find contacts by using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool.
Get involved with one or more professional organizations to gain career insights, search for jobs and internships, attend conferences, and/or connect with people in this career field.
“I would suggest for the students to get involved in student organizations and seek out roles beyond just being a member. Challenge yourself to take on a lead role whenever possible so you can exercise making decisions, collaborating with others, delegating tasks, solving problems etc. Only doing well on individual class assignments does not prepare you enough for all careers.” –Target, representative
“I would suggest seeking out connections to network with as a sophomore in hopes to get an internship as a junior. Take time to go to networking events and career fairs because we are there in hopes to find you!” –Target, representative
“Be able to talk to people in person and on the phone - not just email or other digital communications. The ability to build good relationships and influence people is critical in this business setting.” -C.H. Robinson, representative
“You have to be prepared for the interview and do research on the company and industry. We offer an awesome career path and a lot to offer, but we also want to see the interest and excitement to come and work for us.” -C.H. Robinson, representative
“Do your research, learn about companies and their competitors. Have a grasp of the marketplace, trends, history, etc. Practice interviewing, do research and try to do informational interviews.” –Best Buy, representative
Below is a list of some CLA courses that may help you explore and/or prepare for this career field. This list is not all inclusive. Please discuss your academic and career interests with your Academic Advisor for guidance.
Business Anthropology, ANTH 4121
Business and Professional Writing, WRIT 3029W
Communication in Human Organizations, COMM 5441
Economics Internship for Academic Credit, ECON 3896
The Language and Culture of Business in French, FREN 3022
Sociology of Work: Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, No Jobs?, SOC 3421W
Geography and Real Estate, GEOG 3362
You may also want to consider coursework in Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Strategic Communications, Communications Studies, Management, Leadership, the Certificate in Professional Sales, and/or the Human Resources certificate. There is not one major or minor that will prepare you for this field as there are many pathways.
Some students choose to go on for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or other related programs. Most graduate schools prefer that you gain some experience before applying. You can search for graduate school programs with the Grad School Directory or Peterson's Guide.