How to turn talent and potential into success

Business Impact: how to turn talent and potential into success

How to turn talent and potential into success

Business Impact: how to turn talent and potential into success
Business Impact: how to turn talent and potential into success

If you want to dream big and win, you must be able to grow and to keep growing; maintaining the status quo is never sufficient. Growth allows a company to change and diversify, to remain current, to have the runway to innovate. Growth is key to retaining talented employees and to have the ability to reward them with promotions, perks, and the opportunity for them to expand their own careers. Growth is everything. Growth is critical to a company’s long-term success.

You can’t reach a goal if you don’t set it

Look around and you’ll see talented people everywhere. The world is full of people who are smart, innovative, creative and diligent – and many of them know it. Proficient people are often keenly aware of their own ability to shine. However, so many of them fail to make it big, despite their merits, despite their confidence, despite their dreams and despite the fact that they’re better at what they do than 99 per cent of their peers.

What holds these superstars back? What prevents them from meeting their full potential? What’s the silver bullet? Think about your own experiences where the best person didn’t go home with the biggest prize.

For example, maybe the most pitch-perfect, technically proficient, dynamic singer you’ve ever heard is still working for tips at some random suburban karaoke bar you went to for your cousin’s bachelorette party, yet that popular band you hate is selling out arenas. Or what about your awkward high school chemistry lab partner – the guy who was always accidentally melting beakers and giving you acid burns – the same person who is now a PhD graduate testifying about science to a senate subcommittee? Why do some succeed when many do not?

The assumption is that the cream always rises to the top, but this is simply not true. While talent, creativity, innovation, hard work and a certain amount of luck are key elements, none of these aspects will guarantee results on their own. The silver bullet for turning talent and potential into success is… goal setting, paired with deadlines and accountability.

The benefits of goal setting

I know goal setting is not a sexy concept, especially when presented with her homely stepsisters, deadlines and accountability, but hear me out. A Harvard Business School study found that 10 years after graduation, the three per cent of MBA graduates who bothered to write down their goals ended up earning 10 times as much as the other 97 per cent who did not. Imagine the flex of out-earning your peers 10 to one at your next reunion.

Goal setting isn’t just having a dream you’d like to achieve and putting it on paper. You need more than rubber cement, poster board and back issues of Vogue magazine to create your vision. What you need is a systematic plan, and that’s goal setting’s homerun swing.

Goal setting is where most people get stuck and there are two reasons for this. First, people often come up with an amorphous goal, such as “I’m going to work really hard because I want to create a world-changing app, or an AI-based technology”. The problem is that there’s no measurable metric behind goals like this and no timeline. Goals must have a direction and a deadline to be effective. A common acronym in goal setting is to make that goal ‘SMART’, meaning specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Hold yourself accountable

Once you’ve established that measurable goal, holding yourself accountable to meeting the objective in a timely manner is key. So many people refuse to be tough on themselves and that’s why they don’t see their dreams come to fruition. They allow themselves too much slack. Remember, time is the enemy – if you wait too long to get your world-changing app or AI-based tech to the marketplace, a hundred other companies may beat you to the punch. You can’t wait around because the benefits of being first are too great.

For me, I didn’t want to start just any language translation company. When we decided to create our business, I knew there were literally 10,000 other companies in the translation space. While there were a handful of larger organisations, such as Euramerica, most of them were one-to-five-person shops, started and run by linguists who were so busy translating, they couldn’t grow their businesses. We were set on starting a different kind of translation company, to be a pioneer in the space. We wouldn’t be satisfied to just be in the business; we wanted to create the biggest and the best, the world’s leader, with the most versatile and robust solutions and be the most client-centric one-stop shop. We wanted to disrupt the industry.

Our overall goal was specific – to create the world’s premier language solutions company. We knew the only way we’d achieve this was by setting measurable goals with deadlines and holding ourselves accountable for meeting them. When I say holding ourselves accountable, I mean working constantly in the early years, because that is what it took to meet our objectives.

We wanted to go big to win big and this is what it took. I wish I could tell you about the shortcuts we employed, but there were none. If you want massive success, you’re going to have to put in massive effort, for an extended period of time. And there’s nothing sexy about it. It’s working to satisfy a goal until you worry you can’t go any further and then pushing on anyway.

 This is an edited extract from Dream Big and Win: Translating Passion into Purpose and Creating a Billion-Dollar Business by Liz Elting (published by Wiley).

Liz Elting is the founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation and a New York-based philanthropist and businesswoman. She is also a co-founder of TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business

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Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

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Professional growth opportunities: expanding your horizons

Professional growth opportunities: expanding your horizons

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Witnessing professional growth is a transformative journey that not only fuels career advancement but also contributes to personal fulfilment. By embracing continuous professional growth opportunities, you’ll begin to open doors to new possibilities, maximising your potential as a respected leader in business.

In this article, we’ll be exploring ways in which you can begin to step out of your comfort zone to embark on a path of guaranteed professional success.

At the Business Graduates Association, we’re committed to encouraging lifelong learning, and inspiring business schools to evoke a positive impact on students, graduates and the economy.

We provide unmatched resources for both students and graduates, including professional development tools, invitations to global networking events and exclusive access to our member content hub. Click here to find out more.

What is professional growth?

Involving both personal and career-oriented development, professional growth encompasses a continuous process of learning, expanding and refining an individual’s skills.

Not limited to climbing the corporate ladder, professional growth goes beyond formal education and job-specific training. Instead, it seeps into areas like leadership, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving and emotional intelligence.

Developing a vision for professional growth

In today’s competitive job market, continued professional growth is crucial for individuals looking to advance their careers and remain up-to-date with changes in their field.

Finding unique, effective ways to broaden your horizons can be a challenge, but the task can be made easier by taking the time to develop a clear vision. In order to do this, we recommend following these simple steps:

Reflect – Consider your motivations by reflecting on your passions, values, interests and strengths. Doing this will enable you to understand yourself better, making it easier to align your professional vision with your personal aspirations.

Identify long-term goals – Define your long-term goals and be specific about what you wish to achieve.

Conduct research – Educate yourself on the trends, opportunities and challenges in the business realm. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the possibilities available to you.

Get inspired – Study the journeys of professionals who inspire you and use them to shape your vision. Attending networking events and industry conferences is also a great way to connect with professionals who can offer guidance and share their unique experiences.

Set objectives – Break down your long-term goals into short-term objectives. Each of these should be specific, achievable and relevant to your vision.

Keep learning – Identify the skills that are relevant to your field and ensure you are continuously working to stay on top of them.

Be flexible – Understand that your vision may change over time and be open to it. Embrace a growth mindset that enables you to embrace new challenges.

Evaluate – Review your progress regularly. Assess what’s working well and evaluate any challenges you’ve faced along the way. This will enable you to make any necessary adjustments to your vision and keep you on track to achieve professional growth.

Developing a vision for your professional growth requires self-awareness, exploration, continued learning and an ability to adapt. By persisting with your goals, you can shape a successful career, centred on embracing new opportunities.

How can I enhance my professional growth?

If you’re looking to enhance your professional growth but aren’t quite sure where to begin, here are some ideas to get you inspired.

Enrol in online courses

Stay updated on industry trends and best practices by enrolling in online courses, workshops and seminars.

At the Business Graduates Association, our student and graduate membership enables access to a range of social and learning events, all designed to empower the next generation of business leaders. To discover our upcoming events, click here.


Become a member of a professional association

Become a member of a relevant professional association and gain access to a plethora of resources that promote professional growth.

Find a mentor

Mentors can provide guidance, support and valuable insights based on their own unique experiences. Seeking a mentor can help you discover new opportunities to develop your skills, gain new experiences and expand your professional network.

Write articles and blog posts

Does your personal growth plan involve sharing your expertise with others? If so, a great way to do so is by publishing articles and blog posts on a regular basis. This not only establishes you as an expert in your field but also helps you articulate your thoughts and build a professional community. Why not share your articles and blog posts within our BGA student and graduate member network on our LinkedIn group here.

Become a BGA member

Our student and graduate membership platform has been built from the ground up, offering members access to a range of resources designed to provide personal growth opportunities, from CV building services to skills assessments.

Membership is completely free of charge for students of BGA member business schools, all you need to do is register for an account.

To create your account and start reaping the benefits of BGA membership today, please click here.

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

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Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

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Business Impact?

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Tim Banerjee Dhoul

Content Editor
Business Impact

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Why you should be prioritising personal growth and professional development?

Why you should be prioritising personal growth and professional development?

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startup-3299033_960_720

Both crucial to ensuring a successful and prosperous private and professional life, personal growth and professional development focus on investing time and energy into improving oneself.

At the Business Graduates Association, we’re pleased to provide BGA member schools exclusive access to a range of tools and resources designed to support the personal and professional development of business students and graduates. From access to social learning events online and our Career Development Centre (CDC) to professional development webinars and the BGA Book Club, there’s so much to explore. Click here to find out more.

What does personal growth and professional development actually mean?

Professional development is defined as the process of gaining the relevant skills needed to progress in your career. This might be attending a relevant workshop or achieving certification from a long-term course. Any activity undertaken with the aim of growing your knowledge, perfecting your skills or providing insight could be considered a type of professional development.

On the other hand, personal growth refers to the various techniques used to improve a person’s habits, behaviours and actions. Examples may include:

  • Becoming more responsible
  • Increasing confidence levels
  • Becoming a more positive individual
  • Learning to overcome a fear of public speaking
  • Managing procrastination
  • Deciding to give up bad habits

An equal combination of personal growth and professional development is crucial to ensure a person can embark on a successful, fulfilling career.

Why is personal and professional growth so important?

As well as assisting you in achieving your goals, taking time to focus on your personal and professional growth can result in:

Increased self-awareness

By regularly noticing and improving your personal and professional growth, you’re sure to become a much more self-aware individual. This, in turn, can lead to increased self-confidence, better decision-making skills and a stronger sense of self and purpose.

Better relationships

If you’re looking to deepen your relationships with colleagues, professionals and peers, prioritising your personal growth is a must. As well as helping you to improve your communication skills, it can also help you develop better emotional intelligence, enabling you to better understand and empathise with others.

Increased fulfilment

Engaging in tasks that can contribute to your personal and professional growth can lead to an increased sense of fulfilment. Whether it’s pursuing your hobbies, improving the relationships with people in your life or developing a new skill, there are so many activities that you could be unknowingly engaging in daily that contribute to your personal growth and professional development.

Increased career satisfaction

Professional development often involves developing and perfecting valuable workplace skills. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and higher salaries.

What are the benefits of personal and professional development for business students?

As a business student, prioritising your personal growth and professional development is crucial to ensure you’re equipped with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the business world. It can also help assist you in:

  • Increasing your employability skills
  • Advancing your career
  • Solving complex problems
  • Improving your communication skills
  • Developing your ability to adapt and face challenges

Personal growth involves learning new skills, safeguarding your mental well-being and gaining new expertise. This, in turn, leads to increased professional development and enhanced career opportunities.

Why do businesses invest in personal and professional development?

Nowadays, more and more employers have noted the importance of investing in the personal and professional development of their employees. There are multiple reasons for this, including:

  • Reduced staff turnover

Investing in the growth and development of their staff can help to make employers feel valued.

  • Increased confidence

Providing training and opportunities to continue to learn gives employees the boost of confidence they require. It can also help to reduce procrastination and increase engagement.

  • Provide career direction

Using company time to assist employees in their professional development can help to instil a sense of purpose and direction within their career.

What do we think?

At the Business Graduates Association, we believe that prioritising your personal growth and professional development is the key to success.

Being open to learning new skills and growing your portfolio is crucial to ensure your professional career flourishes year after year. Whether you’re looking to increase your salary or perfect a relevant skill, taking the time to focus on how your personal growth can influence your professional development is extremely important.

Whether you’re currently studying for your business degree at a BGA member institute or are a graduate seeking new opportunities, we’re pleased to offer a plethora of services designed to support career growth.

Our student and graduate membership platform has been specifically created to allow members exclusive access to CV-building services, job search, skills assessments, thought leadership, partner discounts and so much more.

Membership is free to students and graduates of BGA member business schools. If you’re unsure whether your business school is a member, click here to find out.

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

Download the latest edition of the Business Impact magazine

Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

Want your business school to feature in
Business Impact?

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Tim Banerjee Dhoul

Content Editor
Business Impact

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Bringing academic excellence and industrial muscle together

Business Impact: Bringing academic excellence and industrial muscle together

Bringing academic excellence and industrial muscle together

Business Impact: Bringing academic excellence and industrial muscle together
Business Impact: Bringing academic excellence and industrial muscle together

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have been forced to make mass changes to the way they operate. In an era where rapid and widespread transformations are reshaping industries, businesses must remain vigilant and prioritise resilience by embracing adaptability, innovation and a commitment to continuous learning.

The need to upskill

To achieve this, the global workforce is seeing a mass interest in upskilling employees to facilitate research and development (R&D), especially in innovative sectors like science and technology. By taking advantage of R&D, businesses can tackle emerging challenges and problems within the industry, ultimately improving their adaptability. During the pandemic, this type of innovative thinking was required to stay afloat, however moving forward, businesses can harness this power to ensure their success in a changing landscape and spark meaningful change for their company and industry as a whole.

As well as facilitating R&D, upskilling employees also supports businesses by boosting staff satisfaction and increasing the likelihood that valuable talent can be retained. This, in turn, also improves their resilience.

The benefits of fellowships

Fellowships can play a critical role in equipping employees with the skills required to run R&D projects and are an effective route for upskilling talent while pushing a company towards innovation. And in today’s business landscape, innovation is key to growing and sustaining a successful company.

By providing individuals with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills, fellowships enable them to stay at the forefront of their fields and identify new opportunities for growth and development. Furthermore, they can also be a powerful tool for businesses looking to grow and expand. By investing in the education and training of their employees, companies can develop a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce that is capable of driving innovation and growth. This, in turn, can lead to increased competitiveness and profitability for the company.

In addition to benefiting individual employees and their companies, fellowships also have broader implications for education and career development. By providing access to funding and resources for academic and research pursuits, fellowships can broaden access to education and enable more people to progress their academic careers.

Fellowships can take many forms around the world. In the UK, the Industrial Fellowships offered by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 are one example of how business can upskill their employees while developing solutions that directly benefit their operation.

Connecting academia and industry

One way in which an Industrial Fellowship can work is by giving an existing employee the opportunity to work on a PhD project as part of their employment. Alternatively, it can allow a business to start (or expand) an R&D programme through supportive funding.

In this way, the fellowships connect the often-separated worlds of academia and industry – universities gain a link into the most pressing challenges faced by businesses, while businesses get an oversight of the latest academic research into issues that affect their sectors.

Additionally, employees develop new skills that can be applied to their current job and contribute directly to the growth and success of their company. For PhD students, fellowships also provide valuable opportunities to gain industry experience and work on projects that have direct relevance to their field of study.

In practical terms, an Industrial Fellowship covers 50 per cent of a fellow’s salary and associated academic and travel costs. A PhD candidate also receives a £10,000 grant once their doctoral thesis has been submitted from their university.

Removing barriers to innovation

Over the years, the Royal Commission has seen great success from the projects and relationships that emerge from its fellowships. With more than a century of funding higher education and research programmes, its active alumni number more than 900 and its prestigious former recipients list includes 13 Nobel Prize winners.

Current Industrial Fellowship recipients are working towards innovative solutions in science, medicine and engineering. For example, Finbar Gaffey, University of Sheffield, is working alongside Life Arc to develop a platform to improve the identification of therapies for motor neurone disease. Another fellow, Nicholas Nyamayedenga, University of Bradford, is working alongside the James Mae Group to develop an innovative system of waste-water treatment that reduces the coast and energy of the original process. The outcomes of these projects directly benefit both the industrial and academic partners by facilitating R&D and supporting research activity.

The Industrial Fellowships are just one of a selection of programmes offered by the Royal Commission. It believes that by ensuring that all partners involved in a fellowship are supported, they are removing barriers to facilitate innovation.

The Royal Commission is a funding body and charity that emerged from the profits of the Great Exhibition of 1851, an event that aimed to showcase art and science at the time and promote its influence on society. Its success in supporting innovative companies of all sizes could and should be replicated in other countries to help tackle today’s biggest challenges, such as in the area of sustainability.

Bringing together academic rigour and industrial process brings benefits to all parties. Academic learning is shared with companies, leading to the development of new products and services that support the greatest societal goals – everything from climate change to antimicrobial resistance. In a business atmosphere led by these issues, collaboration is essential.

John Lavery

John Lavery is secretary at the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

Download the latest edition of the Business Impact magazine

Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

Want your business school to feature in
Business Impact?

For questions about editorial opportunities, please contact:

Tim Banerjee Dhoul

Content Editor
Business Impact

Tim

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How important is mentoring in the development of accredited business school programmes?

How important is mentoring in the development of accredited business school programmes?

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trainer-3679413_960_720

A crucial component in the development of accredited business school programmes, mentoring is an essential tool for business school students and staff alike.

In this article, we discuss the importance of mentoring in the development of world-leading accredited business school programmes, along with the role of mentoring in personal leadership development.

At the Business Graduates Association, we’re proud to be an international membership and quality assurance body of world-leading, high-potential business schools. Our impact stretches far and wide, with 240 BGA member schools, and 98 AMBA-accredited business schools now holding BGA Membership.

If you would like to find out more about what it takes to become a member institution, please contact our Membership Director, Victor Hedenberg at V.Hedenberg@amba-bga.com who will be happy to provide further insight.

Mentoring for professional development

Mentoring is an essential tool when developing crucial leadership skills. An accredited business school will strive to prepare its students to become some of the sector’s best, most reputable leaders.

By implementing high-quality business school mentorship programmes, institutions can:

  • Improve post-graduate employment rates
  • Engage alumni
  • Increase the number of students finishing the course
  • Recruit talented, dedicated future leaders.

Accredited business schools actively inspire their students by providing them with a better understanding of the career paths and resources available to them. From offering CV and job-search advice to connecting students to a network of working business professionals, mentorship can lead to an improved educational experience.

Learn from the best

Mentorship enables students and graduates to learn from the very best. Whether it’s coaching students or young entrepreneurs, professionals can share their expertise, answer questions, and provide invaluable support and guidance.

Mentors can also offer opportunities for students to practise their leadership skills in real-world settings, either through engaging in workshops or attending industry events.

Build a personal brand

An outstanding mentorship programme can allow individuals to develop their personal approach to business. By working with exceptional business professionals, mentees can gain valuable insight into current best practices and receive guidance on navigating the complexities of professional life.

By investing in mentoring programmes, business schools can help students reach their full potential, setting them up for successful, long-lasting professional careers.

BGA membership

BGA membership can provide students and graduates of accredited schools with access to a range of tools, designed to support their professional development. Our career development centre supports individuals in building a powerful CV, finding the right job for them, assessing their career path and so much more.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of BGA student and graduate membership, please visit here. Alternatively, simply use the navigation on our site to discover more.

The role of mentoring in leadership development

Providing future leaders with the guidance, support and feedback required to succeed, mentoring plays a crucial role in leadership development.

Increase self-awareness

By helping mentees recognise their strengths, along with any areas of weakness, mentors can assist in increasing self-awareness, developing plans of action, and providing ongoing feedback throughout the programme.

Whether you’re looking to boost your confidence, improve your industry knowledge or develop your communication skills, your mentor can hold you accountable for your actions. An accredited business school should always be challenging its students, encouraging them to think critically, and making responsible choices that align with their future goals.

Improve communication & interpersonal skills

Mentoring is an excellent resource for students and graduates who are looking to develop their communication and interpersonal skills. This includes assistance in preparing for big presentations and guidance on how to manage emotions effectively in a professional setting.

Offer perspective

Based on their own experience, mentors can provide invaluable insight, perspective and approaches to problem-solving. By working with people from different personal and professional backgrounds, mentees can broaden their understanding of the field, developing a unique approach to business.

Premium services, built to encourage innovation

At the Business Graduates Association, we believe institutions should venture beyond conventional means of teaching and research. By joining the BGA network, your business school will become part of a global community with a shared commitment to positive impact, responsible management and lifelong learning.

Mentorship plays a significant role in what we do at the Business Graduates Association. We strive to encourage individuals to engage with professionals who once shared similar goals and aspirations.

Get in touch

Want to elevate your business school? Learn more about what it takes to become an accredited business school today by getting in touch with our team.

Alternatively, if you are currently studying at, or have recently graduated from a BGA member school and would like to discover more about the benefits of BGA membership, please click here.

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

Download the latest edition of the Business Impact magazine

Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

Want your business school to feature in
Business Impact?

For questions about editorial opportunities, please contact:

Tim Banerjee Dhoul

Content Editor
Business Impact

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Graduate networking techniques for professional growth

Graduate networking techniques for professional growth

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As a recent graduate, the prospect of networking as a business professional can be daunting. Establishing professional relationships as early on in your career as possible is crucial, so we recommend using your time wisely. Do your research, ask lots of questions, take notes and learn as much as you can from everyone you interact with to ensure optimum professional growth.

Here, we share some of our favourite business networking tips and techniques, from reaching out to past alumni to signing up for graduate mentorship programmes.

Effective networking techniques

1. Engage in mentorship programmes

Favoured by many as one of the most effective networking techniques out there, participating in mentorship programmes can assist you in building relationships with experienced professionals. Engaging in effective mentorship programmes also helps individuals develop a stronger sense of professional identity by recognising and achieving career goals.

2. Volunteer for committees within an organisation

If you’re looking to showcase your talents whilst building meaningful professional relationships, volunteering for projects within a professional organisation is a must.

By volunteering within an organisation, you’ll be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate and develop your leadership skills and acquire relevant knowledge, all while expanding your professional network.

3. Utilise LinkedIn

If you don’t feel like diving straight into the deep end, LinkedIn is an excellent graduate networking tool, available worldwide. Connect with other business graduates, join groups and engage in discussions related to your field, all in the comfort of your own home.

Already a BGA member? Why not get started straight away by connecting with the exclusive BGA student and graduate members group on LinkedIn.

4. Reach out to past alumni

Reaching out to past alumni from your graduate programme is the perfect way to connect with successful business professionals who were once in the same position as you. One of the most effective networking techniques available to graduates, your course alumni will be happy to share valuable insights and tailored guidance.

5. Attend graduate networking events

A great way to meet like-minded individuals and build relationships with business professionals, attending graduate networking events on a regular basis can be an extremely effective way to build life-long connections.

6. Attend industry conferences

As well as helping you to expand your knowledge, attending regular industry conferences can provide you with an invaluable opportunity to meet other business professionals and establish connections.

7. Help others

As a recent graduate, there’s no denying that the majority of your time will be spent seeking the help of experienced professionals. However, it’s important to not underestimate your already present abilities as a future business leader.

Offering to assist your peers with their upcoming projects and initiatives can help you build connections, proving yourself as a valuable resource in the professional realm.

8. Participate in training sessions

Expand your knowledge and develop your professional skillset by participating in training workshops. Not only are these excellent achievements to add to your CV, but attending relevant training and development sessions is a great way to help you meet and connect with fellow business professionals.

9. Don’t overlook people you already know

Has it ever occurred to you that the ideal networking opportunity could be right under your nose? Don’t overlook friends, family and neighbours – they might just be able to connect you with professionals who can open the right doors for you.

10. Maintain your relationships

Now that you’ve built your professional network, the most important thing you can do is maintain it. Keeping in touch with your professional connections is the most effective networking technique you could adopt. This could be as simple as keeping in touch through social media, organising meet-ups or posting regular updates on your LinkedIn.

BGA’s business networking tips & techniques

Whether you’re currently studying or are a recent graduate on the lookout for networking opportunities, at the Business Graduates Association, we’re pleased to offer a range of services, aimed to encourage professional growth.

Our membership platform gives students and graduates access to CV-building services, job searches, thought-leadership webinars and so much more. Plus, it’s completely free of charge for students and graduates from BGA member schools, not too sure if your school is a BGA member? Click here to find out.

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

Download the latest edition of the Business Impact magazine

Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

Want your business school to feature in
Business Impact?

For questions about editorial opportunities, please contact:

Tim Banerjee Dhoul

Content Editor
Business Impact

Tim

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BGA’s vision for professional growth | A guide

BGA’s vision for professional growth | A guide

Look to future vision
Look to future vision

At the Business Graduate’s Association, we’re dedicated to aiding business school’s in their quest to become some of the best in the world. We are also passionate about providing business school students and graduates with a range of helpful tools and services, designed to encourage continued professional growth.

The road to reaching your professional goals is likely to consist of a series of pit stops, all of which must be navigated by you. If you want to continue to climb the career ladder and cement yourself as a formidable force in the world of business, you’ll need to be continuously seeking professional growth opportunities. 

Did you know that, if you’re a student or graduate of a BGA member business school, you’re eligible for exclusive access to a range of tools, designed to promote professional growth

Designed to give members access to CV-building services, thought-leadership webinars, partner discounts and so much more, student and graduate membership is completely free to all schools that hold a BGA membership. To find out if your business school is a member, click here

What does professional growth actually mean?

Defined as the process of gaining new skills and experience in order to reach a goal in your career, professional growth exists on a spectrum. 

Your first thought will probably be to link the term to educational advancements, like going back to school or completing a short course. However, you can also seek professional growth opportunities on a smaller scale, for example, by joining a mentoring programme or developing skills you already have.

To ensure you stand out in a long list of job applicants, adopt our vision for professional growth today. 

Focus on long-term goals

If you’ve ever found yourself umming and ahing after being asked – “where do you see yourself in five years?”, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Having an end goal in mind before beginning your career journey will enable you to adapt your life around your new objectives.

For example, if your end goal is to become an SEO, you need to make sure that your daily activities incorporate the development of skills that will help you get there. These could include anything from improving your people skills to challenging yourself to look at situations from an analytical point of view. 

Manage your expectations

Before you pursue a certain career or job opportunity, knowing what type of working environment is best suited to you is important. 

For example, do you prefer working alone or in a team? Do you want to work for a small or large company? What skills do you currently have that complement your desired role?

If you thrive in a client-facing role, you probably won’t be looking to apply for a work-from-home position. If you don’t want to be in charge of leading a team, you won’t be the ideal candidate for a managerial position. In order to enhance your professional growth, you’ll need to first establish a clear understanding of your expectations regarding the type of career you’re looking to achieve. 

Be open to new opportunities 

Seeking new opportunities in your quest to promote professional growth is incredibly important. From attending insightful webinars led by industry-leading experts to taking an evening class on business management, there are so many things you can do to ensure you’re always progressing. 

At the Business Graduates Association, we regularly host online social and learning events designed to empower the next generation of business leaders. If you want to  connect with fellow BGA business students and graduates why not join our exclusive BGA student and graduate members group on LinkedIn, join here. 

Challenge yourself

It might seem obvious, but you can not claim to be enhancing your professional growth if you regularly avoid challenging situations. 

If you are unhappy with where your career is heading, take that as a clear-cut sign to make a change. Don’t be afraid to approach your peers – you’re all on the same journey, so why not lean on each other? Attend all the conferences, training and networking events you can, after all, some of the most successful business professionals secured their former positions through recommendations from networking connections. 

When it comes to highlighting areas for professional growth, be honest with yourself. Recognise gaps in your resume and put systems in place to implement change.

Don’t underestimate the power of mental growth 

Before you pin all your efforts on promoting professional growth, it’s important to ensure you’re also prioritising your mental well-being

Meditating, journalling and practising daily gratitude techniques are excellent ways to attain mental growth. Just as important as your physical counterpart, taking the time to focus on your mental development is crucial to avoiding stagnation. Ready to secure your BGA students and graduates membership and start making use of an abundance of professional growth opportunities? Click here to register.

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A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

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What is the connection between personal growth and professional development?

What is the connection between personal growth and professional development?

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student-849822_960_720

If you want to avoid stagnation in your career, striving to enhance your personal and professional growth is extremely important.

As a recent graduate, making sure you’re doing all you can to gain new skills and experience is vital to ensure that you’re equipped to manage future challenges, both professionally and personally.

At the Business Graduates Association, we’re dedicated to providing business school graduates and current students with various tools designed to support their professional and personal growth.

Here, we discuss the connection between personal growth and professional development, looking at examples of both and examining how you can take action to stimulate your personal and professional growth.

Our student and graduate hub is designed to give members access to CV-building services, job search, skills assessments, and much more. If you would like to find out more about Student and Graduate Membership, Click here.

Personal and professional growth – what’s the difference?

Professional development focuses on acquiring the knowledge and skills that can improve your efficiency at work. Personal growth looks at developing your communication and social skills, including aspects of emotional well-being.

These skills are particularly vital in networking environments, or if you are looking to become an outstanding leader.

Examples of personal growth include:

  • Health and fitness
  • Motivation
  • Self-confidence
  • Communication
  • Well-being

Examples of professional development include:

  • Networking
  • Research
  • Skill-based learning
  • Management training
  • Conflict resolution

What is the connection between personal growth and professional development?

Personal development is the foundation for professional growth and is where core habits of success form. After all, how can we expect to be successful leaders if we can’t effectively navigate our own performance?

Top performers who know their value are more likely to feel satisfied in their role, making use of every opportunity available to them. Showing a commitment to your personal growth indicates to employers that you are open to developing professionally and want to learn and grow.

The BGA student and graduate hub provides members with the ability to attend professional development webinars, bringing speakers from a diverse set of industries. If you’re looking to develop your self-confidence, or want to plan your next career move, or wish to learn more about business education, consider registering for your account, free for business schools that hold a BGA membership. Click here to find out if your business school is a member with us.

Why is personal and professional growth important to businesses?

There are a number of reasons why businesses should invest in the personal and professional growth of their employees. From reducing staff turnover to providing career direction, there are so many positives to consider.

Encouraging a culture that values personal growth will eventually result in better employee performance and profitability over time. Providing employees with a sense of purpose is one of the most valuable things an employer can do, reducing procrastination and increasing engagement.

Personal and professional growth will look different to everyone. For some, it might look like learning a new skill or gaining a new qualification.

For others, it might involve improving professional relationships or increasing confidence. It’s important that businesses take the time to understand how they can encourage a growth mindset in their workplace, whether that’s by providing training opportunities or offering ongoing well-being support.

How can I manage my own personal and professional development?

As a recent graduate, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to taking control of your own personal and professional growth. With no employer on hand to guide you, navigating your own development might seem like an impossible task. However, there are many things you can do to enhance your personal goals and take your career in the right direction.

Opportunities include:

  • Attending professional training
  • Gaining relevant qualifications
  • Taking on roles to gain experience, whether that be volunteering or corporate charity work

How can the BGA student and graduate membership assist in personal and professional growth?

One of the most effective ways you can develop both yourself and your career is by seizing every opportunity to learn, and remember that ‘Leaders never stop learning’.

If you’re looking to enhance your personal brand and receive the experience needed to future-proof your career, the BGA student and graduate members hub is here to support your growth.

Finding opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Not all opportunities will be right for you, so it’s important that you are provided with the necessary tools to create a relevant, effective development plan.

At the Business Graduates Association, we’re committed to encouraging lifelong learning through personal and professional growth. We do this by creating opportunities for individuals to enhance their careers and develop into effective, respected leaders.

If you would like to learn more about what we can do for you, whether you’re currently studying at a BGA member Business School or are a recent graduate looking for new opportunities, please get in touch. Contact us here.

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

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Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

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How to find your purpose in a post-Covid world

Business Impact: How to find your purpose in a post-Covid world

How to find your purpose in a post-Covid world

Business Impact: How to find your purpose in a post-Covid world
Business Impact: How to find your purpose in a post-Covid world

As we re-evaluate our work lives post-Covid-19, reflecting on, or discovering, individual purpose is becoming more important than ever before.

The growing search for purpose

According to author and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, it all starts with finding your personal ‘why’. Sinek describes ‘why’ as the one thing you care about more than anything else in the world. When you ‘start with why’, you can then further understand the purpose.

We live in a time where many individuals are re-evaluating work. Some have branded this ‘the Great Resignation’. A number of people have lost their jobs, and many more are working remotely or in a hybrid way. People are resigning as they strive to find purpose and meaning in their work and lives and thinking about the legacy they want to leave – not a financial legacy, but their stamp on the world.

Many have been through great emotional and physical upheaval during the last two years, and world events have caused us to think about work in ways we would never have, pre-Covid. We are all re-evaluating what we want out of our lives. The conversation about purpose and work is going mainstream, but some people may be unsure how to find it.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review shows that most people who work aren’t happy in their jobs, and that to increase happiness they need to focus on purpose. In the US alone, 65% of employees are looking for a new job, according to a 2021 survey by PwC. That’s a huge shift from what it was like just two years ago, when only 20% of employees were looking to make a career move.

According to a survey on what matters most to employees in the post-Covid world from the Barrett Values Centre, making a difference for the world is now one of the top aspirations for employees. Various other studies conducted over the years show that our current working culture is not conducive to happiness, and companies are beginning to realise this. Even before the pandemic, we saw evidence (discussed in my 2014 book, The Management Shift) of low levels of engagement, trust, passion for work and lack of purpose. Employees are becoming more aware about their work-life balance and are looking for companies that offer meaningful careers and purpose, instead of short-term payoffs.

Uncovering your purpose

Regardless of the path you choose, there will always be challenges to face. However, if you have taken the time to reflect on your passions, purpose and motivations, you will increase your resilience and be better prepared for whatever comes your way. Individuals as well as businesses need to re-examine the way they do things and take conscious steps towards creating a mindset and culture of purpose.

Purpose is a powerful motivator. People who feel like they are working towards something greater than themselves are happier, more productive, and more engaged than those who are not. So how do you get started?

A good starting point to uncover your purpose would be to reflect on the following questions:

  • What were your childhood dreams? What were you passionate and excited about, and can you remember that feeling?
  • What are you intrinsically motivated to do?
  • What energises you?
  • What is your mission?
  • What are you good at?

If you are a young professional, you might also find it useful to consider these questions:

  • What does my future look like?
  • How do I get there?
  • What do I want to get out of my career?
  • Where do I want to be in five, 10 or 20 years?
  • How can I find fulfilment in my job?
  • How can I make my work meaningful?

The challenges we face when growing up, such as finding our place in the world and learning to balance life with work and family, have not changed throughout human history. Yet in today’s fast-paced world, most adults suffer from a lack of fulfilment because they are too focused on what they need to do rather than why they want to do it. As a result, their inner child is pushed aside and ignored. Our collective happiness depends on balancing our responsibilities with our desires.

If you are still searching for purpose, you could benefit from having a few different conversations with people who know you well and would be open enough to talk with you about your life, feelings and interests. They may find common themes that you have missed. Finally, imagine your ideal day. Where have you gone? What exactly are you doing? Use all of your senses. Picture your day, see the image big, bright and colourful right in front of you. Whatever makes you feel good, it is guiding you towards your purpose.

In this new world that is emerging, it is very important to discover and live to your inner purpose to increase levels of resilience, wellbeing, meaning and happiness. We can choose how we approach life and its challenges, and living a meaningful life is one of the important tools we can use to thrive, both now and in the future.

Vlatka Ariaana Hlupic is a Professor of Leadership and Management at Hult Ashridge Executive Education, Hult International Business School. She is also the Founder and CEO of the training, coaching and consultancy firm, Management Shift Solutions Limited, as well as the author of The Management Shift and Humane Capital.

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

Download the latest edition of the Business Impact magazine

Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

Want your business school to feature in
Business Impact?

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Tim Banerjee Dhoul

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How to upskill and perform to a high level quickly

A student on a long journey skateboarding down a long road in Finland. Business Impact article image for How to upskill and perform to a high level quickly.

How to upskill and perform to a high level quickly

A student on a long journey skateboarding down a long road in Finland. Business Impact article image for How to upskill and perform to a high level quickly.
A student on a long journey skateboarding down a long road in Finland. Business Impact article image for How to upskill and perform to a high level quickly.

Skilling, upskilling, and reskilling is the name of the game in the world today. In the current environment, the need to acquire new, different, or more advanced skillsets – and to use them at a high level extremely quickly – is key to progression. Organisations need current employees to perform quickly in new roles, under new circumstances and facing new challenges as roles shift due to restructuring, the adoption of new technologies, and in response to a rapidly changing business environment. 

While the pandemic accelerated the learning industry’s shift from classroom-based training to virtual classrooms, the basic premise of corporate and academic learning has not changed drastically. Most learning is still offered primarily through courses. While there is growing recognition of the value of personalised, self-directed learning journeys, most courses are still offered primarily under an overarching ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy, which is not fit for purpose in these turbulent times. Changes to learning and development are coming, but until then, you can accelerate the speed and effectiveness of your own skill development through the practice of ‘activating awareness’.

Awareness of personal strengths, gaps, and resources

Activating awareness means being able to draw on your awareness about personal strengths, gaps, and resources related to a specific outcome to guide effort and energy to achieve that outcome.

Awareness can be activated by answering three very simple questions that have the potential to exponentially increase how quickly you are able to perform a new skill at a high level. They are:

  1. What are your existing strengths related to this skill?
  2. What is your biggest challenge in gaining this new skill, and how will you overcome this challenge or obstacle?
  3. What is the best way for you to learn this skill?

Simple questions, but not easy to answer. It is tempting to dive right into the actions associated with learning a new skill because action feels like progress. However, training yourself to take the time to activate awareness will catapult you forward in your progress faster than anything else, so it is worth the initial effort.

1. What are your existing strengths related to this skill?

This is about placing yourself on the journey towards mastery of the new skill. Based on your previous experiences, knowledge and related skills, your starting place may be different from someone else’s; and that makes a difference. When you activate these strengths, you will either see opportunities to skip irrelevant parts of available training (if allowed) or be able to approach that training (if required) with the mindset of looking for a refresh/update rather than being bored or frustrated.

Activating your current knowledge and strengths is also motivating and will provide energy you can draw on for the more challenging parts of your development of this skill. If you have a hard time identifying your strengths or related skills, using a personal preferences profile or skills audit can help.

2. What is your biggest challenge in gaining this new skill, and how will you overcome this challenge or obstacle?

Ask yourself what is likely to be your biggest challenge in learning a new skill. Challenges can cover a broad range of things, from gaining a specific sub-skill to finding it hard to prioritise time to practice the skill in question. The key here is to identify what the biggest obstacle is likely to be for you.

A peer learning the same skill would likely identify something else. You will know you’ve found it when you feel a bit uncomfortable. This is because thinking about what might trip us up can cause some anxiety; it isn’t pleasant to think about possible failure. Sit with the discomfort, then figure out what resources you will leverage to overcome this challenge. This may not be immediately apparent, but it is worth putting in the effort to find your answer.

Taking the time to identify what you will do to address your challenge when it shows up is the one thing that will make the greatest impact on the speed at which you arrive at high performance. Having this awareness will also give your confidence a boost as you start out on your learning journey. If you struggle to answer this question, ask for input from those who know you well or who may have overcome similar challenges. You don’t need to go it alone; other people often see more resourcefulness in us than we see in ourselves or may themselves be resources we can leverage.

3. What is the best way for you to learn this skill?

The old saying ‘All roads lead to Rome’ has particular relevance in skills development. Activate your awareness about how you best learn the kind of skill in question. Your organisation may insist on a one-size-fits-all course; if so, then the previous two questions will help you get what you need out of that course.

However, an even better option is to identify your best pathway to the needed skill and follow it. If you are someone who learns by reading, look for ways to read your way to the new skill. If you learn by trial and error, ask for projects that require the new skill and put in some safeguards to guide you along the way. If you find the pathway that best fits your learning preferences, it is likely to be the most effective and efficient way for you to get there.

Keep coming back to awareness as you progress along your journey, and celebrate your successes. As you learn more, does this process change what you believe you need to develop or what the best way forward for you would be? Once you make it past your biggest obstacle, what is the next obstacle you will face, and how will you overcome it?

In today’s world, learning is increasingly self-determined and self-directed. Individuals know how to learn what they want or need to learn. Changes in corporate and academic learning will be driven by learners. You can help your organisation embrace and support this approach by:

  • Sharing the impact of activating awareness on the speed at which you can develop and perform new skills
  • Suggesting that upskilling be offered in multiple modalities to support different learner preferences, rather than in a one-size-fits-all format
  • Looking for ways to activate awareness in your colleagues and direct reports and helping them to note the impact on their own speed to performance.

Tanya Boyd is Learner Experience Architect at Insights Learning and Development, a people development organisation. She holds a PhD in industrial organisational psychology from Seattle Pacific University.  

Read more Business Impact articles related to
professional development:

Download the latest edition of the Business Impact magazine

Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

Want your business school to feature in
Business Impact?

For questions about editorial opportunities, please contact:

Tim Banerjee Dhoul

Content Editor
Business Impact

Tim

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