Just because you chose to study entrepreneurship doesn’t mean that launching your own business is your only career option. Whether you need more experience before you can really get your company off the ground or you simply need a more regular paycheck than a startup can provide, you may be just as interested in getting a conventional job as a graduate with a traditional business administration degree is. When you start to look for jobs as an entrepreneurship graduate, you will have to be resourceful in your search, demonstrate to your prospective employer that your unusual education has equipped you with valuable practical skills and prepare to answer questions about your plans for entrepreneurship.
You May Have to Be More Creative in Your Job Search
As you begin your job search, you will find that there are few job listings that search for entrepreneurship majors specifically. After all, entrepreneurs are generally innovators who start their own organizations, rather than joining existing companies established by others. That fact may make your job search a little more challenging, but it doesn’t mean that your degree isn’t marketable. You might just have to look a little harder to find the opportunities that are relevant to your background.
Don’t count out jobs with descriptions for business majors, since you most likely have many of the same core business coursework under your belt as a traditional business major has. You can also expand the criteria of your job search to encompass other functions that match your skills and interests. If you enjoyed studies in social entrepreneurship, you might be drawn to work in fundraising or outreach capacities at nonprofit organizations. Entrepreneurship majors who liked learning about securing investment capital for their own business may want to look for jobs with venture capitalist firms. Students who were interested in business communication coursework may want to explore career options in the media and communications field, such as public relations specialist, or in a corporate communications position.
It is a good idea for entrepreneurship majors to take advantage of internship opportunities during their education, if possible, so that they have real-world work experience to complement the skills they learned in the classroom.
Be Ready to Explain Your Degree
Having a different degree than the other candidates competing for the job you want has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. On one hand, your unconventional background can make your application stand out from the hundreds of applications listing general business degrees. On the other hand, if a business degree specifically is a firm requirement for the role, your application might get passed over without further thought. An interviewer who contacts you for a business job might not be familiar with entrepreneurship as a field of study, so you should be prepared to elaborate on your educational background.
Having to explain your degree isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Since many entrepreneurship programs emphasize learning the skills to develop a business, you have plenty of practical knowledge that will impress an employer who is more interested in skills than academic study. The skills you learned in an entrepreneurship degree program transfer perfectly into roles in business development. Your foundational knowledge of accounting, marketing and finance can be enough to get started in an entry-level role in one of these business functions, as well. Many students with an entrepreneurship degree go on to work in sales, middle management or recruitment functions.
An entrepreneurial spirit includes a willingness to work hard, shoulder a variety of different responsibilities and manage tasks and people, all of which are skills valued in business roles of all kinds.
Know How to Answer Questions About Your Entrepreneurship Ambitions
Interviewing for a normal job with an entrepreneurship degree can be tricky, especially if your interviewer asks about your future entrepreneurial plans. You may be planning to stay in the job for which you applied only long enough to gain more experience for starting your own business or until your company is making enough money that you don’t need another job. However, if your response suggests that this job wouldn’t be your priority or that you aren’t planning to have a future with the company, you could deter the interviewer from considering your candidacy any further.
As with answering other types of interview questions, it is always wise to keep your response honest and sincere, but also to frame it around the perspective of being enthusiastic about the job at hand. Instead, you might say that your present or planned company is a side project or a labor of love for you but suggest that your serious focus at the moment is attaining a full-time job where there are opportunities for growth.
Since the purpose of the interview is to determine your fit for a position with the company, you want to keep the focus of the conversation on your interest in the role and the skills that would make you a great choice for the job, rather than your entrepreneurial plans.