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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Advice you didn’t ask for: Business

Senior business students Esther Nelson and Jackson Kirchoff kick off a new lifestyle advice series, sharing their tips about all things business.

Underneath the “finance bro” stereotypes and claims of illiteracy, you’ll find that there is more to Bethel business students than just preconceived notions. Peek through the windows of the business department and you’ll find men and women huddled around high-top tables, collaborating, discussing and debating all things business. With three different business majors, two minors and various emphases to choose from, these students are prepared to be the next CEOs, financial advisors, marketing creatives, Human Resources gurus and more. 

Welcome to your bi-weekly lifestyle series, “Advice you didn’t ask for,” where Bethel seniors from various departments give practical advice that they deem worthy of sharing with the rest of the student body. This week, I talked to seniors Esther Nelson, finance and marketing major, and Jackson Kirchoff, marketing major and Spanish communications minor, to ask what Bethel students should know about business.

For starters, what’s some basic business advice? 

Nelson: Everyone could just do a business minor, why not? It always helps to have a business background or know how to run a business. If you want to go into photography or art, being able to maybe own your own business and gaining those practical skills, you can learn those through taking marketing classes or adding a minor. I feel like there’s so many jobs out there and if you have a business minor or major, you can pivot a lot of places or add depth to your resume. 

What’s your financial advice?

Nelson: Well, straight up, build a budget. Even just using Excel or Google Sheets [to record] what are your expenses, where are your revenue streams, is your revenue covering your expenses? Because if you’re spending a lot of money but not bringing in a lot of money, that’s not a good ratio. Being aware of your money and how you’re using it, if you’re using it wisely, is really important. 

Kirchoff: You can never start too young to be smart with your money. Have a monthly plan and plan your expenses and income.  See what categories you’re spending your money on. Divvy it up from necessary expenses like gas, being able to get to and from a job to make income, and then weed out the unnecessary things. 

What about investments? 

Nelson: If students are interested in [investing], go for it. I personally don’t invest, but being a part of the Royal Investments Fund teaches me a lot. Ask professors for advice and help about it and go from there. 

Kirchoff: I think people get too psyched out about stocks and stuff … and I mean, if you want to be a day-to-day stock trader, there is value in that, but I’m taking the route of finding a solid mutual fund that has maybe a 4% interest rate. 

I don’t believe in savings accounts. People have their parents set up a savings account for them when they’re little and they’re supposed to put money into their savings account, but when you do that, it’s just dead weight. [A savings account] isn’t doing anything for you. It’s basically just a safe where you’re burying your money underground. I would say to make an intentional effort to have your money make money for you; when you put it into mutual funds and established stocks, you can put in maybe $50 a month from your paycheck, but it’s going to accrue interest and making money — that’s when people can retire early, go on trips, have excess funds. 

What’s the deal with networking and why does it matter?

Kirchoff: Networking itself isn’t hard; it’s just the process of you accepting to go to the networking event. I think a lot of people have social anxiety about going. They’re like, “Oh, it’s probably not even important because there’s 1,500 applicants there to talk.” But getting your name out there and stepping through that first awkward phase is, I think, the biggest thing college students can do. Once people make a face, make an impression, even if you can get [your] resume into somebody’s hands, it goes beyond what other people are doing, just sitting in their dorm rooms.

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About the Contributor
Makenzi Johnson, Lifestyle Editor
Makenzi Johnson, 21, is a senior journalism major and Spanish minor. She enjoys rereading the same F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sarah J. Maas books, contemplating whether or not to get a new tattoo approximately every four business days and listening to “Last Christmas” by Wham!  [email protected] | 701.715.0999
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