Most industries hire business positions to support their operational needs. If your interest is in pursuing a career in business, the delineation between job industry and job function is an important one to consider. The two main issues to consider are what you want to be doing, and where you want to be doing it. In most industries, it may be possible to combine your interests and skills to find a career that fits.
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Sample Employers in LionSHARE
Focus Areas in Business
Here is a sample list of applied areas in this industry:
- Accounting: Compile, analyze, verify, and prepare ﬁnancial records, including proﬁt and loss statements, balance sheets, cost studies, and tax reports. Accountants may specialize in areas such as auditing, tax work, assurance, consulting, cost accounting, budgeting, and control, or information technology systems and procedures. Auditors examine and verify ﬁnancial records to ensure that they are accurate, complete, and in compliance with federal laws.
- Customer Service: Work in many diﬀerent industries to provide “front line” customer service by assisting with problems or answering questions. They provide customers with information about the company’s products and services and answer customer inquiries by telephone, e-mail, online chat, or social media channels; ask questions and assess customers’ responses to identify the problem; research customers’ account records; suggest solutions or direct customers to the correct department for solutions.
- Finance: Help businesses control risks and losses while maintaining the highest production levels possible. By protecting a company against loss, the risk manager helps it to improve operating eﬃciency and meet strategic goals. Investment professionals such as ﬁnancial analysts, fund managers, endowment managers, and chief investment oﬃcers are responsible for creating an investment strategy to beneﬁt their companies. They analyze investment markets and funds, make investment decisions, monitor investment performance, and ﬁle regulatory paperwork.
- Human Resources: Collaborate with management to create personnel policies; manage compensation and beneﬁts programs; analyze staﬃng needs; recruit, hire, and train workers; develop leadership training programs; and provide advice on diversity issues, among other duties.
- Legal: Advise corporations concerning their legal rights, obligations, or privileges. They study constitutions, statutes, previous decisions, ordinances, and decisions of quasi-judicial bodies that are applicable to corporations. They may manage tax matters, arrange for stock to be issued, handle claims cases, or represent the ﬁrm in real estate dealings. They advise corporations on the pros and cons of prosecuting or defending a lawsuit.
- Marketing: Raise awareness and drive sales of products and services by contributing to product development, pricing, social media, and brand management. They may also conduct public relations eﬀorts such as working with news media and planning consumer events. Marketing teams also collect, analyze, and interpret data in order to determine potential demand for a product or service. By examining the buying habits, wants, needs, and preferences of consumers, research analysts are able to recommend ways to improve products, increase sales, and expand customer bases.
- Operations: Responsible for their company’s information technology. They use their knowledge of technology and business to determine how information technology can best be used to meet company goals—especially over the long term. This may include researching, purchasing, and overseeing set-up and use of technology systems, such as an intranet, Internet, and computer networks. Oﬃce administrators direct and coordinate the work activities of oﬃce workers within an oﬃce.
- Sales: Direct a company’s sales program by managing staﬀ, working with dealers and distributors, setting prices for products and services, analyzing sales data, establishing sales goals, and implementing plans that improve sales performance. They may oversee an entire company, a geographical territory of a company’s operations, or a speciﬁc department within a company.
Columbia University Resources
- Check out some of the great student organizations on campus such as Columbia Women’s Business Society, Multicultural Business Association, Columbia Organization for Rising Entrepreneurs, and the Columbia-China Law and Business Association
- Columbia Entrepreneurship focuses on helping students, faculty, and alumni launch Columbia-born ventures
- Find opportunities in business development roles at startups in NYC through the Startup Internship Program
- Be sure to make it to the Corporate Rotational Programs Industry Showcase, held in the Fall semester with a panel and networking opportunities