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The Golden Rule of Business

Over the course of my Bryant career and my internship I have learnt many things. But what I found most important to learn was that business executives are people too. It might sound silly or cliché, but it was something I had forgotten.

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Before this internship I thought of all business people as robots with a steely gaze who made small talk about the stock market and business policy. Quite the generalization for me to make, I know. When they were flesh and bone, like myself, I realized a key to succeeding in business that I wasn’t explicitly taught in school. The Golden Rule is so incredibly important in a business environment. I can hear my mom in my head saying, “Treat people the way you want to be treated!”, and it is true. When someone takes time out of their day to interview you for a job and show you around their business, send a thank you note. When you find a way to complete a task in a more efficient way, show your coworker. When you’re working on a team project, help in any way possible. Keep the humanity in business.

The professional world mystified me as a college freshman, I had no idea how people knew when to wear suits and when to send a thank you or when not to. What I have learnt is nobody knows, and the attire is usually in a memo, that was sent via email two weeks ago. Four years of business school I was still waiting for the hat to drop, I was waiting for the exact moment for my classmates and I to turn into those steely glazed robots. Much to my delight, I am still 100% human.

In an office with cubicles separating you from your coworkers, it can feel cut off. You can feel alone with your three beige walls, computer, and phone. But on the other side of that cubicle, is another person, who at times, feels the same way that you do. You are both human. Going into an interview, you’re nervous but on the other side of a desk or the phone is someone just as nervous and anxious to find the candidate perfect for the position they need to fill. You are both human. It is so easy to forget that people are still people, even with business professional attire on.

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At Bryant University, there is a high focus on group projects, almost every class has at least one. They taught me time management, leadership skills, and an underlying skill that isn’t heavily focused on in class, interpersonal skills. I learnt what it felt like to have a member not contribute, or do the bare minimum and having to pick up slack from others. I learnt not to do that, because I didn’t like how it felt to be on the receiving end. That shaped me as a young professional. I would promise to never be “that guy” and I would hold myself to that. I would push myself to be the best group mate ever and all that really meant was being the groupmate that I would want. Being the perfect groupmate also doesn’t necessarily mean being the perfect human. It means respect your peers, own up to your mistakes and shortcomings, and work through them. Never be afraid to ask for help because there is probably someone with the same question without the courage to speak.

Be the person that you need and treat people the way you want to be treated and you will find that more doors will be open for you and you’ll get the opportunity for success. If there is one thing I can promise you, you’ll never turn into a robot with a steely gaze.

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