Advice from the Other Side: Applying School Lessons to Work

Yes, your academic coursework will really help you in your life after BU, no matter where your career path takes you.

How many times have you been sitting in the library after midnight cramming for an exam and thought, “I’m never going to use this”?

Some undergraduate courses give you practical training that you’ll go on to use in your career, and other courses teach content that you may never think about again after your final exam.

The good news is that a college education builds transferable skills that you’ll use no matter where your career path leads. Here are some examples.


With such an emphasis being placed on STEM in today’s society, you may think that writing skills fall to the wayside. The opposite is true; being able to write clearly and concisely is a valued skill in the workplace.

Whether you’re writing an email to your supervisor, or writing a report for the CEO of your company, writing matters, and it’s a skill you’ll gain throughout your college education. Try to do your best on your assigned papers, and ask your professors for thorough feedback that you can apply to your writing in the workplace.


Ah, group work. Some people love it, some people hate it (I hated it), but the reality is that group projects in college teach valuable teamwork skills that you’ll use in the workplace.

Employers set up teams in all kinds of ways, whether it be the permanent team that you work in within your department, or a temporary task force or hiring committee. Employers actively seek out candidates who have experience working in and leading teams. So, instead of groaning the next time you’re assigned a group project, do your best to actively participate, and even take on a leadership role.

Time Management

College provides the perfect environment for honing in on time management skills. As a student, you’re probably very familiar with trying to balance a full-time course load with a combination of jobs, internships, sports, and/or other activities, while also trying to fit in social time and, oh yeah, sleep.

It’s a lot to handle, but over the course of your college career, you’ve probably developed strategies for managing your homework and study time with all of your other commitments. Employers look for this skill in potential employees. Recruiters want to hire people who can effectively balance multiple tasks and projects, while also submitting exemplary work, and recent graduates often possess the ability to do so.

A college education builds transferable skills that you’ll use no matter where your career path leads.

The next time you’re frustrated about the seemingly useless work you’ve been assigned to complete for a class, remember that you’re building valuable skills that are needed in the workplace like the ones outlined above, as well as many others such as organization, oral communication, research skills, etc.

Your major courses are, no doubt, crucial to your learning experience, and you’ll likely apply those lessons in your career, but your holistic education is just as important to your future success.

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