Tips to Survive Business School as an Introvert

Tips to Survive Business School as an Introvert

When you think about your typical business major, people generally think of someone unafraid to speak up, to sell themselves, who networks well and socializes well. You might think about the life of the party; someone excited to talk at length and in detail about their next business venture. Most, if not all, of these traits, are generally associated with someone who is an extrovert.

In contrast, introverts tend to be people who like focusing more on their thoughts and ideas and focus more on what’s going on internally versus externally. They prefer the company of a few close friends and family and shy away from social situations that involve lots of people. This doesn’t mean that introverts don’t like people - it’s just that socializing isn’t something they are motivated and excited by.

While there are many ways we can categorize introverts and extroverts, it’s best to go straight to the source. When psychologist Carl Jung first coined these terms in the 1920s, he defined extroverts as people who were recharged by being around other people and introverts as those who recharged by being alone.

And while that distinction still rings true, that doesn’t mean that every person in the business world is extroverted. In fact, there are many introverts in the business world, and you can count yourself among them if you consider the following helpful tips.

Tips to Survive Business School as an Introvert

For many, the beginning of a successful career in business involves attending business school. This might feel particularly stressful for introverts, but rest assured, keeping some of these tips in mind can alleviate some of the stressors in attending b-school.

Tip #1 Prioritize valuable alone time

Group work is the cornerstone of most business programs, and being able to demonstrate your ability to work well with others is a huge component of getting into the most competitive programs. However, studies show that not all great brainstorms come from group environments. Dangers of group work such as groupthink, overly domineering team members, and lack of ownership can arise when working in groups. However, most programs will value group work. As an introvert, it is essential to balance your time spent working with others along with time working alone. If you know that you will be working in a group on a project, carve out tasks that you can work on independently and then present or share with the group. Take on roles where you can support the work being done instead of leading the charge. Connect with your teammates one on one and maybe work together with a more extroverted team member to get support in communicating information to the team.

Tip #2 Learn to self-monitor

In her Ted Talk, “The Power of Introverts,” Susan Cain discusses the concept of self-monitoring. She defines this as the ability to modify your personality to suit the needs of a situation. For introverts, this means taking on traits of extroverts, such as putting themselves out there more or being the first to raise their hand in a classroom setting. Lots of professionals do this in their jobs - from teachers to actors, to public speakers, and of course, business majors. For some jobs where a lot of public performance is critical, this skill is invaluable if you are not as naturally extroverted as your job demands. This might also mean rehearsing a lesson before giving it, writing a speech, and practicing it repeatedly. It might even mean writing a script of what you will say to a potential client or contact before saying it.

For others, this might involve learning how to sell yourself and your ideas. For extroverts, this again might be something that comes more naturally to them. However, for introverts, this is something that can be practiced and learned.

Tip #3 Don’t underestimate the power of being an introvert

There are many advantages to being one of a few introverts in an extroverted setting. Extroverts naturally gravitate toward the great listeners that are introverts. Introverts also tend to be better at forming long-lasting, deep bonds with people, as opposed to the social butterfly nature of extroverts. As an introvert, you might also be much better at taking your time to process information, opting to take a slower, more thorough approach to thinking about problems. Extroverts tend to lean towards snap decision making and an introvert might be the balancing power that a room full of extroverts need.

Tip #4 Be confident in your unique skills.

As you embark on your journey into the business world, keep in mind that you have special skills that will get you the results you desire. But the road to success is marked with trials and you will have many obstacles in your way. You might doubt your skills and your ability to connect with others. You might feel overshadowed or simply talked over by your extrovert peers. Don’t lose faith. Continue letting your unique skills of listening, problem-solving, team-building, and deep thought shine. The business world needs more introverts, starting with you!

5 Tips for Preparing for GMAT as an Introvert

5 Tips for Preparing for GMAT as an Introvert

5 Tips for Preparing for GMAT as an Introvert

In order to attend B-school, you will most likely need to get a strong score on the GMAT, although some schools are going test-optional. But for those of you introverts who need to take the GMAT, there are lots of things you can do to make sure you’re getting a strong score.

The GMAT is a unique test in that it is adaptive to the test taker - as you get questions in an area correct, it will ask you more challenging questions. If you get questions incorrect, it will scale down the next question it asks you in that area. This is to determine precisely where you fall in the different subject areas tested by this exam. You will need to practice and study for this exam, but rest assured, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Set aside time each day for the study practice

Preparing for the GMAT Course will take significant time and effort. While it is possible to study for it in as little as two months, most test prep plans involve spending one to four hours a day working on studying. As an introvert, this should come easy. But it’s still important to carve out time specifically for studying and to stick to that plan.

2. Understand the format of the test

The GMAT consists of four distinct sections. Understanding what each of these sections requires is key to getting a high GMAT score. Each section will require you to apply different types of skills and will consist of different amounts of time and types of questions. You will have a choice in the order in which you work on each section, so knowing your testing preferences is important as well. Know which sections you feel most and least confident with so you can plan accordingly.

3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses

There is a wealth of information about the GMAT online. There are lots of practice tests available that you can use to see what you know and what you need to study or learn. Use these to your advantage. There’s no sense in spending lots of time studying the material you already have mastered, better to use that time studying something you still need to practice instead. Don’t forget to use these benchmark practice tests throughout your studying time so you can continue to tailor your study plan to what you need to work on most.

4. Choose appropriate study guides

There are so many study guides available on the market for the GMAT and they come in all different kinds of formats too. Knowing how you learn best will help you narrow down what kind of test guide to get, but only by doing research on the specific guides available will you know which study guide is truly going to work the best for you. Another thing to consider is how much time you have available to study and when you plan on taking the test. Some guides are made for a couple of months of study, while others are made for weeks. Keeping all of this in mind will help you make the most of your study time.

5. Consider the support of a tutor or take a class

While you might be thinking that taking a class to master the GMAT might be a bit out of your comfort zone, know that there are lots of online pre-recorded options available. You can also seek out an experienced tutor in the area you need the most support and schedule one on one time to get help. Some tutors have you set up a plan, with weekly meetings. Others will operate on a one-off basis as needed. Again, doing research will help you choose your best path.

Tips to get a college job as an Introvert

Tips to get a college job as an Introvert

Tips to get a college job as an Introvert

The college experience can be a challenge for introverts as it puts people outside of their comfort zone in so many ways. However, the college experience is key to prepping people for what comes after, as you enter the workforce. However, working closely with other people, especially in business settings, can be taxing for those who consider themselves introverts. Here is a list of tips for introverts seeking a job both in college and after college.

Set boundaries

Know what you can and can’t do. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to every opportunity, especially ones you know will drain your energy, such as test preparation. Prioritize time to recharge as well as jobs that allow you that space to be alone. If you are interested in an opportunity that involves you putting yourself out there a lot, see if there’s a way you could split your time between social engagement and quiet work. An example might be in sales - see if there’s a way that you could spend part of your day in active sales and the rest of the day in support of other administrative tasks. Value and prioritize your needs as an introvert and you will avoid feeling tired and exhausted by your work and will minimize your chance for burnout.

Consider working from home

There is a wealth of opportunities for college graduates and college students to work from home. Having the comfort of an environment you control might allow you to step out of your comfort zone in other ways. While you might not be comfortable as a coach or training working in person, perhaps having the safety of working behind a screen might allow you to give opportunities such as these a try. Working from home also gives you more flexibility to set your own hours and give yourself the time you need to recharge. This is a great opportunity for introverts that are especially drained by the day-to-day office interactions other in-person jobs might offer. But know that this is also a trade-off - working from home might give you the time and space to work at your comfort level, but carefully consider these opportunities compared to in-person opportunities, especially if working is one of the few areas you get social interaction.

Connect with other introverts

Seeking out mentors is always valuable advice, especially when beginning a career. While it is helpful to connect with folks whether they are introverts or extroverts, it’s especially important to find mentors that are introverts. Other introverts will understand your needs and disposition and will prove an important source of knowledge as you embark on your job hunt. Introverts will know what jobs have worked for them in the past and be able to share their suggestions with you as well. Networking with other introverts will also help you seek out similar opportunities or be introduced to potential opportunities for a job as well. Meeting other introverts might be as easy as joining a club in college or connecting in classes. Outside of school, consider social media as a place to search out other introverts and connect.

Take advantage of technology

As more and more options for connection move online like social media, email, and texting, take advantage of the flexibility these platforms afford introverts. Rather than worry about calling or meeting people in person to ask about job opportunities, you can search for jobs through job websites and then connect via email to see if the opportunity is right for you. You can also use job searches to narrow down how much social interaction jobs require and whether you’ll be working as part of a team or not. Utilize this ability to connect outside of a face-to-face to do your research before applying for a job.

Engage with familiar faces.

Networking is such a buzzword when it comes to job searching and business school. But networking doesn’t have to happen with a mixer or actively going out and cold calling people to find connections. You can use the network you already have to see what opportunities are out there. Consider connecting with family members, friends, past coworkers, or people you went to high school with to see if your existing network includes opportunities. People in this network will know you and be able to recommend much more tailored opportunities to you.

Finally, the most important thing is to remember there is nothing wrong with being introverted.

While getting a job seems like it is all about putting yourself out there, know that being outgoing isn’t the only valuable skill set. In fact, outgoing personalities can sometimes mask a lack of preparation or skill that introverts might have the edge over extroverts on.

Being more reserved can be an asset because it frees you up to work and have expertise in other skill areas. For many jobs, it’s these skills that matter - how well you can do your actual job versus how well you can convince someone you could do the job.

5 Strategies Manage Introverts Work

5 Strategies Manage Introverts Work

Your team is made up of many characters and every manager knows that although they can’t all be pleased at the same time, it is up to them to make them feel comfortable so that they can thrive in their job.

Part of a manager’s job is to try different strategies to reach out to each staff member to make sure they are content, happy and given what they need to enable them to perform at their most productive.

When considering whether staff have more of an extroverted or an introverted nature, this can impact on a manager’s approach to working with them and the working environment created.

Happy staff means everyone gets more work done and that means the team is more productive – yes!

The more flexible a manager can be with their approach the better – and staff will be grateful for these thoughtful approaches, too.

So how, as a manager, can this be achieved? Learning a little something about what makes people introverted or extroverted can help. It all comes down to those brain chemicals we call adrenaline, which introverted people are highly sensitive to, as author Alen Mayer states in his book Introverts in Business: Being Quietly Successful. Extroverts, on the other hand, do not produce enough of the feel-good chemicals dopamine and adrenaline and are more likely to look for outward events that give them the uplifting feelings to raise their levels.

This is why those staff who appear quieter don’t necessarily have a lack of ideas, while those who speak the most are not always right.

Here are some practical suggestions to use at work to ensure more introverted staff are just as at ease and comfortable in the office as their colleagues:

Let Employees Know Agenda in Advance and Write Down Ideas

You’ve all been to at least one team meeting where 2 or 3 people dominate the entire conversation and you can’t get a word in. Then when your manager does ask you what you think, all you can draw is a blank because, as an introvert, ideas don’t come to you straight away.

Before you know it, your colleagues are commenting about how quiet you are and your manager thinks their one quiet employee is not interested in the project.

Managers can get around this by giving their team members time to think about the project in advance. Preparing an agenda ahead of time or simply letting your team members know what the topics will be will help and allow them time to come up with their own ideas, ready for the meeting.

Praise and Criticism

When it comes to praising staff, a manager may think it’s great for everyone to be congratulated and recognised at the next team meeting by way of an official announcement, but get ready: Not everyone will be. While not all, many introverted staff will feel overwhelmed by suddenly being in the spotlight and overwhelmed by the spontaneous liveliness that takes place.

Managers could try letting their staff know in advance that they are going to be mentioned at the next team meeting so that at least the employee has a chance to turn down the offer.

An extrovert may appreciate praise from their manager when it is given in the presence of a team dinner or meeting. Introverts will much prefer and appreciate being praised on more of a one-to-one basis to let them know how much they’re valued. This is the same for giving constructive criticism – do it at the next appraisal or review meeting to give your introverted staff member time to think about it and respond.

Communication in the Workplace

In an environment where there is pressure to get things done and to do tasks quickly, managers can often expect answers to their questions or demands to be given on tap. This is especially pressurising when a manager stands over your desk expecting you to find what they need or answer them straight away.

When asking a question, a manager can give their staff time to run through their thoughts briefly or to find what it is you need, so that they don’t feel any undue pressure.

Wait for them to finish speaking when they’re in the flow (which is worth it when they do) – interrupting them will throw them off track and they may not be able to finish making their point, or won’t feel that they have been listened to.

Different Workspaces in Your Environment

With the introduction of open plan offices and hot desking, while for some it was an opportunity to interact with more people during the day and be more sociable – for the more introverted staff, it was more of a nightmare.

For the introverts among us, entering an open plan office means more people looking up at you, as if you’re walking down a catwalk putting on a show you really don’t want to do. Even if you do seek out the comfort of a familiar face, any conversation you have carries out across the room!

Managers, organise workspaces to allow for some small, more secluded spaces so that employees can have at least semi-private conversations and not feel like they are no show by anyone and everyone. This can consist of booths and small, partitioned offices that make staff feel like they’re not so much in the spotlight.

Seeing Everyone’s Strengths

While it is important to enable time for introverted staff to have some quiet in the office or by themselves, it can be equally as important to plan team training or activities that bring all your colleagues together. Learning about one another’s differences and getting to each other on a more personal level is always going to be a positive when it enables staff to understand each other’s strengths, shown through the activities planned.

An activity to build a raft together? That quiet girl who sits in the corner knows how to tie rope together so that the raft can be strong. Tasks outside of the office can also remind introverts to see the strengths of their extroverted colleagues – but do give them plenty of notice of the get-together first.

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Five Emails You Can Send On A Regular Basis To Secure Your Future Promotion

Five Emails You Can Send On A Regular Basis To Secure Your Future Promotion

Good communication is undoubtedly the skill that all employers value the most. Many great managers say the best skill set they have is to listen, especially to those who employ the roles most lucrative to the company. The symbiotic relationship between individual contributor and manager is there, but it’s up to you to ensure you are communicating so that your manager can play their part.

From the start of your employment journey, communication has always been at the forefront of why you are successful. From answering the hiring managers phone interview questions in a clear and concise way, to the email you send after your interview, and the communication you have regularly after you’re hired. Without good communication, managers can’t place their focus on performing their duties. For example, if you have a roadblock and the manager could help unblock you, but they simply don’t know about it; then efficiency is lost. Because of this, most managers reward communicative individual contributors.

Email is a great tool because it allows us to spend time thinking about what we’d like to communicate before the other party has a chance to read it. In the moment, or in front of your peers, you may feel more pressure to respond quickly. And with that pressure your communication skills may naturally become stressed as well. I’m going to show you five email techniques you can do to go above and beyond with regards to good communication. These communication techniques take very little time, are impactful to your manager, show you have leadership or promotion potential, show you are proactive about your role, and best of all, you can do this passively. Meaning you won’t place yourself into potentially stressful situations, like presenting in front of a group.


In this email your goal is to ensure no new information has entered the managers knowledge bank. And that you are spending your time the best way you can. Here’s what your email should look like:

Hi Jeff,

Here’s my priorities. Let me know if I should reorder some of them, remove them or add any other priorities in.

Redesign our print flyers
Finish our sales pitch deck
Improve our homepage experience

Thanks Jeff.

You’ll need to place your own priorities in this list. Keep them high level and something you and the team have already discussed. Make them the top three most important objectives or tasks from your perspective. This one you can send bi-weekly if your work doesn’t change frequently.


In these emails your goal is to pick a team member each week and show your appreciation for them. These random acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed. When a manager asks your peers how they like working with you, these emails are sure to be brought up. Here’s what you’ll say.

Hi Sarah,

I just wanted to send you a short note about how much I appreciate working with you. You are so talented. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Thanks Sarah

If you can use a more specific and recent moment that stood out to you, the better. Like when Sarah worked on Saturday to meet a deadline.


This will be your most valuable weekly email. Send this email every Friday and recap the weeks work. When crafting this email. Think about the questions your manager would have for you if you two were to talk. For example they would ask, how’s the progress on our new homepage? Answer these questions for them so you can save them time. Here’s what you’ll say:

Hi Jeff,

Here’s my weekly report.

New homepage:

Finished our design brief
Met with Nancy in sales to prepare her on timing
Sent our technical needs to the web developers
We’re on track with regards to timing
Sales pitch:

Finished 2 sales pitches this week for Nancy and Kevin

Thanks Jeff

Let me know if you have any thoughts. Have a good weekend!

Keep it brief, impactful, informative and insightful.


It’s imperative that you are always willing to hear feedback on how you can do better. It shows you are leadership material. I wouldn’t send this email more than once per month but be sure you are sending it.

Hi Jeff,

Would love to know if there’s anything you feel I could be doing better. Or if there’s anything you appreciate that I am doing, and that you’d like to see more of.

Thanks Jeff

This information gives you insight into how to beat perform for the manager. Be prepared to take criticism you might receive, though.


After a while, your manager might start appreciating but ignoring your weekly reports. That’s ok! That’s good! That means they’ve built trust with you. But ask them what other communication they’d appreciate so you are always moving forward. Here’s how to do it:

Hi Jeff,

I hope you’ve been appreciating my weekly reports. What are some things you’d like to see in them? Anything I can cover which may be most beneficial to you?

Thanks Jeff

And there you have it. Five simple communication techniques you can send by email each week which will do wonders for your development within the company. The good thing about these emails is that your manager has the option to read them.

You may be wondering, what if they are annoyed by all the emails I’m sending them? Remember that these emails are insights, not strictly discussion. They’re digestible action items your manager can choose to see or not. They have the option to open the email if they’re curious or maybe lacking insight into your work. And they have the option to ignore it if they feel they already know enough. It’s a win-win for both parties!

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