How to Prepare to Become a Business Development Associate

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Business development associate jobs are entry-level positions which provide a career path in business development. They are graduate jobs requiring an applicant to possess at least a bachelor's degree in science, with majors in mathematics, statistics, or a similar field. Some companies require majors other than science such as marketing or computer science, but the degree would require a heavy load of statistical and analytical-based subjects. These jobs are highly sought after by graduates; therefore your academic results throughout your degree need to be consistently high. The first step, therefore, to becoming a business development associate is to complete a relevant four-year degree to a high standard.

During your college career you can directly prepare for these entry-level positions by undertaking internship jobs for business development during your college vacations. It is important to choose internships which will give you genuine work experience rather than just wasting your time doing menial tasks. Most internships are unpaid or low-paid, but in return for your time and effort you gain experience that can be documented on a resume. You can also gain references to verify your experience. Internships not only provide valuable experience to give you a competitive edge in your job search, they can also lead to job offers from the employer. Be clear and focused about your career goals when discussing internship opportunities and while on the job so that you can be considered for appropriate opportunities.

Not everyone can walk into an associate business development job as a result of a successful internship, however. So it is important to take other steps to prepare for a career in business development. An important way in which you can do this is to find out exactly what employers are looking for when they are recruiting for these entry-level jobs. The easiest way to do this is to read the business development associate job description of various entry-level positions advertised online. Make a note of common elements that are required and plan to develop the necessary skills and experience. You may find that most jobs require familiarity with certain software and this is easily obtained. Analysis skills are also commonly sought after, so you need to give yourself every opportunity to develop these abilities and to use them successfully.

While at college you can gain insight and guidance from both your professors and college guidance counselors. They can help you work out a plan to develop the skills you need to have a competitive chance of being offered an entry-level business development position. In fact, they may provide a more balanced view of the initial skills and experience you will require than you currently have. They may also be able to provide volunteer opportunities with various organizations as well as suggest part-time employment which can help you gain some of the necessary experience and skills you need to get the kind of job you ultimately want.

You can improve your chances of being offered an associate business development position by doing relevant contract work through a staffing company. There are specialist agencies which only provide contractors in particular roles, so look for those that provide work for business development professionals. However, if you are looking to build your skills in certain information technology (IT) areas, you can seek work through many of the agencies which supply contract IT staff to their clients. Use temporary employment or contracting to build particular skills which you need to satisfy an employer advertising an entry-level business development position.

Use every opportunity to network and to develop contacts which can help you gain the necessary skills and experience to obtain jobs for business development. Contract work, internships, professional associations, business associations, and community organizations are all good places to build relationships and to make contacts which can help you in your career.

No matter what skills and experience you gain, you need to be able to prove it to an employer and this cannot be reasonably done on a resume. It is important to support your application with a comprehensive portfolio of your achievements. These should be relevant to your application; prove skills such as planning, organizing, evaluating, statistical analysis, use of relevant software, and other relevant skills. It should also support your claims of experience by detailing specific projects you have successfully completed or goals you have achieved.

If you take these steps to prepare for business development associate jobs, you will be in an excellent position to land an entry-level position. Many organizations have business development teams so that an associate position can easily lead to promotion and greater responsibility. The ideal position would therefore be with an organization that had a capacity to promote from within to higher-level business development positions. It pays to research the organizations you are considering applying to. While you can use jobs as stepping stones to better jobs in other companies, an in-house career path will smooth your way in business development.

Solid preparation will give you the best chance of success. Many people use a hit-and-miss approach to gaining employment, but if you want a career, preparation is vital. If you desire a career in business development, an associate's position is a good first step. By preparing well, you will have every chance of obtaining one of the best business development associate jobs available.
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