What Soft Skills Are and How ABM Courses Can Help You Master Them
Jun 06, 2019
By : Miguel Ocampo
When you hear the phrase “ABM courses”, you’d probably think “finance,” “corporation,” or “entrepreneurship.” Seldom would you think “food,” “crops,” or “public service.” Of course, given the name, you would get the impression that students who take this strand want to become successful business leaders. However, there is so much more to the strand than just numbers.
The strand’s versatility lies in the skills that the students pick up. While ABM students are taught the basic practices of financial management and business operations, they also pick up skills on leadership, organizational behavior, and time management. These abilities are valuable in any field.
Get good with people
ABM courses develop communication and collaboration skills. After all, to run a business well, you should know how to explain the plan to a team. No man is an island and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to managing projects and timelines. Resources are finite, be it your team’s energy, the time you have before launch, or before you run out of capital.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is essential to good management. To do that, you also need to be able to understand the people you’re managing. The key difference, between just managing a team and actually leading it, is in how you empathize with your colleagues. (Hint: A good leader was also a follower once.)
Get good with numbers
Sure, STEM courses have fancy math tricks, with all the calculus, logarithmic functions, and trigonometry. All this math is really cool when you figure it out—but when it’s applied to how money works, some things change. ABM courses will help you develop a keen sense of economic prowess. Not only will you be managing a business’ finances, but you’d also be doing money magic for yourself! Why fake it ‘til you make it, when you could learn it before you do it?
Get good with time
You could also become Dr. Strange in your own way. No really! Time management is important in running any project. After all, time is the most precious resource anyone can spare. You can earn money back. People come and go. When time is wasted though, there’s no getting it back.
Instead, what you can do is to plan ahead. Look through your options. Try to foresee all the possibilities and consequences of the choices you’ll make. Which one will save you the most time?
This brings me to my last point.
Master of analysis and decision-making
With all the analysis you’d be doing, at the end of it all, you’d pick up best practices; these are the decisions that lead to the best outcomes. This skill is a culmination of all the other skills you’ll pick up. It’s the ultimate skill that can turn the tide of a battle (aka long meetings among other things).
Decisiveness is good when partnered with insight. More often than not, you’ll get these insights from your team’s input, from personal experience, and from other people outside the organization. At the end of the day, leading a team is something that can be practiced. Yes, there are “natural-born leaders,” but others spend years honing this skill. ABM courses can give you a headstart.
Some ABM courses to consider
Not all ABM courses have to end up in a business or corporate career. The soft skills that these courses develop already give you an edge in project management, which is something a lot of companies and organizations look for. Here are some courses that would take you down a non-corporate route:
- BS Agribusiness Management: This course is concerned with both the technical side of agriculture and the management of a business. You’d be exposed to business and economic principles, and management tools that will allow you to address the country’s agricultural and developmental needs.
- BS Community Development: If you’re the type who likes engaging with communities and finding ways to create a difference in their lives, this program will teach you everything you need to know about establishing, educating and collaborating with them for the sake of making their livelihood better.
- BS Public Safety: This course offers knowledge and skills that ensure the public welfare of each citizen. Students who seek careers in fire protection, criminal justice or the police force usually benefit from this course.
- BS Social Work: If societal issues intrigue you, then BS Social Work is the one for you. Aside from practicing social work in particular, the course also deals with the policies revolving around it, which can be used to promote and ensure human welfare.
- BS Tourism Management: For tourism lovers, this course will teach you how to create and manage your own travel enterprise, along with other career paths related to the tourism and hospitality sector.
The limit does not exist
A big disclaimer for all of you reading this. The skills mentioned here are not exclusively developed on ABM courses. Any extra-curricular activity that has to do with project management or team organization can certainly achieve the same. It just so happens that ABM students are already required to study them.
At the end of the day, any skill is teachable if the student is willing to learn. If you want to set yourself apart, ABM student or otherwise, you’d still need to put in the extra effort to pick up, process, and apply the things you are taught. As I mentioned, every great leader was once a follower. Now it’s just a matter of you taking the first step to self-improvement.
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