First advice our Macroeconomics instructor gave us was to read news, local as well as global. She said “it does not matter how many theories you learn, how many books you read, if you can not apply your knowledge to real life, it is worthless”. This advice was like a guideline for me since, to assess the quality of my learning. As a business student, do I understand what is happening in business and economics world? Am I good at just theories or do I absorb the concepts enough to see the real life application and explain them by my theoretical knowledge? Best way to answer these questions is to read as much as you can and keep yourself up to date. But where to start? I will suggest you several blogs/websites that you can follow to enhance your overall business knowledge and observe what is happening in business world.
Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. This was the name of docuseries by Netflix. The catchy name which offered an insight to Bill Gates brain, made these 3 episode docuseries very popular. Who would not want to get inside Bill’s brain? But did you know Gates actually has his own blog where he shares literally what is his mind? The blog is called GatesNotes for a reason. Despite being a billionaire and very influential person, he chooses to reach his audience not through social or mass media, but through his personal blog where he is his most genuine self. My favorite content in his blog is his book reviews. He shares the books he read, both fiction and non-fiction, which is a lot by the way, and shares his detailed review by quoting the book. Intriguing aspect is that these books are not New York Times bestseller, or other “Top 10 books you should read” list. These are mostly great books that are undervalued and deserves to be among bestsellers. Besides book reviews, he shares articles discussing trend topics and addresses the current problems. For instance, due to pandemic he is focused on and prefers to share lots of articles, researches, books related to previous pandemics and predictions regarding future.
Mckinsey & Company. As a Business student you must have heard this company, maybe even dreamt about working there. For others who have not heard, McKinsey & Co. is a management consulting company that helps companies to achieve their goals by offering different support services such as digital, analytics, process design etc. Exciting thing about company is that they share their insights from various industries, markets, countries in their websites free. You can either frequently visit their websites to get acquainted with latest articles and trends, or you can sign in, choose the specific topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Climate change, or specific regions such as Asia, and get more refined and deeper knowledge on these topics. As a company who has a huge impact on world market and has deep knowledge of what is happening in the world, McKinsey is a priceless source for getting up to date information.
As a business graduate or person interested in business, have you thought about opening a blog where you can share your business knowledge? Especially considering the gap and demand for global content in Azerbaijani language, most of my acquaintances and groupmates considered it at least once. Bad news for those people is that someone already realized their wish. Good news is that the blog is awesome. MKTG.az (abbreviated version of marketing) is a blog where content related to digital content creation, promotion techniques, modern marketing tools and branding is shared. What differentiates this blog and makes it to stand out from other unsuccessful ones is the creative presentation of theories and knowledge. Catchy titles, such as Marketing lessons from Game of Thrones, intriguing cover pictures like cow promoting Islami marketing generates traffic, attract visitors by arousing interest. If you visit their website, there is a little chance that you can pass without reading at least one article.
People differ in how they absorb best the information they get. Some learn quickly with listening, some with reading and taking notes, and some with visuals. Above I shared with you mostly blogs where you can only get information by reading. However, for those who like to watch videos or listen to someone as a way of learning, TED Talks is a great learning tool combined with entertainment. TED is an abbreviation for Technology, Education and Design. So, the main areas of interest for TED talks was to invite successful people in their fields, and talk about what they know and do best. The slogan of “Ideas worth sharing” promoted the idea that everyone has a story that is worth to tell. And as the topics discussed and stories told got more personal, people found part of themselves on these talks and it is what made these talks that popular. For instance, Sarvar Gurbanov, who is an economics professor, explained the supply and demand in economics with women-men relationships. He proved that high expectations of women from men decreased the number of men meeting these criteria, in economics words, higher price decreases demand. This kind of personal approach to topics discussed differentiates TED from other learning platforms and makes it difficult to substitute.
According to iCIMS Hiring Insights (2017), 94% recruiting professionals believe an employee with stronger soft skills has a better chance of being promoted to a leadership position than an employee with more years of experience but weaker soft skills. Emotional intelligence, leadership, personal development are the notions that entered our lives and became popular as people, especially employers, understood the importance of soft skills and superior performance results in comparison to technical skills. In Azerbaijan, first blog that promoted personal development and improvement of soft skills is coaching.az.
Elchin Azimli, Training and Development Manager at Azersun Holding, established this website to present professional content regarding various soft skills to Azerbaijani students and anyone interested in developing themselves. His main motive as Azerbaijani citizen, as well as, employer was, as he said in one of his seminars: “As a company you just need few weeks of training to teach an employee technical skills, but you cannot teach them empathy in few weeks.” Website being in Azerbaijani and contents representing latest trends in various industries and markets, makes coaching.az valuable asset for those interested in personal development.
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