5 Ways to Break the Ice With New Pre-Business Classmates

By Elana Goodwin on February 9, 2017

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

It can be hard to start up a conversation with a stranger — but once you find a way to break the ice, conversation will flow much smoother. Breaking the ice, though, can be challenging for some, especially those who are more reserved and shy.

Even if you’re uncomfortable, it’s important to push through and make an effort to break the ice with your pre-business peers. Those classmates will be good connections to have and resources to tap if you miss a class and need notes or don’t want to attend a networking event alone.

Here are five ways to break the ice with new pre-business classmates.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

1. Show Interest

If there are already people sitting down in the classroom when you walk in, rather than finding a seat or picking a desk or table with nobody around, choose to sit next to someone already seated. This way, you can start to break the ice by asking them if anyone is sitting next to them. Once you’ve gotten the all-clear to sit down by them, introduce yourself and show you’re interested in not just sitting by them, but actually getting to know them.

Showing interest and making that first gesture will make the other person feel special since you chose to sit next to them and want to be more than just seatmates. To really establish your interest, continue sitting in the same spot by the same person each class so you’ll have the opportunity to build on your initial acquaintanceship throughout the semester.

2. Ask Questions

Once you’ve established some interest, the next step to continue to break the ice is to start asking questions. Don’t interrogate or interview the person, but ask a question or two to get the conversation started and keep asking questions to prolong the conversation. Ask the person you’re speaking to some basic conversation starters, such as where they’re from, their year in school, and their major.

Once you’ve got those questions out of the way, go a little deeper and ask why they’re taking the course, what got them interested in business, where they live on or off campus, and what other classes they’re taking or have taken for their major. To move the conversation away from school-related topics, you can ask if they watched a recent sports game or attended a school sporting event, if they’ve been watching a certain TV show, or about some other subject that’s been in the news.

Asking these questions, and others, will help you to break the ice and make the person you’re talking to feel as if you’re genuinely interested in getting to know them.

3. Find Common Ground

Part of the reasoning behind asking questions is to help you start to find commonalities between you and your classmate. Establishing common ground serves as a foundation upon which to build your relationship, and it’s much easier to do so when you have things in common.

Right off the bat, you’re both pre-business and in the same class, but uncovering other similarities is important to take your relationship to the next level. By asking questions and getting to know the other person, you’ll be able to figure out what interests you have in common and start to move beyond acquaintanceship.

4. Give A Compliment

Perhaps the easiest way to break the ice initially is to compliment the person you’re hoping to talk to. When you compliment someone, you start the conversation with something you like about them, making them feel good about themselves and that much more interested in talking to you.

You can compliment anything from their backpack to their outfit to the screensaver or cover on their laptop, etc. Don’t just say “I like your [insert item here]” though; take it a step further and ask a question about it like where they got it, etc., depending on what you’re complimenting.

By giving a compliment and following it up with a question, you’ve already started to break the ice and pave the way for you to ask more questions and start to get to know your classmate.

5. Comment on the Class

When you enter the classroom, if there’s multiple people already seated, it may be awkward to just pick one person to sit next to and start a conversation with. You don’t want to alienate other classmates in your pursuit of getting to know someone so rather than just breaking the ice with one person, make an attempt to break the ice in general.

When you sit down, comment on the class and direct it to the room at large. You can make a comment about the homework or reading for the course, the professor, or what you’ve heard about the class. This way, you leave your conversation-starter open to response from everyone in the classroom and break the ice for everybody in there.

Use these five methods to break the ice with your pre-business classmates — you may feel awkward or be anxious about putting yourself out there, but once the ice is broken, you’ll feel like the room got warmer.

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

By Elana Goodwin

Uloop Writer
I am currently serving as the Director/Managing Editor for Uloop News. I've been part of the Uloop family since 2013 and in my current role, I recruit writers, edit articles, manage interns, and lead our National Team, among other duties. When I'm not writing or editing, I love being outside, reading, and photography! I have a Bachelor's degree in English with a double-minor in Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University. If you have questions or just want to chat, don't hesitate to reach out! Email me at elana@uloop.com.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

More Uloop Campus Life Articles


27 Photos
8 Photos
27 Photos
Fox and Hounds
6 Photos
Summer Sublet Housing near OSU/ 1 Room
9 Photos
OSU Campus Apartments
See all OHIO STATE Housing Listings


Receive recent Ohio State news and classifieds on your Facebook Feed. Click the button below and then click "Like"


Back to Top

Log In

or Sign Up
Post FREE Listings
Student Start Here
Post Jobs for Students
Employers Start Here
Housing Providers
Post Available Housing
Housing Start Here

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format