Student Life

3 Continents. 2 Degrees. 1 Amazing Year. 0 Frowns Here.

The M.S. in Global Commerce students recently hit the halfway point of our time in Charlottesville, which seems like a good time for a bit of reflection. So here we go…“3 continents. 2 degrees. 1 amazing year.” The tagline for the M.S. in Global Commerce speaks for itself, although I’d add one line at the end: “0 frowns here.”

The M.S. in Global Commerce students recently hit the halfway point of our time in Charlottesville, which seems like a good time for a bit of reflection. So here we go…

“3 continents.

2 degrees.

1 amazing year.”

The tagline for the M.S. in Global Commerce speaks for itself, although I’d add one line at the end:

“0 frowns here.”

Cheesy? Absolutely. Accurate? Absolutely.

When people talk to our cohort, the conversation tends to go the same, as many people are curious about this newly developed degree. Now in its fourth year, students have the opportunity to earn two master’s degrees and a certificate in one year while studying around the world.

Since we are learning about global strategic management, it’s important to get out there and actually experience different ways that the world looks at and participates in business. To accomplish this goal, we study at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in the fall and then at Lingnan (University) College in Guangzhou, China, and conclude the Program at Esade Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

There are 11 different countries represented in our cohort (12 if I’m answering as any good Texan would—I will pause here to let the other U.S. states roll their eyes). We live together, work together, write our global thesis together, cry together, laugh together, go out together, and talk about cultural differences in almost every situation. You should see us all trying to go to the grocery store—it’s a hoot.

students in photo together

Emily with a few of her peers from the M.S. in Global Commerce cohort.

I make jokes about sharing a brain with the rest of the cohort, but there’s something so inspiring about having this many perspectives and experiences co-habituating and co-working towards the common goal of a June 12 graduation at Esade.

For example, have you ever had a simple question about another culture pop into your head? Maybe you’re doing battle with the communal laundry machines (I have a grudge), and you think to yourself, “Huh, I wonder how they do laundry in other regions around the world?”

(No? You’ve never had that thought before? Just me? Okay, cool.)

However, in this very real example, in order to get the answers, I simply climb two flights of stairs, walk into my apartment, where classmates from Germany and China are cooking, and ask, “Hey, are the laundry machines here different for you all? If you were at home, how would you wash your clothes?”

And, just like that, my roommate from Germany shows me the clothes she hung up to dry in her room, as she would do back home, and my roommate from China shows me the shirt she wore today, soaking in the sink. I even learn the words for “laundry” in German and Mandarin, although my pronunciation is objectively horrible—I live with kind people.

It’s small things like this that are daily reminders that my Program is really freaking cool.

We do have a lot of coursework (we’re getting two master’s degrees in 10 months; OF COURSE it’s intense), but we’re also training in real time to be completely adept at working with anyone and everyone on any continent for the rest of our lives.

0 frowns here.

Have questions? Sign up to talk with an ambassador in the current cohort! We want to meet YOU!

Get important admissions news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.