As a first year, I arrived on Grounds with little to no idea of what I wanted to do with my time here at UVA and beyond. With a bit of serendipity and a lot of guidance, I decided on Commerce and began my path to McIntire. At the time, choosing Commerce was quite the leap of faith, but in hindsight, I can confidently say it is one of the greatest decisions I’ve made to date. Two years later, I’d like to share some of the best advice that I received while navigating that decision.
- Be open-minded. Business school offers a diversity of opportunities to which few other fields of study can compare. Don’t write off business school because you think it can only lead you down one or two paths. Challenge yourself to think outside the box.
- Stay true to yourself. There is no one mold of a McIntire student, so don’t try to become it. Your differences are your strengths. Think about how McIntire fits into your goals, rather than how you might “fit in” at McIntire (spoiler alert: everyone can).
- Give yourself the grace to pursue other interests. You don’t have to just take Commerce prerequisites or join Commerce-affiliated organizations to get into McIntire. Now more than ever, diversity—in backgrounds, interests, and experiences—is an asset.
- Talk to McIntire students. We’ve been there. We want to help. Seriously. Do yourself a favor, and conduct some due diligence to see what McIntire is really like. If you’re anything like I was, you just might be pleasantly surprised. Schedule a meeting with one of us.
- Explore your passions—all of them. McIntire is great—don’t get me wrong—but being “pre-Commerce” is more of a journey than a destination. There’s a reason why McIntire is an upper-division (third- and fourth-year) program. If you take the classes that truly pique your interest, you’ll likely end up where you’re supposed to be—whether or not that’s McIntire.