By Doug Godine
As my classmates and I were winding down the semester, preparing for final exams, and getting plans together for winter break, I wanted to share a typical day in the life of a student in the M.S. in Commerce (MSC) Program. Each day can be different and will require different amounts of time and effort academically, but I have detailed a typical day in the program.
Wake Up: 7:15 A.M.
The program is divided into two groups for the first semester. Every student takes the same core classes but at different times during the day, depending on if you are in Group 1 or 2. I am in Group 1, which has the early slot for our first class of the day, 8 a.m. Strategy and Systems. I like to wake up a little early to get ready for the day and possibly stop and get a coffee at Corner Juice. I make my way over to Rouss & Robertson Halls (RRH) and arrive around 7:50 a.m. I live in a house on 14th Street, making the walk approximately 10 minutes long. Professor Ira Harris’s Strategy class went from 8-9:15 a.m. today, but twice a week, a double session lasts until 10:45 a.m.
Break and Second Class 9:15 A.M.
My friends and I decided to go to Bodo’s Bagels (1609 University Ave.) before Professor Andrea Robertson’s Cost Accounting class at 11 a.m. Bodo’s is a popular breakfast spot for many students and my favorite place to eat in the morning. Many other options, including Ivy Provisions, Corner Juice, and Guajiros, aren’t too far away. We bring our laptops to review notes from the Cost Accounting reading and prep for the “on-call” style of Professor Robertson’s lectures. I also text my group within M.S. Comm to finalize a meeting to review an upcoming project. Each student is put into a group of four to five people who work together throughout the first semester. The groups are in constant communication, meet two to four times a week on average, and provide an excellent foundation for each member as they begin their journey through the program. We walk back to class as I finish breakfast and answer some emails. This class lasts 75 minutes, and I now have my big break of the day before my meeting at 4 p.m.
Second Break and Meeting 12:15 P.M.
I walk out of RRH around noon and head back to my house. I live in a house with six people who are not in the program but are my friends who are still undergraduate students. Many MSC students chose to live with each other, many of whom live in apartments in the Standard (Republic Place, 853 W. Main St.) or The Flats (852 W. Main St.). I say “hi” to my roommates and hang out for around 30 minutes before heading to the gym. There are many options for working out as a grad student at UVA; my favorite spot is the North Grounds Rec Center (510 Massie Rd.). There are two basketball courts, a pool, a strength training/ free weight facility, and racquetball courts. Three other places similar to North Grounds are available to all students: Aquatic & Fitness Center, Memorial Gymnasium, and Slaughter Recreation Center.
Today I biked for about half an hour and then lifted weights with a friend before we both got some shots on the basketball court. After our workout, we grabbed food at one of my favorite spots, Foods of All Nations (2121 Ivy Rd.). I grabbed my go-to sandwich, “The Henny Penny,” and went home. I took a quick shower, did some reading for the next day of classes, and made my way over to RRH for my group meeting at 4 p.m. Our group met in one of the many meeting rooms available for all MSC students and discussed our plan for the upcoming project memo assignment. After the meeting, I went to the grad student lounge to hang out with some friends before my Financial Management class at 5 p.m.
Financial Management and End of the Day 5 P.M.
Professor Ben McCartney’s Financial Management class lasts until 6 p.m., and now I am done for the day. I make my final walk from RRH, stop by the 7-Day convenience store for a Gatorade, and arrive home. I take a break from school and homework to talk to my roommates in the living room before going upstairs to crank out some assignments. After I feel good about my work for the next day, I walk down to the corner to grab dinner at Roots Natural Kitchen at around 8:30 p.m. I call my mom and brother on the walk back home before eating my dinner in front of a Bengals-Steelers Thursday Night Football matchup. I head to bed around 10:30 p.m. and end the day there.
Every day in the M.S. in Commerce Program is different, but I hope I have given you some insight into my life as a graduate student at the University of Virginia.