MS in Commerce Blog

My Experience as a Student-Athlete in the M.S. in Commerce Program

Maria Moya (M.S. in Commerce '24) shares her experience as a student-athlete in the program and gives tips for success to other athletes who may be interested in the program.

Student-athlete Maria Moya (M.S. in Commerce '24) playing squash.

By Maria Moya (M.S. in Commerce ’24)

As a student-athlete in the M.S. in Commerce Program, I have faced many challenges, but ultimately, I find the experience rewarding and fulfilling. I want to share my personal experience with other student-athletes who may be interested in pursuing this path because it is a unique and valuable opportunity that can help you grow and develop beyond your comfort zone.

Choosing a Section and Balancing Classes and Practice

Before starting the program, you will have the chance to meet with faculty and your coach to select one of two sections that you will be placed in. I highly recommend that you make a plan with your coach to ensure you can manage your classes, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. While you will have breaks between classes, you will need to use these periods to complete activities like group-work deliverables, review slides before class, meet with professors, and collaborate with classmates. As a student-athlete, I suggest treating these breaks as class time so you can finish most of your academic work for the day before practice.

Managing Responsibilities as a Student-Athlete

This program is rigorous, and you may find balancing all your responsibilities challenging. However, managing is possible as long as you communicate with your classmates, professors, and coaches. It is essential to keep your coach or professor informed if there are any scheduling conflicts between classes and practice times. It is also crucial to prioritize academics and work with your coach to schedule make-up practices or lift sessions that fit your class schedule.

Knowing that this program does not accept outside competitions as excused absences is crucial. However, the program will provide you with all the necessary materials when traveling with your UVA team, and all classes will be recorded, making it easy to catch up. Participation is a significant percentage of your grade, so being present and engaged in your classes is best.

I have been fortunate to be part of this program and the student-athlete group. Your team and classmates will go through the same thing, and they will understand, support, and encourage you when things get tough. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of this opportunity to attend a top school where you will receive an excellent education, a supportive team, and professors who will help you succeed in your courses.

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