Undergraduate Blog

Five Memories from a Graduating Fourth-Year

As T.J. prepares to graduate, he looks back on the memories he made at McIntire.

I still remember the day I toured UVA and McIntire during my senior year of high school; four years later, I am graduating and will be moving to a new city in a few months. While I am not sure the next time I will be back in Charlottesville, I will carry many memories with me to my new home. Here are five of my favorites from two years of studying within Rouss & Robertson Halls.

Block Kickball Tournament
One of the first things Commerce students will experience is the Block Kickball Tournament. This festivity usually occurs on the North Grounds fields and is a tournament to crown the best kickball team. Each block is its own team. While my team did not win any games, I still remember this event as a time I got to know my blockmates better and enjoyed Charlottesville’s beautiful fall weather.



Dinner with Comm Professors
One of my favorite aspects of the Comm School is how approachable the professors are. Since students spend their third year completing the Integrated Core Experience (ICE) curriculum with the same group of professors, they get to know the teachers quite well. The professors also put in a lot of effort to get to know their students, both inside and outside of the classroom. On multiple occasions, I had professors who organized events outside of the classroom with their students. My favorite time was going to a restaurant near the Downtown Mall named Bang!. The professor invited my ICE team and another ICE team after we both won a classroom competition. We all sat together at a large table and shared appetizers. After doing so much work with your own ICE team, it is fun to be in a relaxing environment with them. Our professor also shared lots of stories about their own college experience and the many countries they visited.

Organizational Behavior LEGO Day
My favorite day spent inside the classroom was an Organizational Behavior session. Organizational Behavior is one of the seven disciplines that students are exposed to during ICE. You learn about team dynamics and the principles behind effective teams. On this day, our challenge was to build a small LEGO set as quickly as possible within our ICE team. The challenge was that the LEGO set had two distinct parts – a larger boat and a small boat. Each team had to divide the LEGO set to try to balance the workload between members. This fun competition led to a lively discussion about the teams’ different strategies and the underlying theories from academic literature about team behavior. Who says LEGOs are just for kids!

Final ICE Presentation
Months of work lead up to this moment. Teams will have conquered multiple projects and refined their ideas countless times at this point. The grand culmination of the first semester of ICE is the final presentation day. Research, writing, editing, and practicing come to fruition, as each team presents their project idea in front of their classmates, professors, and employees from their corporate sponsor. For my block, CarMax sent multiple executives from different departments to hear our ideas. Their questions and comments showed that they valued our work and insights. After spending many nights with my team editing our report, creating attractive exhibits, and practicing our presentation parts, I felt extreme satisfaction after finally showcasing our project. At the end of the day, every students’ smile is a little bigger as they acknowledge the work they put in over the course of the semester.

My ICE team after our final presentation

Conducting Research with a Professor
During my fourth year, I had the opportunity to be a research assistant with the professor who taught a Consumer Behavior class that I had taken the semester before. The research involved looking for advertisements that used comparative and superlative adjectives (e.g., better, faster, strongest). I looked through magazines, online ad collections, grocery stores, and more to find a range of examples. I would meet with the professor about once a month to show him some new examples and explain any trends I was noticing. I enjoyed being able to see another aspect of the teaching profession aside from what is visible in the classroom. I also got to make a close connection to another commerce professor. To other students who are interested in helping with research, many McIntire professors are conducting research projects, and getting involved can be as simple as asking them if they need assistance!

I still have one more memory to make: walking the Lawn at graduation. Until then, thank you to all the professors, classmates, and friends who have been a part of these memories!

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