I’m not sure how qualified I am to be giving tips to current and future McIntire students, but I think I’ve made enough mistakes and struggled enough to feel confident in the “wisdom” I will be sharing with you. Most of these are based on my experience as a McIntire student, but these insights are relatable to all students, not just Commerce students. So let’s get into it:
Become friends your Integrated Core Experience (ICE) group mates. Being friends with your group mates makes everything better. We spent hours upon hours working on our projects, and it was easier because I actually got to know them and liked them. We gained a level of respect and an understanding of each other that fostered productive AND enjoyable work that we were extremely proud of in the end.
Study outside Rouss & Robertson Halls every once in a while. The infamous Comm School buildings have many amazing features, from computer labs to vending machines to art galleries and group study rooms hooked up with fancy technology. That being said, we spend enough time in the buildings for classes, meetings, and group projects already. It can be exhausting and draining to spend all your time in one place. Make the intentional decision to step out and see other places on Grounds, explore different coffee shops, study in one of the 12 different libraries on Grounds, etc. It’ll make coming to class a little less daunting and you’ll get a more well-rounded experience of UVA!
Let your experiences in ICE change your mind. ICE caused me to have a crisis of career; I know it sounds dramatic but it’s true, and I’m honestly pretty glad it happened. I came to McIntire with a vaguely defined idea of what the early stages of my career would look like. But during spring ICE, I found that I really enjoy the Information Technology (IT) coursework and that my strengths and interests align more with that path than the one I was previously pursuing. I’m glad I allowed myself to realize that during my third year and not several years after graduation.
Take a few courses outside of McIntire. McIntire offers great programs with great courses, but we are not the only school with courses that will challenge you to learn. Take courses outside of your comfort zone that you find interesting. It is nice to gain experience in other departments and learn to adapt to different work environments. If you’re looking for courses to supplement what you’re learning at McIntire, I’ve found Statistics and Economics courses to be quite interesting, especially if you want to get into coding or like math.