MS in Commerce Blog

How Academic Diversity Adds Value to the M.S. in Commerce Experience by Lacey Turner (M.S. in Commerce ’21)

Current M.S. in Commerce student Lacey Turner talks about how students with diverse academic backgrounds add value to the M.S. in Commerce classroom experience.

Lacey Turner

Gaining knowledge about and encountering diverse academic perspectives can help individuals become more well-rounded students and professionals. By admitting students from a variety of non-business majors, McIntire’s M.S. in Commerce Program intentionally creates an interesting classroom environment, where academic diversity shines. This is one of the reason why I, and many other students, chose to attend McIntire.

For me, this program was an opportunity to explore and create a career path for myself by bridging my undergraduate background in sociology to a business skill set with a specialty in marketing and management. The curriculum and business foundation we gain are only made better by having varying perspectives, backgrounds, and interests represented in the classroom, creating a unique dynamic where we learn from both the professors and our peers. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to leave class having heard a comment or question from a classmate that really changes the way I think about a course topic or pushes my boundaries of how I view the world.

No matter the career, working and communicating with people from different backgrounds is essential to being a good teammate and an effective leader. One of the most valuable things I have learned from the M.S. in Commerce Program is how to recognize and utilize these different perspectives and skill sets to reach goals and work effectively in a team setting. This is a crucial lesson that will help prepare me for any career, and I am glad this is something that I’ve had the opportunity to experience at McIntire.

Being a part of this diverse student community that the program has brought together is one of the many ways McIntire helps students before entering the professional world. Students come from many different undergraduate schools and majors and represent a wide variety of nationalities and regions of the world. Let’s take a look at some of the unique backgrounds of this year’s M.S. in Commerce students, how their undergraduate experiences have translated to getting their graduate business degree, and what they look forward to doing in the future.

Marketing & Management Track

Madeleine Faunce
University of Virginia, Politics ’20

How does your undergrad major complement your chosen track?
I would love to go into public affairs, which is really where business and politics intersect. The Marketing & Management Track puts me in a position where I can, hopefully, land a job in this space.

What class has allowed you to apply your undergrad knowledge and skill set?
Classes that have allowed me to do this are Product & Project Management and Global Strategy & Systems because they both have wide-ranging applications across politics and communications, both of which are compelling career fields to me.

What is your advice for non-business majors interested in business school?
I felt overwhelmed at first and felt like I was in the wrong spot because I had not taken business classes in undergrad. However, with some work, I’ve eventually learned the “business language” that Professor Ira Harris talks about at the beginning of the semester, and I feel confident I made the right decision in coming to McIntire.

Amanda Kosich
Cornell University, Environmental and Sustainability Sciences ’20

Why did you choose McIntire after undergrad?
I chose McIntire to supplement my environmental science knowledge with business knowledge and launch my career in corporate sustainability.

How does your undergrad major complement your chosen track?
I chose the Marketing & Management specifically due to my interest in how communications and marketing can influence perception of sustainability.

What is your dream job after McIntire?
I would like to be a corporate sustainability consultant.

Logan Lucas
University of Virginia, American Studies ’20

What class has allowed you to apply your undergrad knowledge and skill set?
Global Strategy & Systems. Problem solving is something that I have done in both my undergrad and M.S. in Commerce classes, so things like thinking about how to frame an issue and which perspectives to consider have translated well.

What is your dream job after McIntire?
Management Consultant

Business Analytics Track

Anthony Raftis
Queens University of Charlotte, Sport Management and Mathematics ’20

How does your undergrad major complement your chosen track?
Mathematics helped develop my problem-solving skills, which really helps in all aspects of this program. Almost everything we are doing can be summarized as problem solving. While we are not solving complex math problems, we have to understand the problem, and use the skills and knowledge we have learned to find an answer.

What is your dream job after McIntire?
General Manager of a sports franchise

Lois Lo
University of Virginia, Public Policy ’20

What class has allowed you to apply your undergrad knowledge and skill set?
Global Systems & Strategy has allowed me to utilize my ability to see the big picture, and the persuasive and direct writing style from my undergrad major also translates well, as I had a lot of practice with writing memos for time-pressed decision makers.

What is your dream job after McIntire?
Business analyst or internal strategy consultant for a media company or consumer bank. I hope to use my business analytics skills and tools in a role like this to help a company use data to solve problems.

Morgan Walton
George Mason University, Sports Management ’20

How does your undergrad major complement your chosen track?
There are lots of analytics opportunities in sports, both within business and within the sports themselves. Sports analytics is a fascinating opportunity that is growing quickly, so the pairing of sports management and business analytics opens many doors within the industry.

What class has allowed you to apply your undergrad knowledge and skill set?
Global Systems & Strategy. Many of the business concepts we talked about can be applied to sports examples. Sports businesses often have to contend with various on-field results, which can make having a cohesive, strong strategy even more important for success.

What is your dream job post-grad from McIntire?
General Manager of a professional sports team

Finance Track

Will Roff
Washington & Lee University, Economics ’20

How does your undergrad major complement your chosen track?
Economics gave me a good foundation for quantitative analysis and synthesizing it into stories. My track and the entire program give me a more focused look at finance, with a strong basis of understanding the macro effects that go into financial policy. Also, since W&L is a liberal arts college, my undergraduate degree gave me a wide understanding of different subjects that I will use in any career. This degree is the perfect complement to the liberal arts education I received in undergrad.

What class has allowed you to apply your undergrad knowledge and skills?
Finance Management and Corporate Valuation have been most applicable.

What is your dream job post-grad from McIntire?
Corporate finance for a Fortune 500 company

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