Hey there, first off, huge congratulations on getting into UVA! I’m sure a lot of you have had your sights set on UVA for a few years now (and for some of you, since you were kids). But, for those of you who haven’t been dead set on UVA from the start, I know exactly where you’re at right now.
I didn’t have a dream school. I was very flexible when it came to my college search; my only criteria were somewhere on the East Coast, somewhere I could study business, and a nice campus. I can say now, having been at UVA for a few years, that UVA checks all three of those off.
But did I know that I would come to love UVA way back in my senior year of high school? Absolutely not. Coming from San Francisco, almost all of my friends who ended up on the East Coast went to school in large cities. I hadn’t really considered UVA as an option, as I was looking more at schools in Boston and New York, where my friends ended up. However, my mind changed when I visited Grounds (UVA’s campus).
Grounds, to me, is an ideal college campus: It feels local and familiar, yet still situated in the larger city of Charlottesville, which has limitless opportunities to explore. When comparing UVA with some of the other schools I was considering, I realized that UVA provides a balance between academic rigor, social environment, and career opportunities that none of the other schools I was looking at could offer.
Now, of course, McIntire has enhanced my experience at UVA in a substantial way. Through McIntire, I have found a close-knit, smaller community within the larger UVA student body. I’ve also been able to study topics typically reserved for MBA classes, allowing me the chance to explore advanced topics in finance, investing, and trading.
But McIntire was not the reason I chose UVA. In fact, I didn’t know about McIntire until after I had already committed to UVA. Yet, once I stepped on Grounds and began to join McIntire-affiliated clubs, I realized that McIntire was the place for me. From interacting and learning from upperclassmen to the McIntire prerequisite classes, I found quickly that McIntire offered me a unique educational opportunity to get a business education that will actually prepare me for my future career.
I’ve loved my time so far at UVA and at McIntire, and wish I was there right now instead of quarantined at home! Hopefully, some of this is helpful to you. Good luck with your decisions and congrats again!
P.S. For those of you from out of state (and especially the West Coast), you will probably feel intimidated to enter an environment where a large number of students already know other people (I certainly felt that as the only person from my school). However, I can promise you that you’ll very quickly meet new friends and make new social groups–and continue to make new friends all four years!