By Maggie Seabrook
It feels like no time has passed since I walked down South Lawn and through McIntire halls, imagining myself as a student. Almost four years later, I am proud to say that I live that dream every day as a third-year at McIntire. Our School is filled with people from all walks of life, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to share my story now.
As a reseller in high school, I spent my free hours driving to thrift stores and off-price retailers to source inventory, styling and creating a brand for my store, and communicating with customers. Business came naturally to me, and I was happy to have discovered what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The only question left was where to gain the important skills, knowledge, and connections needed to succeed. With its picturesque surroundings, welcoming community, and emphasis on long-term career outcomes, McIntire made perfect sense.
During my first two years at UVA, I became involved in the Women’s Leadership Development Program (WLDP) and ULink Peer Advising and took a variety of classes. Some of the prerequisites were, well, difficult (I’m looking at you, STAT 2120), but I can honestly say that the material I learned in those classes comes up time and time again now that I’m in McIntire.
I’ll admit that at first, the unique structure of the McIntire curriculum–two years in the College and two years in the Commerce School–didn’t appeal to me. I was eager to take real business classes. Today, I truly understand and appreciate the chance to spend time in the College, exploring an in-depth liberal arts education. I took classes in Psychology and Environmental Science that challenged my critical thinking and opened my eyes to new perspectives. I believe this way of thinking will allow me to become a more perceptive and engaged business leader.
If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to let yourself enjoy your first two years at UVA. Don’t spend them waiting in anticipation for McIntire or stressing about the application. You only have four years here, so make every one of them count! Take a class in something non-business-related but that excites you, join clubs you’re genuinely interested in, and know that as cheesy as it sounds, you are an intelligent and talented individual. You wouldn’t be at UVA if you weren’t, and everything is going to work out just fine. One of my favorite aspects of McIntire is the fact that everyone has a unique perspective, background, and story to bring. I’m glad I got to share mine with you, and look forward to hearing yours one day.