Tewksbury, NJ, native Nicole Garrett took COMM 1800, the Foundations of Commerce course, on a whim. The prerequisite course for the McIntire School designed to give students an avenue for gauging their interest in business did its job: Garrett’s interest was piqued, and she wanted to discover what a degree in Commerce could lead to academically and professionally.
She sought out more information by joining UVA’s Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity. “This allowed me to meet a lot of older McIntire students and learn about their experiences,” Garrett says. “I was drawn in by their descriptions of the community at McIntire. I thought it was really cool how close most students were with their professors and classmates, and I was interested in learning in that type of collaborative environment.”
The Finance and Accounting concentrator who also carries a minor in Public Policy and Leadership from the Batten School says that the experience of meeting and learning from others is a lesson that she will be taking with her into the next chapter of her life.
“There were so many times when I was interested in a specific internship or trying to learn more about a certain topic, and I would spend hours trying to research it online. After having professors reiterate the importance of networking, I became a lot more comfortable with the idea of reaching out to people I didn’t know with questions,” Garrett admits. “I realized you learn a lot more from people’s experiences than you do trying to figure out everything yourself. Even if you are just exploring a new interest you don’t know much about, people are super-willing to talk to students, and you should use that to your advantage.”
Garrett secured her third-year internship at investment advisory firm Evercore, working in their investment banking division in New York, where she will be returning to begin her career this summer. But in the interim between walking the Lawn and relocating, she’ll be traveling with her roommates and friends to Europe.
“I have a month or so off until my job starts. We haven’t made any full plans yet, so I’m excited to be spontaneous and see where we end up,” she says. “I’m also planning on traveling with my mom, and it will be nice to spend time with her since I didn’t see her much during the semester.”
In the time Garrett has remaining on Grounds as a student, we asked her about the McIntire course and memory that have affected her most profoundly.
What Comm School course made the greatest impact on you?
The class that impacted me the most was Professor Peter Maillet’s Foundations of Global Commerce class. A big reason I was interested in McIntire was that I wanted a global learning experience. I had expected to get this through a study-abroad program, but they were canceled for my third year. I was definitely bummed that I couldn’t go abroad, but this class really helped me start to build an understanding of business in a global context. It was challenging to consider the impacts of global events on different stakeholders; however, one of my favorite parts of the class was that we had a lot of exchange students, so it was interesting to get their perspectives on issues we learned about. I appreciated how Professor Maillet encouraged dialogue about students’ differing backgrounds and experiences and his willingness to make time for students outside of class. I really recommend taking this class if you think you have an interest in global business!
What from your time at McIntire do you think will stay with you?
My favorite memory from McIntire was probably block kickball (shout out to Block 2!). We finally got to play our fourth year since we were virtual much of our third year. Even though our team lost pretty badly, it was fun to have a lot of our block and our professors in one place. McIntire is unique for having a community that feels very tight-knit, even in a big school like UVA, so it was fun to spend time with everyone outside of class.