Josh Mead (M.S. in Commerce ’21)
Track: Business Analytics
Undergrad: Philosophy, Christendom College
Why did you decide to pursue the M.S. in Commerce Program?
I want to do business, but I ended up getting a liberal arts undergraduate degree to get a strong foundation of writing, critical thinking, and ethics. I attended McIntire’s MBI: Business Fundamentals program during the summer between my sophomore and junior years, which is how I got interested in McIntire, from the faculty in the certificate program. Professor Mark White and his Finance unit especially sparked my interest in getting a business education. MBI helped expose me to the M.S. in Commerce Program and helped me see how I could build off of my liberal arts foundation. I knew the quality of McIntire would not disappoint me and would open more doors for me in my career.
What has been your favorite class in the M.S. in Commerce Program?
I really enjoyed the Global Strategy & Systems class with Professor Ira Harris. It was the first course that we took in the fall semester. It gave a strategic understanding of what makes a business thrive. It allowed us to see the big picture of business, while also providing insight to some of the more complicated undertones. I definitely think it was one of the more challenging classes, but it was well worth the time and effort.
What skills have you learned from the program so far that will be most applicable for your future career?
There are three sets of skills that I have learned from the program: practical business understanding through courses like Accounting and Finance; technical skills through the use of programs like SQL, Tableau, and R; and soft skills like teamwork and communication through the collaboration with others from different academic and personal backgrounds. These are all important skills that I think will be applicable in my future career.
What will you be doing after you graduate from McIntire?
I will be joining CGI Federal as a Consultant after graduation; there, I will implement business and IT solutions for federal government agencies.
What would you tell any prospective students looking to apply to the program?
Be prepared to utilize a holistic approach of both technical and interpersonal skill sets. Also, be prepared to be challenged in a variety of ways, whether in class, during the job search and interviews, or in group meetings.
How has your experience been taking courses online?
Being online makes it challenging to meet with professors outside of the classroom, but they are all very accommodating, with flexible schedules and additional office hours. Overall, it’s been a great experience to be in this program and be with likeminded peers and attentive professors, even if we’re not always together in the same room.