Academics

Why I Chose McIntire by Dylan Justice (A&S ’19, M.S. in Commerce ’21)

The UVA grad gives his perspective on why he decided to apply to the M.S. in Commerce Program.

I graduated from UVA with a degree in Economics and Statistics in 2019. Time snuck up on me, and I quickly learned that I didn’t have the desire I thought I had to work in my field of studies. After some thought, I knew I wanted to pivot to something more creative.

At the same time, I was already working in the music industry, and so I decided to lean in harder into my job. I spent the next year trying to make a career out of my music, deejaying, and working on recording an album. I thought that being my own boss and making music would be the greatest gig. Instead, I was barely making enough money to get by, and making an album was really tough. Still considering my need to be in a creative field, I decided to look for a job in fields like marketing, but it soon became apparent to me that I lacked the background necessary to get a job in my chosen field.

As I researched options and met with more and more people, I found that I was really interested in marketing, branding, and promotion. From these conversations, I was able to determine that my next step in order to get the type of job that I wanted was to return to school. I looked at many programs, but the M.S. in Commerce Program at UVA stood out to me most, due to the structure of the program, its emphasis on collaboration, and the reputation of the McIntire School of Commerce.

I was first impressed by the structure of the program because I would be able to specialize in one of three specific tracks—I chose Marketing & Management—while still gaining a solid foundation in other areas of business. The Integrated Core Experience ensures that students gain a thorough understanding of commerce from every angle. The course content, integrative projects, and case studies teach students to understand and solve real-world business problems.

I was also intrigued by how much of the coursework in the M.S. in Commerce Program is collaborative, with team-based projects and classroom discussions. There is an emphasis on participation from all members of our McIntire community, which brings together people who have diverse viewpoints and perspectives. This community is really at the center of the learning process.

The bottom line is that I wanted a degree that would open doors, and McIntire’s reputation is unparalleled in that regard. Not only is the program top-ranked, but it also offers extensive career services, gives access to recruiters from top companies, and has an extensive alumni network around the world. Having gone through the job search process on my own before coming to McIntire, I know how important it is to have these resources and connections for the next time around.

Overall, I am happy with my decision to apply to McIntire and am fortunate to be a part of a program with a thoughtful curriculum and helpful resources so that students can find success in the professional world.

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