Student Life

Funding My Degree: Working at McIntire as a Grad Student

M.S. in Commerce student Michael Sorter is a Brand Ambassador and Graduate Assistant for the Graduate Marketing & Admissions Office. Here, he shares his experience holding down two positions while successfully completing the program.

My name is Michael Sorter, and in addition to being a student in the M.S. in Commerce Program, I am both a Brand Ambassador and Graduate Assistant (GA) for McIntire’s Graduate Marketing & Admissions Office! Many students come to grad school apprehensive about working during a rigorous one-year program, so I want to tell everyone about my experience holding down two positions.

Coming into the M.S. in Commerce, I knew I would need to work to help pay for school. Over the summer, prior to the start of the program, students are notified of on-campus job opportunities through Handshake, the UVA job database. When trying to pinpoint a job I thought would best fit me, I remembered how helpful the Marketing & Admissions staff were when I was applying to the program and knew I would enjoy being part of their team. I submitted my resume and cover letter, interviewed with the team, and was hired before I even started the program. There are four graduate students who work as a GA in the office.

As a GA, I do whatever any of our awesome recruiters need. I work about 10 hours a week. Everyone is very understanding, considerate of our schedule, and willing to work with you, as long as you’re meeting deadlines and communicating effectively.

I love my job as a GA, but being a Brand Ambassador is one of the most fun jobs you can have while being a full-time student! As an ambassador, I communicate with potential students (hopefully like you) about what life is like in the M.S. in Commerce Program and at UVA. I’m one of those people who naturally likes talking to people about things they are passionate about, which makes being a Brand Ambassador so enjoyable. It’s incredibly rewarding to share my experience with students interested in the Program.

Working as a graduate student is very doable. The McIntire staff are understanding with your school schedule, and so working hours are flexible. I just have to remember to coordinate with my class group to schedule meetings around my work schedule. I have also found it really beneficial (and sometimes enlightening) to see what goes on behind the scenes in the Marketing & Admissions Office. Other students are the GA for professors, which allows them to work closely with McIntire faculty, another big plus!

If anyone has anxiety about working while pursuing a graduate degree, don’t. I understand that is easier said than done, but I can honestly say that I have been able to perform well in school and maintain a healthy social life with my fellow Hoos while working two jobs on Grounds. Hope to see you all on Grounds soon!

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