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Here is the second review of the University of Virginia Master in Commerce program. Please let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!

 

1) Why a specialized masters ? Why UVA’s MS Commerce?

One of the main reasons I pursued a specialized masters was because I did not have the opportunity to study finance / business in my undergraduate career. I graduated from Vanderbilt University with an Engineering degree and knew that I did not want to pursue a career in Engineering. Attending the UVA MS Commerce program allowed me to explore a number of finance and business related classes within a one year time period. Also, I knew I wanted to break into investment banking and the Master’s degree definitely helped me get multiple job offers last fall. UVA was a very good program due to the caliber of the courses offered as well as the “piggy backing” effect off of the undergraduate Mcintire school. Companies know that the undergraduate Mcintire program is very strong and it really helps to have this name somewhere on your resume.

2) Who would a specialized masters be good for in general and the UVA program specifically?

The Master’s degree is better for a student who has not had any business or finance background. I say this because in interviews they will ask you why you decided to get a Master’s. It is a lot easier to say “I chose to attend the UVA Master’s program because I majored in X and did not have the opportunity to take finance classes, than “I majored in business / finance but was not able to get a job so I decided to get another year of finance under my belt.”

Also, anyone who is looking to break into investment banking / consulting. The type of recruiters that come to the Mcintire school of commerce are mainly from the banks and large consulting firms.

3) Pros and Cons of the UVA Master in Commerce program

Pros:

a)      Being associated with the Mcintire school of commerce (strong brand name)

b)      The amount of companies that recruit at Mcintire

c)      The Mcintire career services are much better than most I have ever encountered

d)      Class sizes are small so you can have a lot of attention

e)      Very integrated with the undergrad student body so nightlife and extracurricular activities are very strong

cons:

a)      The Master’s program itself (just like most 1 year Master’s programs) are still new to many employers. I found myself explaining the entire concept during most of my interviews. However, leveraging the undergraduate business school name is great.

4) Anything else you want to talk about. How the programmed helped you get your job, how it benefits your career, etc.

a)      Opened the door to a strong alumni network

b)      Great career services…very hands on

c)      Finance teachers willing to help you prepare for the dreaded investment banking interview