The University of Virginia Masters in Commerce program posts student interviews and profiles with regularity on their site. This is helpful for anyone considering the program as it lets you hear from students who have walked in your shoes about their experiences and perspectives. I had a recent one emailed to me that I think all of you might find interesting and the timing is perfect as the application season is upon us. I’ll include a link to the full interview in the post, but below is what I thought was most interest. Application deadlines are also posted.
I would like to thank UVA for sending this over and for Roy Masha, M.S. in Commerce 2019, Business Analytics Track, for doing this for the university.
Can you talk about adjusting to graduate school at UVA?
I went to the University of Connecticut for undergrad, so coming to UVA was really a totally new experience. I quickly fell in love with Charlottesville, so it was actually a very easy transition. I think the biggest change was the coursework and pace of the program. Coming from a theoretical liberal arts education and going into a business application-based curriculum was different for me. For example, the group projects were completely new to me. In undergrad, I’d go to class, take notes, take an exam, and repeat the process. In the M.S. in Commerce, the whole idea that coursework required participating in class discussions and doing group projects for every class was the biggest transition for me. I think that’s really a foundational pillar of the Program.
How helpful was Commerce Career Services (CCS) in facilitating your career search?
CCS was super helpful in those first two months or so when consulting season kicks off, from the application opening up to receiving my offer with Bain. What I appreciate the most was being able to connect with CCS early in June before we started the program. It was really nice to get that initial support and talk through what industries interest you. They helped me prepare for when the application opened up in August. Then, once recruiting actually started, it was a little more tactical, like finding sources for case and behavioral interviews and comparing companies.
I remember after my initial interview with Bain, CCS connected me with other McIntire and M.S. in Commerce alumni who worked at Bain. I was able to conduct informational interviews, which was super helpful. Even after receiving the offer, I sat down with CCS staff who helped guide me through the negotiation process, what to ask for, and what not to ask for. CCS provides comprehensive support and is always there when you need them.
Has the Global Immersion Experience influenced your work?
I was on the Greater China GIE track. It was probably my favorite part of the Program. I haven’t necessarily worked on any international cases as of yet, but one thing, surprisingly, that has come up on the job is how global a company Bain is. When I went through global training, I was placed into groups with people from offices around the world, and it was one of the first times I got to see the dynamics between different cultures and countries. It reminded me of what I saw and learned during GIE.
When you’re in a group working with someone from the UK, someone from Sweden, and someone from India, the way they approach a problem is different than how we might in the United States. You start to appreciate how certain businesses are run. It was really interesting to see those kinds of mindsets diverge into kind of a dynamic team.
Is there anything else you would tell current or potential McIntire students that we haven’t discussed yet?
Yes! Enjoy the one year while you have it. It goes by so quickly and is hands down—and I’m not exaggerating when I say this—one of the best years you’ll ever have. The friends I made are amazing, and luckily a lot of them are in the D.C. area, so I get to see them often. Recruiting may seem like a top priority, but take time to appreciate your friends and enjoy Charlottesville.
Finally, what is your favorite Charlottesville activity?
We used to go to wineries on weekends. I’m from Massachusetts, so it was weird to me that the weather was so nice in March or April. Honestly, that was one of my favorite things to do. I was also there when the basketball team won the national championship, so that experience was one-in-a-lifetime. If I took one thing from that experience, it was that sports can really connect you to a school. I even had friends in the program who were diehard Tar Heels (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and even they were caught up in it. That was singlehandedly my favorite Charlottesville experience.
You can read the entire interview here. I included only sections I thought would be specifically helpful to someone considering the UVA MS Commerce Program, but there is more that you might find interesting.
Admissions Deadline Schedule
The first application deadline is coming up November 1st, 2020. After this there is a little break, with January 1, 2021 being the next application rough and every month after this. If you have interest, I would strongly encourage you to get in early as interest and demand for specialized masters programs has been increasing as of late.
Check back soon for additional information on this program. I am working hard on getting more information for all of you.
Here is a link to the University of Virginia Masters in Commerce Program