M.S. in Commerce 2012 (Finance), University of Virginia
B.A. in Economics 2011, The University of Texas at Austin
After: IBM, Senior Consultant (Houston, TX)
Now: Columbia Business School, M.B.A. Candidate (New York, NY)
Leverage economics with business
As an undergraduate, I studied economics and pre-law, fields that teach students how to think critically and communicate ideas effectively. These valuable skills, however, are developed in a very theoretical and academic-based environment. Combining this experience with the M.S. in Commerce Program not only diversified my perspective, but also it enabled me to develop real-world applicability for these talents through an understanding of business and commerce.
Break out of your comfort zone
The M.S. in Commerce Program is designed to take students out of their comfort zone. It offers a rigorous and diverse curriculum, but also brings together a broad range of students who have diverse perspectives. In the program, you will learn the technical skills necessary to succeed as a graduate-level hire, but more importantly, the program teaches you how to adapt to new situations and people. Unlike school, working in the real world is far less predictable. The ability to be agile, to think critically, and to work under a range of circumstances is far more critical to succeeding in the new business environment than the basic skills that get you in the door.
Importance of the Global Immersion Experience (GIE)
My consulting career has been in oil and gas capital projects, a traditionally internationally focused industry. Globalization has driven economic development and energy demand to unprecedented levels, particularly in Asia. Participating in the GIE Southeast Asia track gave me multiple experiences from which to draw on during conversations about development in the region. Demonstrating a grasp of macro trends that directly impact the industry has been an invaluable asset in helping to build my reputation both within my firm and with the client.
Most memorable GIE company visit
Hemaraj in Thailand was my most memorable company visit. My passion is infrastructure and capital projects. My long-term goal is to help finance global development through infrastructure development. Hemaraj was a company on the forefront of development in East Asia, with insights into the growing demand for transport, utilities networks, and industrial parks. Having the opportunity to speak to company leadership about where they saw regional growth in Asia and how they were positioning their firm to be an integral part of that development was an invaluable opportunity that taught me far more than anything I could have learned from a lecture, article, or textbook.
Advice for future students
The M.S. in Commerce Program is a big commitment and investment. You should make the most of every opportunity to really understand yourself, and why you chose to do this program. Getting a job is at the top of nearly everyone's list of goals, but don't be afraid to wait for the right offer. Use all of McIntire’s resources to decide what is really right for you, and don't let the fear of not getting a job force you into an offer that doesn't fit your goals. You can find the right opportunity if you put in the effort and patience.
Favorite Charlottesville activity
Foxfield is a sight to see. There aren't too many university students who can boast a local horse race as an annual tradition. It’s great to experience with your friends and a place to make notable memories.