Why M.S. in Commerce?

The Admission Committee seeks candidates with a strong academic background whose goals and motivation are a good fit within the culture, content, and opportunities presented by the M.S. in Commerce Program. Please describe the unique aspects of your background and motivations and how you see them fitting into what you know about the program. Be sure to include in your discussion what you hope to gain by participating in the program and what strengths you feel you have to contribute to the program. (500 word limit)

The University of Virginia has been good to me. I had the college life of storybooks—lazy afternoons on the Lawn, head-scratching debates about philosophy, and spirited evenings at athletic events. As a third year, I should be looking forward to a traditionally exciting fourth year, when I can frequent the Corner more often than Clemons. However, I’m one step ahead.

First year, I learned about the M.S. in Commerce, but I shied away from it for the same reason why I didn’t consider McIntire as an undergraduate. Back then, “business” only meant “doing things for money” to me. I wondered why so many smart people would go that route, when there’s so much more to life than material gain. While I majored in economics, my motivation was to better understand decision-making, politics, and the science behind our economy, not to make money. I concluded that the competitive business world simply wasn’t my best fit.

Long story short, I was wrong. Since then, my ideas have matured considerably due to experiences that have shown the pervasiveness of business skills in the places that matter to me most. I first tasted this as a sales associate at LUSH Cosmetics, where I did more than just sell makeup and soap. Through clever marketing and...

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