Why I Turned Down a Job Offer for Graduate School

I always planned to work immediately after undergrad and never considered the possibility of graduate school. After receiving a full-time job offer from a consulting firm in the fall of my senior year, I thought my post-grad plans were set. Then, to my surprise, I opened an email from UVA about their M.S. in Global Commerce program. After doing some research, I knew this was something I wanted to seriously consider. A graduate program that allowed me to travel around the world and earn two degrees in just one-year? Right up my alley. I (and my parents), however, needed more convincing that this program would be a valuable investment—and worth turning down my job offer.

I began by reaching out to the admissions team and current students. I soon had a better understand of the program’s unique opportunities. The business world is becoming more globally-integrated, and this program allows students to both specialize in international business and experience it first-hand. Major factors that I considered:

  • Access to career services teams and extensive alumni networks at three esteemed universities
  • The ability to earn two master’s degrees and a certificate in only 10 months; all directly applicable to the consulting industry
  • The opportunity to collaborate with and learn from students of different nationalities and cultures
  • The chance to travel to and live in China and Spain, countries I’ve never visited before

After exploring what the program had to offer and visiting McIntire to sit in on an actual M.S. in Global Commerce class, I was completely sold. As I embark on my own MSGC journey that began last month, I know I’ve made the right choice. The McIntire community has been so welcoming. Professors reach out to us to for one-on-one meetings to get to know us better. The career services team has made a special effort to prepare us for recruiting season, and McIntire alumni with international careers have joined us for networking events. Having only been in the program for a month, I’m excited to see what’s in store for the rest of this year. While I knew turning down a job offer for a graduate program would be risky, I can confidently say the MSGC program is worth it.

– Katherine Campbell, M.S. in Global Commerce ’18

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