From Boston to Charlottesville

During my senior fall at Boston College, I underwent a little bit of an identity crisis. See, I’m the youngest in an entire of family doctors. Apart from my older brother (an investment banker), nearly everyone from my father, aunts, uncles, and even a few cousins, are either practicing physicians or current medical students. Up until November 2016, my life’s dream was to be the next in the family to wear a white coat.  I didn’t mind the weekend nights I spent studying while my roommates all went off-campus (shout out 315 Foster) or to MA’s, it was all part of the sacrifice to eventually receive my MD. But as I thought about it more and more, I realized that a career as a physician would position me to make an impact at the micro-level operating on patients, however, would not allow me to tackle the macro-level healthcare problems I had become introduced to during my internships.

From CLXF to Rubi: Commencement Ball pictures at Boston Common
From CLXF to Rubi: Commencement Ball pictures at Boston Common

While I was relieved to have finally chosen not to apply to medical school, I was quickly overwhelmed by the thought of graduation. Most of my roommates had already secured jobs, recruiting was pretty much over, and I had absolutely zero business experience on my resume… Great. In the biggest stroke of luck in my life, that week I happened to receive an email in my inbox about the M.S. in Commerce (MSC) program. After a phone call with admissions, I knew that McIntire would provide the foundation I needed to pursue a business career outside of medicine.

One semester down, one to go…

After a winter break filled with questions from family and friends about the MSC program, I can confidently say attending this program has been one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. The fall was crazy: the combination of 19 credit hours and recruiting season is a recipe for stress. But looking back on it, it’s a part of what makes the MSC so unique. From the pains of writing our first memo, more group presentations than you can ever imagine, and an entire notebook filled from practicing case interviews, it’s the early struggles you go through as a class that brought everyone so close together.

My group after our final presentation in the Fall!
My group after our final presentation in the Fall!

As a BC alum, I found the transition to UVA very smooth. The close-knit environment of our program is very reminiscent of the togetherness found at the Heights. What’s even more impressive is the love for their school that UVA students have… I always thought BC alum were pretty hardcore, but it’s something entirely different when you see the entirety of Charlottesville focused on what’s taking place on “Grounds.” As a part of McIntire, you find yourself among a select number of students that were accepted into the prestigious business school (think CSOM, but starting Junior Year). Having lived with a few CSOM students (and constantly hearing their jokes about CSOM superiority over A&S), it feels good to be a McIntire student.

Apart from academics, the layout of UVA is surprisingly similar to BC. You have “Grounds” (the UVA-term for campus), the Corner (think Cleveland Circle but more going on), and downtown. Now obviously the downtown here is no comparison to Boston, but there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and breweries to keep you busy for the year!

BC 3
Boston College’s Gasson Hall
University of Virginia’s Rotunda
University of Virginia’s Rotunda

Don’t think, just apply!

I loved my four years at Boston College, and I will forever consider BC my alma mater. I still proudly rep my BC gear in Charlottesville and love to say that “I went to Boston College for undergrad” in interviews. But, I also believe I completely owe my professional career to this program. The unique intersection this program provides between liberal arts, science and engineering students and business creates an extremely appealing candidate for firms of all industries. It is incredible to see the prestigious offers that my friends here have already received: from bulge bracket and boutique investment banks, consulting firms on the Vault Top 50, and impressive digital analytics/marketing firms, there is no doubt my CSOM friends would be jealous. Personally, I will be working as an analyst for DayBlink Consulting, a management consulting firm in Washington D.C.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to contact me if you have any more questions! I’m always happy to talk to another Eagle!

-Written by Jason Shim, M.S. in Commerce 2017

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