When classes started in the fall, all students in the M.S. in Commerce program, regardless of track, generally had the same schedule. The program was split into section one and section two with one starting in the morning and two starting in the afternoon. With the exception of one track specific class at the end of the semester, everyone took the same courses with the same professors on the same days, with the only variation in start time. This spring, things are very different, because all three tracks are currently taking industry specific classes to their specialties.
This semester, students in the Marketing and Management track (yours truly included) are taking Brand Management & Integrated Marketing Communications, Social Media & Digital Marketing Strategy, Consumer Behavior and Pricing Strategies, and New Product Development. We are also taking one class called Fundamentals of Global Commerce that all students in the MSC, program take in preparation for the Global Immersion Experience (GIE) courses in May (YAY!). Professor Maillet has also offered a very interesting optional Econ Review class for students who want to brush up on their real-world econ knowledge.
Who should consider the M&M track?
As we have become track-specific this semester, it’s fundamentally easier to understand why students are drawn to the Marketing & Management track. It’s an exciting field with fast-paced and communication-based work. Personally, I was drawn to the track because I love to work with others in a creative setting. Students who are naturally drawn to collaboration with others, especially in an innovative and experimental setting, are ones that would fit well with the this track. We spend a good deal of time trying to understand consumers and creating plans around using those natural tendencies to create relationships with brands, so anyone with an interest in creative problem solving would also be a great fit.
Why it’s so cool
Although all the classes are interesting and offer new insights into the marketing world, a few stand out because of their unusual course material. The Consumer Behavior class with Professor Cheema has emerged as a crowd favorite, largely because of its roots in psychology. In the class we look at the motivations behind what drives consumers to buy and what environments are optimal for pushing purchases. We’ve looked at everything from what drives attention to how the layout of a grocery store can impact what foods a consumer goes home with. Social Media with professor Montgomery is another class that students find very interesting. In Social we talk about what brands are doing in real time with their social media platforms, who does it well and even touch on some of the bigger questions about motivations of consumers to engage with brands through social.
What does day-to-day look like?
Below is a photo of what the spring semester schedule looks like for most of the semester. As you can see, there is some nice new time we have off from classes. Most notably, the Marketing and Management track does not have regularly scheduled Friday classes this semester, which is very exciting. Students generally use this extra time in different ways. The way you choose to structure your free time is up to you, but typically students have found this free time very helpful to meet with their team for group projects, study for upcoming assessments, work on their job searches and utilize Commerce Career Services, and attend interviews with potential employers. The extra time has also been great for students who are interested in working out more, attending UVA sports games, exploring Charlottesville, or picking up a part-time job or internship. All in all, it’s been a very exciting spring semester, and the schedule leaves time to take advantage of all the things that UVA has to offer on and off campus!
-Written by Christin Wade-Vulturo