Why I Chose the M.S. in Commerce Over a Job

It was the fall of my senior year of undergrad at William & Mary. My friends had jobs lined up after graduation or were entering grad programs. I could have taken a job offer but didn’t. Why was the M.S. in Commerce ultimately my choice?

Like most of my decisions, it came down to an Excel sheet listing pros and cons. Most people’s choices gave them some combination of academic and on-the-job training, but I wanted something more. I opted for the M.S. in Commerce at UVA so that I could enter the workforce as the most polished, well-rounded, and capable version of myself.

Two lingering factors made me hesitate before committing to the program. McIntire offers superb benefits, yet the program delayed the two most appealing goals for any senior about to graduate: money and experience. At least that’s what I thought at first.

As undergrads we fantasize about a life of financial independence supported by the perfect job. A master’s program inherently presses pause on this vision, but not if you consider it an investment in your future.

Ryan Perry, Class of 2018

Here at McIntire, my job is to immerse myself in interactive learning and team casework. I’m well-compensated in the currency of business knowledge and technical capability. My investors—professors, family, and peers—motivate me to produce more and to become a more capable and skilled individual. Learning and personal growth are key performance indicators, and I benchmark against the best of the best.

I have a leg up on the competition too. I’ve been able to translate “analytics” and “corporate strategy” into more than just buzzwords on a resume—I’m fluent in them. I’m obtaining a global perspective on business by actually traveling the globe to visit businesses in person and learning from industry experts.

And when the transition into the working world begins, the M.S. in Commerce is the perfect launch pad. I’ll graduate with a respected brand name, a powerful alumni network, and a career services team dedicated to connecting me with the ideal job. Recruiters from the world’s best companies actively seek out M.S. in Commerce grads because of the program’s reputation. Based on the stats, I’ll command a salary that reflects it. I’ll also be connected to a professional network of over 100 of tomorrow’s business leaders (who are currently my high-achieving classmates) on a much deeper level than LinkedIn.

Equipped with a graduate degree, management training, and a wealth of experience, there’s no cap on my upward potential.

I’m confident these 10 months are worth it.

– Ryan Perry, Class of 2018

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