Student Perspective: Tips for Completing the B.S. in Commerce Application

Tiffany Chong, fourth-year student and McIntire Ambassador

It’s that time of year again – the release of McIntire’s B.S. in Commerce application for current UVA students! Your peers may have been talking about this moment for a while, or you may have just heard about it. Regardless, it can be a very stressful time. You might be wondering a million things, asking yourself what you should put in your application to make yourself seem like the ideal candidate, or how you can set yourself a part from the crowd. Well, I’m here to offer you some advice that helped me keep a relatively level head throughout this process.

  1. Break it down.

This might be the planner in me coming out, but this advice still applies. Take the time upfront to plan a timeline and set benchmarks for yourself as to when you’ll complete each section. This will help you stay accountable and avoid the last-minute rush. Personally, I completed the first half of the application and then read the essay prompts to allot time for ideas to cultivate over winter break.

  1. Sleep on ideas.

While this may sound like an excuse to procrastinate, first brainstorming potential responses and personal experiences without a filter allows you to find the best fit for a response. Try writing your gut reaction to the essay prompts first, then brainstorm ideas, and then sit on these ideas. This helps you to take a step back and think of perspectives or responses you may not have initially come up with.

  1. Review, review, review!

Once you’re done with your application, seriously take the time to catch easy proofreading mistakes that you might have missed in the flurry of things. Be your harshest critic, and don’t be afraid of change. If a particular paragraph sounds better in the beginning or even left out altogether, be open to that. Ask one to three people you can trust to help read it over and offer constructive feedback…

  1. …But ultimately, preserve your voice.

This application is all about you, so make sure your voice shines through. Be cautious to not involve too many people, so that your voice isn’t lost. It’s similar to applying to college, when people would always say, “Show; don’t tell” and “Highlight your voice.” Use your application as a vehicle to tell your story. Once you shift focus from how to be unique to how you can best tell your story, you’ll naturally set yourself apart.

When it comes time for you to press that submit button, you’ll probably be feeling a range of emotions, from relief to worry. I know I was scared about pressing the button and then realizing that I didn’t completely answer the question (which, by the way, you should do). However, assuming that you followed my above advice, have comfort in knowing that you put your best foot forward in preparing and reviewing. I’m a huge believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason, and at the end of the day, it is an application process. If your application accurately reflects who you are as a person and as a student, the outcome will be the right one. So hit that submit button and celebrate!

– Tiffany Chong, McIntire Ambassador


Tiffany is a fourth-year student and a McIntire Ambassador with concentrations in Information Technology and Marketing in addition to a track in Business Analytics. Outside of McIntire, Tiffany is a member of the Virginia Sil’hooettes, one of UVA’s all-female a capella groups. During her third year, Tiffany studied abroad in Italy through McIntire and traveled to 24 cities, indulging in a lot of gelato!

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