Category Archives: Application Tips

The Application Is Ready — Are You?

By now, most of you who plan to apply for fall 2017 admission know that the application is now available online. As you begin to prepare to work on the application (after exams, please!), some questions/concerns may arise. Please be aware of the following:

  • Make sure that your name and all contact information are correct in SIS. Although the application pulls only name, e-mail, and phone number, it’s always a good idea to check your local and permanent addresses in SIS periodically to make sure this information is up-to-date.
  • Remember that you MUST have all of the prerequisites completed by the time you would enter the McIntire School should admission be offered. If you are missing a requirement, please make note of this on the application where provided. You will need to complete the course in the summer; if you do not and are offered admission, the offer can be rescinded. Please remember that you will not be able to view your prerequisites and how these have been satisfied until Jan. 12, 2017, so please review these before you submit your application.
  • Check to make sure that any AP credit and/or testing credit you received are listed on your transcript, especially if these are being used to satisfy any of the prerequisites.
  • Review any waivers you have been given. The more common of these are foreign language through placement exams and English writing through SATs or portfolio reviews. If you believe you have received a waiver(s) for a requirement and the requirement is showing up as missing, contact the McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission for further information.
  • Spring courses should be on your transcript so that the committee will know what you are planning to take. Some of you may still be adding/changing courses, and if your schedule should happen to change after you have submitted the application, please be aware that we receive updated copies of your transcript and will be able to review these changes.
  • Do not make the mistake of getting hung up on courses that you think will look good to the committee. Although you should challenge yourself in your course selection, make sure these are courses that you will enjoy and learn from.
  • Check your essays, and do not rely on spell-check, as this feature, wonderful as it is, can give you a wrong word if you are not careful. Proofread more than once, and have someone review all of your essays.
  • You will need to either make the payment or request a fee waiver prior to submitting your application. Plan on doing this several days in advance so that you do not run the risk of missing the due date. Payment or waiver alone does NOT mean that you have submitted the application. After payment has been submitted or the fee waiver granted, you can then submit the application. These are two different processes, so please do not forget to click Submit after your payment has been accepted or your waiver request has been approved.
  • Do not hit submit too soon. The review of applications will not begin until after the due date of Jan. 25, 2017, so submitting early does not benefit you. Make sure you have everything taken care of, reviewed, listed, and completed before you click on that icon. Most importantly, make sure your grades from fall are listed and correct. Again, you should not submit your application until after you have been able to view your prerequisites between Jan. 12, 2017, and the application due date of Jan. 25, 2017.
  • Once you have submitted your application, you can still view your application, but no changes can be made. This is another important reason not to submit too soon! Keep in mind that SIS updates will still occur even after the due date.

Coming soon, suggestions for winter break!

What to Do in Your First Year

The first year in college is a new and exciting experience for most students, who are able to explore and enjoy many different activities now that they are on their own. Although there are plenty of things to do during your first year, I suggest keeping at least two things in mind, especially if you’re interested in applying to McIntire: (1) Explore many options and (2) work hard.

I encourage you to try as many different activities as you can your first year, especially those you feel uncomfortable with. College is a time to get out of your comfort zone and discover new clubs and extracurriculars you hadn’t considered before. These clubs do not necessarily have to be Commerce clubs either; McIntire appreciates diversity in its applications. Find clubs where you can make new friends, work on something you’re passionate about, and develop relationships outside of Comm. These will keep you going once you’re in McIntire and spending most of your time on Comm-related coursework and activities.

As tempting as it is to just have fun, put in a good amount of effort toward working hard and smart for your classes as well. It is much easier to maintain a good GPA than to improve a lousy one. The ramifications of a bad GPA go beyond applying to McIntire; your GPA can affect your internship and job prospects as well.

First year is a great time to have fun and try many different things. Keep the importance of working hard in mind, though, and you should be off to a good start.

Submitted by a McIntire Student

How Should I Spend My Summer between First and Second Year?

Evidently the warm December weather we’ve been having is causing many Pre-Comm students to ask about summer activities and how they should spend their time. The questions I hear most are about internships—should students get one, how does it look if they don’t have an internship, or what if they don’t have any business work experience to list on the application? This post will address these questions and, I hope, ease many of the concerns of rising second-year students:

Should I get an internship?
At this stage in your academic career, it is rare that you will have the skills that companies are looking for from their interns. Chances are that if you do obtain an internship, you will be filing, making copies, shredding documents, or even running errands and making coffee. Think carefully about internship offers, and try to find out what your duties will be prior to accepting. If you do accept an offer, DO NOT go back and then decline. A commitment is a commitment, and changes of heart or better deals to travel Europe on someone else’s dime are not reasons to back out of your agreement.

What if I want to continue working at the golf course/summer camp/restaurant?
Many of you may have held jobs in the summers of your high school years and enjoyed both the job and the money earned. In fact, maybe you liked it so much you want to continue for at least another summer, but are worried that the job will not look impressive to the Admissions Committee at McIntire. STOP RIGHT THERE! You should spend this summer doing something you enjoy and can feel good about. If you enjoy working with children, then by all means do so. If your family owns a business and relies on your help in the summer, this is fine. Many solid business skills can be gained from varied work experiences. Lifeguarding at a pool can provide you with time management and people skills; working at the Gap can give you an insight to marketing and communication skills; waiting tables can instill the importance of customer relations and teamwork. You must remember that business surrounds us and is a part of our everyday lives. Think about whatever you do in business terms, and you will realize that you are developing business skills as you landscape someone’s yard, restock the shelves at your local grocery store, or give tennis lessons to 10-year-olds.

My family is traveling to Asia/Europe/South America to visit relatives I have never met. Should I decline because the Admissions Committee will think that I’m goofing off this summer?
Embrace this opportunity for what it is—a chance to travel and experience another culture as you tighten family bonds. McIntire values cultural diversity, and whether you travel abroad or study abroad this summer, you will gain a perspective that will be unique and exclusively yours.

So, whatever you decide to do, do it for you (with the support of your family, of course). Make the most of your summer and take time for yourself, so you can return to school next fall ready to tackle your remaining requirements and get involved in the UVA community.

Getting Involved Outside of the Classroom

Although the McIntire Admissions Committee carefully evaluates your academic achievement, it is certainly not the only factor considered in the selection process. McIntire also strongly encourages students to have a broad range of interests and show commitment to extracurricular activities outside the classroom. In particular, commitment to any student organization or a leadership role is one way to let your personality and unique experiences shine through on your application.There are over 700 CIOs on Grounds that you can become involved in, and if you don’t find one that is tailored to your specific cause, you can always start your own! That said, McIntire has several commerce-related student organizations, many of which are open to all students, regardless of their year and major.Joining a McIntire organization is also a great way to learn about various business-related fields and career paths. If you’re interested in investing and portfolio management, the Alternative Investment Fund at McIntire, the McIntire Investment Institute, or the Sustainable Investment Group may be for you. There are also organizations specifically for students interested in accounting (Beta Alpha Psi) or marketing (Advertising and Marketing Association).

In addition, many of our student organizations offer University-wide activities that are open to both members and non-members. Each February, the Consulting Group at McIntire collaborates with Navigant Consulting LLP to host an annual case competition. Regardless of your major or year, if you’re interested in consulting as a potential career path, you can join a team and gain the experience of analyzing and presenting a real-life case study. Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional fraternity in commerce, also has members who span a variety of majors. Members are selected based on scholastic standing and promise of high attainment in business.

These are just a handful of all the student organizations at McIntire. For additional information about McIntire student organizations, please visit Student Organizations.

To keep up with McIntire-related events, please see the Student Events Calendar.

Please don’t think that we’re suggesting you run out and join 10 or 15 organizations. Unless you possess the ability to be in several places at once, there’s no way to be involved in that many activities and do them well. You must get your priorities in order and decide what you enjoy and how to commit your valuable time when you are not in class or studying.

So, give something a try. If it’s not what you thought, then try something else. Think about your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and attempt something you’ve thought about doing but never had the opportunity to do; maybe you were president of your high school and have leadership skills that you can continue to develop while serving the UVA community.

Whatever you do, don’t join an organization because you think it’s going to “look good” to the Admissions Committee. We do not judge one group or activity over another. Instead, we look at what you are doing within your activities and what you can bring to the McIntire School. Don’t follow the crowd and participate in events/activities that you can’t get behind, activities that you don’t feel strongly about, or activities to which you can’t commit your time or skills.

The Application Is Available – Are You Ready?

By now, most of you who plan to apply for fall 2012 know that the application is now available online. As you begin to prepare your application (after exams, please!), please be aware that some questions and concerns may come up when you start to review. Please check the following as you prepare your application:

  • Make sure that your name and all contact information are correct in SIS, including both local and permanent addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and the spelling of your name.
  • Check to make sure that any AP credit and/or testing credit you received are listed on your transcript, especially if these are being used to satisfy any of the prerequisites.
  • Review any waivers you have been given. The more common of these are foreign language through placement exams and English writing through SATs or portfolio reviews. If you believe that you have received a waiver(s) for a requirement and the requirement is showing up as missing, contact the Comm Admissioner for further information.
  • Remember that all prerequisites MUST completed by the time you would enter the School should admission be offered. If you are missing a requirement, please make note of this on the application where provided. You will need to complete the course in the summer; if you do not and are offered admission, the offer can be rescinded.
  • Spring courses should be on your transcript so that the committee will know what courses you are planning to take. Some of you may still be adding or changing courses; if your schedule changes after you have submitted the application, please be aware that we receive updated copies of your transcript and will be able to review these changes.
  • Do not make the mistake of getting hung up on courses that you think will look good to the committee. You should challenge yourself in your course selection, but also make sure these are courses that you will enjoy and learn from.
  • Check your essays, and do not rely on spell-check. This feature, wonderful as it is, can suggest a wrong word. Proofread more than once and have someone review all of your essays.
  • Do not hit submit too soon. The review of applications will not begin until after the due date of Jan. 23, 2012, so submitting early does not benefit you. Make sure you have everything taken care of, reviewed, listed, and completed before you click on that icon. Most importantly, make sure your grades from fall are listed and correct.

More information about the admissions process and awaiting the decision is coming soon.