Becoming a Business Administration Major: Furman Edition

According to the National Center for Education Statistics and several other sites, the most popular major for college students in the United States tends to be Business. Likewise, at Furman University, popularity for Business as a major ranks in the top five list. What I want to discuss in this post, however, is not hard statistics, but rather I want to invite you to explore a more personal and in-depth look into what the business program is like at Furman and what it has to offer for each individual student. Throughout the rest of this post, I am going to go in chronological order on how I determined that I wanted to be a Business major, and how I pursued that path throughout my first two years.

Plaque of dedication for Hipp Hall, where the Business and Education departments are located.

Background wise, I come from a strictly Business-focused family. Everyone in my immediate family was directly involved in major companies or started their own businesses as entrepreneurs. I mostly decided to try out Business due to my comfort levels with the industry and not necessarily an innate love for the major/work itself. Going into Furman, however, this mentality drastically changed. I first learned about the details of the Business Administration major during the Fall Orientation of my Freshmen year. There were a number of sessions that I could sit in on to learn about what my life at Furman would look like and what I could become apart of, whether that be organizations, majors, or general courses.

During one of those sessions, which was held in the Burgiss Theater, the head of each department explained what their major was, giving a general overlook of what you could study within that major and the overall steps in order to declare yourself as a psychology, health sciences, biology major, etc. I already had an interest in the Business major, but what I heard during the session genuinely surprised me.

Just to let everyone know, you have to apply to be a Business major on top of passing at least four prerequisite courses, such as Introduction to Economics, Accounting, Statistics, and Calculus. I was worried as well when the presenter noted that it was a highly competitive major to apply to and that if you were not fully devoted to Business, then you wouldn’t be accepted into the program. After the session, I panicked thinking that I would never be able to compete. Even so, I decided to try it out and see if I liked the courses and would continue to pursue this major.

Flash forward to my first prerequisite course, Introduction to Economics (ECN-111), during my first semester of Freshmen year. I wasn’t sure at first whether or not I would enjoy a Business class, seeing as I was pretty intimidated by the major introduction session. However, once I started progressing further into the class, I realized that I was really interested in the content being taught and that was the same way that I felt going into my other prerequisite courses in the following academic semesters and years. As a whole, my fears were unfounded. I developed my own personal interest in the Business world — an interest that was completely separate from my family’s involvement. It was no longer just a safe choice to go with, since I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to pursue. It was and still is a highly engaging and intriguing major that I applied to and will continue to enjoy.

Finance & Business Analytics Lab: Business majors take classes in this room during their Junior and Senior year.

One of the best things about Furman and also a significant reason that I ultimately chose to pursue the Business major was because of my prerequisite professors and my academic advisor, Deborah Allen. I felt supported in my choices regarding my future academic path, even when I hesitated or wasn’t 100% confident in my abilities to become a Business major. I had a great community of people that just wanted to support me with no ulterior motives and genuinely wanted me to succeed in whatever I chose to become. In my opinion, this was my Furman Advantage moment — these special moments in college and in life do really exist, where you feel uplifted and encouraged.

The actual application process to become a Business Administration major starts during your sophomore year. An important thing to note as well is that you must complete at least two prerequisite courses by the spring semester of your sophomore year in order to be acknowledged by the Business department as a viable applicant for the program.

As for my personal application, I completed it soon after it was released, and it consisted of a few general questions along with a 500-word essay or so accompanying it. All that was left was to wait for the results! About the same time that I received my acceptance into the study abroad program that I applied to in Japan, I also received my acceptance into the Business Administration major as well as the Business Block program! I declared a few days after and was set for the upcoming semester. Now that I am a rising Junior and chose to take the Business Block in the upcoming fall semester (as it is a one-semester program), I am excited to see what new opportunities and knowledge I will gain.

Outside view of Hipp Hall’s front entrance.

As a last highlighted topic, I will discuss a brief and general outline of what the Business Block is. During your fall or spring semester of Junior year, if you are accepted into the program, you will partake in a seminar-style block period (around four hours with short breaks) and learn about the major disciplines of Business, including Finance, Technology & Operations, Marketing, and Managerial Accounting. It runs from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 12:20pm with your professors rotating out, while the individual students stay within the same classroom. The way this program is constructed allows for more leeway to include special events such as visiting local Greenville companies for an inside look at their operations, inviting reputable guest speakers who are influential in the Business world to share their experiences, and having built-in time to teach essential skills such as learning the ins and outs of Excel programming.

As a final note, I have to say that I am grateful for the opportunities Furman has given me through its high-quality courses and professors as well as a supportive community. I am proud to be a Business major at Furman, not as a sense of individual accomplishment, but rather from a sense of gratitude towards the program and the people within the program itself. I can’t wait to see what the next two years hold for me at Furman. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your day!

-Makena Song

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