Admissions Blog Posts

The Joy of First Year Writing at Furman

Last updated March 26, 2024

By Elijah Poritzky


Hi everyone! I wanted to highlight an important part of my Furman experience so far: My first year writing class. As I sit down to reflect on my first year writing class at Furman University, one particular course stands out vividly in my memory: Management Literacy with Dr. Robert Underwood. This class was not just about improving our writing skills, but it was a deep dive into business concepts and the art of crafting effective papers. We regularly browsed the Wall Street Journal and had discussions about the interesting topics we read. As well as giving my own experience, I am also going to interview Cole Burnam.

My Experience

When I heard I hate to take a first year writing class, I was definitely a little nervous. However, as soon as I met the professor and looked at the syllabus, my nerves became excitement. I knew this class was going to be different from anything I ever took. As we delved into the Wall Street Journal, we learned about topics like market trends and management strategies as well as financial analysis and entrepreneurial ventures.

One of the first things that I really enjoyed was the relevance of the articles. They weren’t just boring academic articles; they were real-world examples of businesses navigating challenges, seizing opportunities, and sometimes facing the consequences of their decisions. As someone with not much business experience, I was able to learn about the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of the business world.

Each week, when we would dive into a new article we would discuss its key points and analyze the data presented. Our professor, Dr. Underwood, guided us through these discussions with a blend of expertise and enthusiasm since he was a business professor. I found myself excited to come to class because he made it fun and enjoyable.

Interview with Cole Burnam

While this was my experience, I interviewed current major Cole Burnam, who was a fellow classmate of mine. The first question I asked him was what he expected from a first year writing class. Here is what he said: “I thought that I would have to take a writing class on something I was not interested in. As soon as I got a spot in management literacy, I was thrilled.” Burnam explained to me that he always planned to be a business major so being in a business based writing class was his ideal situation.

The next question I asked Cole was how he felt the class enriched his writing and business skills. “Reading the Wall Street Journal was awesome. We were able to dissect articles and write based on what we read. Dr. Underwood gave us lots of freedom when it came to what we could write about. Lastly I asked him if he thinks every student should take a first year writing class. “Yes, it was a great experience and really enriched my writing skills and prepared me for future classes. 

My first year writing class at Furman was not just a class, it was an adventure into the business world. While at first I was nervous, it ended up being one of my favorite classes at Furman. The class has prepared me for challenges and has given me opportunities that I am thankful for. Since then I have had a sense of confidence and excitement, knowing that I am equipped with the skills and knowledge gained from this remarkable experience.


Take care!