Studying the business of business at Agnes Scott
The Agnes Scott difference is something that is apparent in the Business Management major, according to Dr. Tom Will, Associate Professor of Business Management. “Majoring in Business Management at Agnes Scott immerses students in a more personalized experience than they would obtain at a large business school. Small, interactive class sessions enable students to really get to know their peers and their professors. We consider the major not merely informative, but transformative.”
That’s the experience of Hannah Savage ‘24, a business management major from Fayetteville, GA. “With how small our classes are, we are able to develop a close relationship with our professors and gain a deeper understanding of the topics we are learning in the class. The Agnes Scott community is always so supportive, and that really makes the major.”
Business Management majors from Agnes Scott go on to work as financial analysts, investment specialists, public relations professionals, marketing managers, computer programmers, consultants, sales reps and more at companies like AT&T, The Boys and Girls Clubs, IBM, the Peace Corps, the Atlanta Jewish Film Society, Morgan Stanley, The Federal Reserve Bank and more. Here’s a few key facts about the major, straight from the source:
What do you do in a business management major?
Hannah says that business is a broad field; for the business management major, you’ll start by learning about the basics of business, and then everyone gets to explore into their own niche. “We learn about leadership in business; Dr. Will teaches an adaptive leadership class so you can learn how to step up and be a leader in whatever position you are in. You can then diverge from that point into different fields; I’m currently taking a consumer behavior course, and I’ve taken classes in creativity and innovation in business, organizational behavior and entrepreneurship.”
Business Management courses prepare you to think analytically and creatively about organization problems and solutions in corporate, nonprofit and entrepreneurial fields. As Dr. Will says, “Business Management is highly relevant to your life! You will develop a deep understanding of what drives the people and organizations you interact with every day.”
What kinds of classes can I take with a business management major?
Foundational business courses cover topics such as macro and microeconomics, statistics and organizational behavior. After that, the topics can vary wildly and allow students to really make their own way through the major. Elective courses can cover organizational psychology, investments, financial accounting, adaptive leadership, consumer behavior, nonprofit organization, human resource management, marketing, labor economics, banking and econometrics. Students are really able to make their own path for what they want to do in the future.
For Hannah, these elective classes have really made the difference: “I really enjoyed my Creativity & Innovation in Organizational Management class. Our final project was to find a problem in an organization and use a creative method to find a solution to the problem. The professor then sent it to the organizations that we were presenting on. My project was on Agnes Scott’s dining services, specifically ways for them to focus on promoting healthy eating. It was a real chance to expand my thinking and problem-solving skills; it also linked to entrepreneurship, to be able to expand on my original business idea creatively.”
What skills will I learn in this major?
The business management major focuses on analytical and creative thinking and problem-solving. Students will learn how to understand and interact effectively with other people; how to identify and critique assumptions about human organizing; and how to communicate effectively about the economic, social and cultural challenges they encounter. Alumni have said they have learned key skills in leadership, communication, customer service, research and public speaking. For Hannah, it’s also about working with others- “learning how to be in a group and how to work with other people who have a different leadership and communication style than you is key.”
What internships, research opportunities and special programs are available?
All business management majors will have opportunities to flex their skills in a professional setting. That likely begins with their Sophomore Class Atlanta Leadership Experience, or SCALE. Hannah participated in SCALE last year with the organization “Plywood People”; you can read about her experience in this blog post.
“Beyond that, Business Management majors often take one of our internship courses. We offer a 4-credit internship course every fall and every spring, and a 2-credit online internship course in the summer. Our majors have interned at a wide array of sites, including ATT, Morgan Stanley, UPS, The Federal Reserve Bank, and North Highland Consulting,” says Dr. Tom Will. Students work with their professors and the Office of Internship and Career Development to find and acquire these internship opportunities.
Finally, Agnes Scott offers a special program each summer called Bridge to Business. In partnership with Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, students can do a three-week intensive that would reflect what an MBA experience would be like and earn students six academic credits. The program emphasizes topics of interest to women in business with a module dealing specifically on this issue, including workshops on gender dynamics in interviewing and salary negotiation. Modules also cover a wide range of topics, including business communications, career development, financial accounting, negotiation, operations management, project management and strategic management. Participants have the opportunity to meet with managers at companies like Turner Broadcasting, Delta Airlines and PWC.
What are the benefits of studying business management at Agnes Scott College?
Dr. Will and Hannah both managed the size of Agnes Scott’s classes and the supportive nature of the program, but beyond everything already said, here are some additional reasons only found at Agnes Scott:
- The Classroom Experience: “The main difference is the classroom experience. Because ASC is such a diverse school, we are able to really connect with others from different backgrounds and really learn through each other, not just the professor,” said Hannah.
- Help and Support: In addition to interaction with professors, students can also get support from the Economics Learning Center. It offers a learning environment and tutoring to get help from a professor or learning assistant on a problem set, study with classmates, prepare for an exam or work on business and economics projects.
- Be a Double (or Triple) Threat: Many business management majors double-major or have a minor to earn more academic expertise. For Hannah, that comes in the form of a Spanish minor: “Focusing on a foreign language is a good idea. Being able to communicate with people outside the United States is really important to the business world, and it gives you a leg up for internship and job interviews.”
- The Business and Technology Career Community: Career communities are composed of Agnes Scott students, faculty, staff, alums and employers. The Business and tech community is a forum for those with an interest in technology, business, media or communications to share articles, internship/job opportunities and events in which others may be interested.