Change and innovation is a constant at McIntire. Last September, the university announced a $25 million gift from The Chris and Carrie Shumway Foundation that will be an early cog in a new bioscience and business program. The funds will also go towards a new building for the business school that will feature labs for behavioral research and hands-on learning of analytics and visualization.
Just today (January 9), the school announced its BS in Commerce degree as well as two other MS degrees received STEM designation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The designation is a strategic move that is following what numerous MBA programs are doing to continue to attract international applicants and students during an increasingly difficult and unknown time for work visas and immigration in the country.
“A significant orientation toward technical, analytical, and quantitative skill development is a longstanding hallmark of all our curricula, and these STEM designations are a reflection of our strategic focus,” Zeithaml said in a release from the school announcing the STEM designation. “As a community that deeply values diversity, these designations will allow us to attract applicants who bring competitive academic rigor, rich global perspectives, and significant value to our classrooms.”
Normally, international students may apply for 12 months of work after graduating. But if they graduate from STEM-designated programs, they can apply for an additional 24 months. According to the school, the curriculum to be STEM-designated was already in place and there will be no additional changes to faculty or courses. As of now, about 17% of the more than 700 undergraduate students enrolled at McIntire hold passports from countries outside of the U.S.
Another recent development that puts McIntire and the University of Virginia community in the spotlight moving forward is last year’s announcement of Amazon HQ2 being centered in Northern Virginia, near the Washington, D.C. metro area.
“Amazon’s choice to invest in Virginia is a testament to everything the commonwealth has to offer, now and in the future. At UVA, our goal is to serve the commonwealth and beyond by providing education and training, offering outstanding medical care, growing the economy, conducting research, and cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurs,” UVA President Jim Ryan said in an announcement from the school last November soon after Amazon unveiled its plans.
It’s hard to imagine McIntire besting its employment rate, which has ranged from 96% to 98% the past six years, but if anything could impact it, it would be a newfangled Amazon headquarters. Either way, McIntire seems poised to continue to innovate and make sure their students continue to have top-notched B-school experiences while also setting them up for impactful and successful young careers.
“At McIntire, we are focused on integration of professional skill sets and communication skills for our students, and our employer partners often report back that our students are client-ready,” says Ryan Nelson, associate dean of the undergraduate program. “They can present information and data in an effective way, work in teams with people across all areas of business, and are excited to be engaged.”