Business Minor a Good Bargain for Many Mason Students

Posted: September 3, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

“It makes sense to know the basics of business,” says Amanda Traczyk, one of the many students who have decided to declare a minor in business at George Mason. And with the opportunity to learn skills such as how to make an effective presentation, how to interpret a financial report, or how to manage and motivate people, it makes sense that the business minor in the School of Management has caught on in popularity since its inception in 2001.

Traczyk, a senior majoring in art and visual technology, works as a graphic designer for a government contractor and says that her minor in business “just fit” with her career aspirations. “I’ve gotten something useful out of every class I’ve taken for this minor so far,” she says. “Even if that something useful is just one little pearl of wisdom or methodology, I’ve been able to apply my lessons in class to real-world business situations.”

Other students agree with her—which is why the minor courses have grown from 80 students enrolled in the first year they were offered to more than 700 enrollments today. Students in the business courses come from all academic areas, from graphic design and journalism to computer programming and public relations. Programs such as Information Technology and Early Childhood Education Management require their students to take business minor courses, and other schools are increasingly encouraging their students to do so. Fifty percent of those enrolled in the courses have declared business as their minor, while others take one or two classes to gain some knowledge of the business world.

“We are happy to see students from so many different majors recognizing there is a ‘business side’ to their chosen profession,” says Tracie Kinsley, coordinator of the minor and instructor of marketing and management information systems. “These skills are invaluable as our graduates move from entry-level positions into higher positions with greater responsibility and oversight.”

Students who declare business as their minor must take five courses—Managing Financial Resources, Managing People and Organizations, Managing Information in a Global Environment, and Marketing in a Digital World, and either Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing a New Enterprise or Managing in a Global Economy. Nearly 20 percent of the total enrollment is at the Prince William Campus; the rest is at Fairfax.

But more than numbers, it’s the student satisfaction with the minor that keeps it in business. Kevin Jones, a senior communication major, knew it would help him in the “real world” and look good to potential employers. “The courses have taught me a lot—everything from how to properly give a presentation to the economic stability of doing business in the Ukraine,” he says. “When I graduate, I will already have a basic understanding of management. If I can relate this to real-world situations, I should be more successful.”

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