Incoming college freshmen have a lot to look forward to: their first taste of freedom, dorm life, the freshman 15, maybe young love, and of course, classes and clubs. Those who intend to major in business have a completely separate set of surprises in store for them. While parents and high school seniors are pretty savvy about researching the university as a whole and even its majors, they might not have had the chance to study the particulars of the business school, so some of what they experience will be news to them. Here are five aspects of undergraduate business programs that incoming freshmen might not expect.
No. 1: You’re Not Guaranteed a Seat
Some B-schools, such as the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, automatically accept any registered student as a business major, while others, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, require students to wait until their sophomore or junior year to apply for admission to the business school.
Many incoming freshmen are aware of study-abroad trips. What many new business students fail to realize is how important those experiences can be for anyone contemplating a global business career. About half of Mendoza students end up studying abroad, usually during their junior year, says Dale Nees, the school’s assistant dean for undergraduate studies. Students apply to these programs in their sophomore year shortly after declaring their major, which means many of them give little thought as to why they should pick one destination over another. Ideally, says Nees, business students should have a plan that includes study abroad as freshmen or early in their sophomore year, and that fits into their academic and career plans.