Undergrads Weigh In On Top 10 Favorite Business School Classes

Registration is just around the corner, and that means students are starting to feel anxious about what courses to choose for next term. But luckily for students at William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business, there's no shortage of amazing options. Here are the top 10 classes to take at the Mason School, according to the experts - business students themselves:

  1. Student Managed Investment Fund.
    "This course is a must for Finance majors," says Hailey Arindaeng, a senior business major. "SMIF is a course that is almost completely student-run, where students get to invest the university's money in different stocks and portfolios of their own choosing," she said. "It's very hands-on, and you are treated like an analyst, which gives you great real-world experience." Faculty help students through several lectures and workshops, but the students really get to take the lead in this one-of-a-kind experiential course.
  2. Creative Problem Solving.
    “There really isn’t another business class like it,” says Vail Prior, a senior Marketing major. “Creative Problem Solving is an upper-level course in the marketing department developed to make you to think outside the box—something you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a business course.” The class is taught jointly by James Olver, Associate Professor of Business Administration who focuses on marketing, and Matthew Allar, Associate Professor of Theatrical Design, who teaches theater classes. “So really, the class is part marketing and part improvisation,” Prior says. “I thought it pretty unusual at first, but it’s grown to be one of my favorite classes and has prepared me to better think on my feet – a desirable skill in the marketing world.”
  3. Legal Environment of Business.
    This is a required course for all business majors, it also is a student favorite as of late. Grayce Angle, a junior Accounting major, says, “It was really interesting to learn about the law, but also to learn about it in a way that would impact my future career. Also, everyone loved Professor [William] Stauffer. He’s a great professor, and he presents material in a way that is really different and interesting.”
  4. Global Strategic Management.
    This is another required class that also easily makes the favorite list, according to students. It is taught by Clinical Lecturer Bob Williams. “He takes a topic that would seem a bit dull to most people and makes it interesting and applicable to all different majors in the business school,” says Alex Marto, a senior Finance major. Williams is also known for being an excellent student resource for advice dispensed during his office hours.
  5. Customer Insights for Innovation.
    This marketing course is known throughout the Mason School for encouraging radical thinking. “It was a class that didn’t apply to my major, but I’m so happy I took it,” says Paige Humphrey, a senior Finance major. “It introduced a new way of thinking and a new way to solve a problem. Instead of coming up with the solution to a problem right at the beginning, you took over half of the semester to define the problem, so that your final solution was actually a solution and not just a reactionary idea or quick fix.”
  6. Organizational Behavior.
    “I’ll admit that this was not my favorite class subject-wise,” says Destini Brodi, a senior Finance major. “But I loved the class because I loved the professor.” Taught by Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior David Long, this course is another for all majors that teaches how to navigate human behaviors in the workplace. Long’s “style of teaching was so interesting that going to class made my week,” Brodi says.
  7. Data Visualization and Simulation.
    “There is no course more straightforward than Data Vis,” says Jamison Glover, a senior Business Analytics major. In this course, students learn intermediate Excel skills, which are beneficial in any work environment. “All the applicable information you needed was learned in class; you didn’t have to teach it to yourself,” Glove said. “Sure, there was homework - a lot of homework. But there were ample help sessions if you needed extra support or guidance. Just make sure you attend class, as this is a course where you’ll definitely miss something if you aren’t present."
  8. Applied Financial Concepts.
    “This is a course to take as a Finance elective,” says Maire Shine, a senior Finance major. “I would consider the class a higher level of learning,” Shine says. “It is mostly case-study based, and you learn a lot of quality content. You also get to hear from guest lecturers that are really talented, which you don’t get in most courses.”
  9. Marketing Strategy.
    This class is a requirement for Marketing majors and a favorite of Alex Ghenea, a senior Marketing major. Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing Dawn Edmiston, who regularly wins rave reviews, “is an awesome professor,” Ghenea says, “and the information you study is current. You learn insightful tools in the first couple of days that you can readily apply to your classes, career and life.”
  10. Customer Experience Management.
    Emmy Garber, a senior Marketing major, has only recently started this course, but already, she says, “It’s my favorite. The subject matter in CEM is really different from most classes in the business school. It’s a mixture of research and critical thinking, where in most classes you get one or the other. You learn about issues and problems from the real world that you can then apply to any situation.” Associate Professor of Marketing Ronald Hess typically teaches only one section, so sign up before it fills up.
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