“How I Met My Major”

College Freshmen: Do you know what major you’re going to select? 


If the answer to that question is a resounding “no”, then have no fear! As I talk with my friends about their experiences as freshmen in college, we all share a common fear: “What am I going to major in?” To make matters worse, all of us are concerned about majoring in a discipline that will enable us to both explore our passions and live comfortably in the future.

What’s the formula for selecting this all-important major? There is no formula! The only variable in this equation is determining what sets your heart on fire. Today, I’m not only going to give you information about three interesting and thought-provoking majors, but also tips on how you can ultimately “meet your major.”

On Friday October 24, I attended the annual majors forum entitled: “The Choice: What Can I Do with a Major in…?”sponsored by the Clay Center at the Villanova School of Business (VSB).


The three candidates:

  1. Economics
  2. Marketing
  3. Management


At the Economics forum, Professor David Fiorenza told us, “Economics is not going to provide you with a job, but rather a career.” After taking the foundational courses in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, students can pursue a customizable course of study with various electives.

Potential Electives:

  • Research Methods in EconomicsEco-word-cloud-1-620x340
  • Intro to Econometrics
  • Urban Economics
  • Economics of…
    • Sports
    • Entertainment
    • Healthcare

The Economics Department has helped students receive impressive job positions in prestigious companies and firms such as:

  • The Federal Reserve
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Moody’s Analytics1395943057891
  • Navigant Consulting
  • KPMG
  • CitiGroup
  • Vanguard
  • Graduate/Law School

With a major or minor in Economics, the door is open for a wide range of academic and professional opportunities. The possibilities are endless! To learn more about the Economics Department at Villanova, visit http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/business/undergraduate/degrees/economics.html, or email david.fiorenza@villanova.edu. I encourage you to explore your school’s Economics Department, and find the course offerings that excite you. Who knows, you could be the next Ben Bernanke!


At the Marketing forum, Professors Julie Pirsch and Bruce Bonner explained the tremendous course offerings and professional support the Marketing Department offers. Every VSB student will take a course in Marketing and Management entitled, Competitive Effectiveness, where they will work in teams to tackle real-world marketing problems faced by major companies.

If one decides to declare a major in Marketing, potential electives and fields include:

MKT 2120 – Buyer Behavior
MKT 2220 – Advertising Management
MKT 2224 – Professional Selling372
MKT 2225 – Sales Management
MKT 2230 – Marketing of Services
MKT 2235 – Sports Marketing
MKT 2280 – International Market & Trade

The department provides a wealth of support in matching students with employers as well. In addition to the vast alumni and recruiter network, Drs. Pirsch and Bonner highlighted “Market U,” a weekly e-newsletter that keeps students up to date with professional opportunities such as career fairs and internships. Here is a brief glimpse of the different resources available on Market U

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 3.52.48 PM


Drs. Pirsch and Bonner mentioned the following list of companies that students have received job offers from:

  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Lilly Pulitzer
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Ernst & Young

Additionally, the departments sponsors numerous internships, co-ops, and career fairs throughout the academic year and summer. They noted that the average starting salary for marketing majors is $55,000. If market research, consumer behavior, analytics and advertising interest you, then explore Marketing at your school! To learn more about the Marketing Department at Villanova, visit http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/business/undergraduate/degrees/marketing.html, or contact faculty advisor julie.pirsch@villanova.edu.


At the management forum, Dr. Narda Quigley spoke about the numerous majors, co-majors, and minors the Management Department offers. Here is the breakdown:


  • Management


  • International Business


  • International Business
  • Business Analytics1395943140824
  • Entrepreneurship


With the management major, students will take courses in organizational behavior and business decision making, all centered around creating strong leaders in the workforce.  Here’s a brief description of the major: “As a Management major, students learn tools for effective teamwork, leadership, and organizational dynamics… Students have the opportunity to develop and refine the analytical, quantitative, and communication skills that are critical for a successful professional career, to start a company, or to pursue graduate study in business or law.”

A unique aspect of Villanova’s Management Department is the International Business (IB) co-major. According to Dr. Quigley, “The world is evolving, and this program is great internaltional-businessto broaden our horizons.”

Fast Facts:

  • 58% of VSB 2014 Graduates studied abroad.
  • Nearly 1/3 of VSB 2014 Graduates pursued the IB Co-Major.
  • Many of the courses required for the co-major are part of the management major, so the two programs complement each other nicely.

Finally, the department offers minors in IB, Business Analytics, and Entrepreneurship to help students differentiate themselves, and explore other interests.

To learn more about the Management and Operations Department, visit http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/business/departments/management_operations.html, or email narda.quigley@villanova.edu.

Now it’s your turn. Still confused about what to major in? Start by exploring the various programs at your school, and then schedule an appointment with your advisor or attend forums like these to start the process. Remember, study something you love, as it makes the college experience even more worthwhile. As Yo-Yo Ma said, “Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.”



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