Freshmen land a head start in School of Business Administration

From your first day at the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration, expect a fresh perspective on people, events and places.

The new undergraduate curriculum prepares students for real-world opportunities. The extensive changes now underway go far beyond the classroom.

Under the leadership of Linda Neider, vice dean of undergraduate business programs, business education now begins the first week of school and won’t be secondary to any other business school curriculum.

This early focus will include ethical decision-making, social entrepreneurship and a variety of community-engagement initiatives that will teach both leadership skills and how to work in teams.

“Traditionally, freshmen and sophomores took very few business courses while they completed their general education requirements in other UM schools and colleges,” Neider said. “As a result, they did not acquire more advanced knowledge and skills that employers require until they took more core business courses in their junior and senior years.”

Now, the curriculum is more business-driven, enabling students to take upper-level courses by their sophomore year. This should give them a solid foundation for their junior and senior years that will open doors to study-abroad programs, internships and consulting projects. It will also help them complete their non-business academic requirements.

By graduation, students will not only have classroom knowledge, but real-world experience, and possibly published research in academic journals. This background will make them far more competitive in the job market.

“My internship and campus leadership experiences, combined with my education, landed me a position in General Electric’s Financial Management Program, an entry-level leadership program with an accelerated career path,” said Rachel Dias, a recent graduate in the School of Business Administration.

At the core of the freshman experience will be a revolutionary new management course that consists of cases, lectures and videos dealing with the critical decision points involved in making ethical business decisions.

Work of social entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations that have been highlighted for their efforts in this area will be emphasized to show students the blending of both business objectives and social initiatives.

Last fall, the School of Business Administration added the Management 100 Course to its curriculum, a semester-long program required of all freshmen.

The program is also called “FIRST Step” (Freshman Integrity, Responsibility, and Success through Teamwork), and is designed as a way to expose students to business ethical principles, teamwork and the challenges that organizations face.

“In terms of my business studies and career plans, the experience has taught me a lot about interpersonal relationships and about the importance of listening and interviewing skills,” said Alexandra Prueitt, a junior study in in the school and aspiring to become a management consultant.


4 Founded in 1929

4 2,089 undergrad students in Fall 2008

4 The School of Business Administration recently announced its intent to bring its Executive MBA (EMBA) program to Puerto Rico. Classes will be held on Saturdays over a two-year period in San Juan.

-Compiled from

August 4, 2009


Joi Bottino

Contributing News Writer

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