Students meet in the Business Analytics Lab.
Starting this fall, Furman University students majoring in business administration can choose to concentrate in one of five tracks: finance, international business, marketing, entrepreneurship and general business administration. These are in addition to the existing degree in accounting in the Department of Business and Accounting.
While Furman has for years offered students the ability to focus on specific areas of interest, adding tracks formalizes this approach. In creating the tracks, faculty examined the main areas of interest for Furman students, discussed the best ways for them to accomplish their career goals and determined what classes were relevant, said Sandy Roberson, chair of the Department of Business and Accounting.
“The new business tracks are a perfect complement to Furman’s liberal arts and sciences education,” said Roberson. “As always, Furman business students will be well-rounded and take a variety of classes, but now they will have new opportunities to have more classes outside of the Department count as electives in the major. For example, students pursuing the international business track may take certain political science or language classes to meet their business major requirements,” Roberson said. She hopes to work with more departments across the university to provide additional electives outside of the business and accounting department that will help students tailor their degree.
Students will select a track when they declare a major in business administration and they can start taking upper-level classes as soon as they have completed the relevant prerequisites. Being able to start upper-level courses earlier gives students more time to prepare for and complete internships prior to graduation and allows them to be more competitive when applying for internships, further enhancing their career potential and preparation. Additionally, an internship may count as an elective towards meeting major requirements, Roberson said.
Although the previous business administration major did not have formalized tracks, students did pursue specific interests in finance, marketing and other specialized areas with the help of their faculty advisors. Advising and mentoring, something Furman is well known for, will continue, but it will be in the context of a more defined academic pathway that will allow students and prospective students to better plan for the future.
“This is very exciting,” Roberson said. She met with one prospective student and her parent soon after the tracks were approved in the spring. “It was so much fun talking with them about the tracks. The student was interested in international business and was thrilled to learn that we have an international business track in the business major. She and her dad were particularly excited by the possibility of her taking language classes or politics classes as part of a business administration major.”