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My background:

My journey here at CU has been a wild one, to say the least. I started out as a strategic communications major in the fall of 2019. I then decided to transfer to the business school to be a marketing major right before sophomore year began. Fall of sophomore year I took all of the classes that I needed to transfer, as well as my last few GenEd courses. Then, during spring of sophomore year, I began my business module courses. Last semester, fall of 2021, I finished all my “business GenEd” courses and I am finally beginning my real major coursework as a second-semester junior. Somehow I now have two areas of emphasis within business (supply chain and marketing) and a minor in creative technology and design. Cheers to not being sure what you want to do at 17!

All of that is to say that you will figure out what you want to do, even if it gets a bit wild along the way. There’s no reasonable expectation that all high school seniors will know what they want to do and choose the “right” path for them at that time. Something that really helped me when choosing at that time was to realize that there was a lot of time to figure it out, and that it doesn’t matter so much what you start out with. There are many different paths for each and every person, and not one of these paths is “right” or “correct” and none of these paths are “wrong.”

Okay, now it’s time to get it out of the way. Haha, I went from a communications student to a business student. I choose the “easiest” majors and my homework is watching “The Wolf of Wall Street” and counting money. 

General Guide:

My biggest piece of advice is that if you’re struggling to choose between The Leeds School of Business and The College of Media, Communication and Information, to go with Leeds. This has nothing to do with which is better for you or you may like more, but all to do with the fact that doing an IUT into CMCI is much much easier than doing an IUT into Leeds. 

To transfer into Leeds, you need 24 credit hours completed, a 3.0 GPA, and 4 business classes (microeconomics, macroeconomics, business math and intro to stats) completed.

To transfer into CMCI, you just need to have 24 credit hours completed, a 2.5 GPA, and one communications class completed.

For info about transferring into other colleges at CU, go here.

Okay, time to compare the two! Let’s get on with the show!

Disclaimer: I was in CMCI pre-pandemic and while in the dorms, and have been at Leeds during the pandemic and while off-campus, which influences some of my opinions about each school, how I viewed them and how they were operating at the time. Additionally, all of these opinions come from my experience.

Culture:

The culture of the two schools is as different as night and day. Neither one is necessarily good or bad, it just depends on what motivates you to succeed. In CMCI, students were very supportive of each other and worked on homework together, shared notes in class, and had large-group study sessions. People would talk to you on the first day of class to ask you your name and chat for a bit. It was overall very friendly, forgiving and kind. Leeds, on the other hand, is more of what you expect from a business environment. Things are more competitive, it’s a bit harder to make friends, and notes are not shared as freely. People don’t talk as much when not asked to from the professor, and even then sometimes I end up in silent breakout rooms. 

This also may have something to do with how the classrooms in each building are set up. In my communications classes, they were set up as a more classic lecture format with large rows of chairs all facing the front. In my business classes, the chairs are often in smaller rows facing the front or in group tables. 

I don’t say this to scare anyone off from the business school, as the academics are so highly ranked and most people aren’t rude by any means, it’s just something that threw me off when I was in my first business class. 

Grading / Rigor:

The grading and rigor between the two schools is also so different. The lowest grade I ever got in a communications class was a B+, and it was an 89% B+. On the contrary, the highest grade I have ever gotten in a business class is a B+. To be fair, all my business classes have happened during the span of the pandemic and most of them have been online, but there are still some noticeable differences in grading style and rubrics. 

In communications classes, if you do what is on the assignment outline or rubric, you get 100%. In business classes, if you do the same, you can probably expect a B. It is more about truly “earning” a high grade and going above and beyond to get it. 

Going hand-in-hand with this, almost all of my communications classes offered lenient attendance and late policies pre-pandemic, with many extra credit opportunities. I have only had one business class with a lenient attendance policy so far, even while being in a pandemic, and all business classes I’ve had do not accept late work regardless of the reason. There have been a few extra credit opportunities so far, but they are usually based on your ranking on an assignment instead of the work you do.

People:

In CMCI, the people are more relaxed and understanding, as shown from everything above. In Leeds, though, people really ascribe to a more “tough love” approach. I have never felt more motivated than I do when around other business students. They really know how to push you to do better and try harder. 

In times where my communications classmates may have said something was “good enough,” my business classmates go over it once again and look for areas to improve upon. I do think this is highly correlated to the differences in grading between the two schools, and it is a giant silver lining in the tougher work for me. 

This also always makes me feel better prepared for class, and in turn, my future career. Sometimes even after completing the assignments for communications classes, I didn’t feel prepared to talk about them in class if need be, and I didn’t feel a deep understanding of the concept. Once I complete an assignment for my business classes, there is no way that I don’t understand the concept well.

This is a huge upside, and for me, it makes up for much of what can seem less favorable when comparing it to CMCI. If your GPA is what is stopping you from making the switch for harder courses, do some research on the particular field you’re interested in and see if any companies ask for GPA. Speaking for supply chain and marketing, this is not a concern for me, not that my GPA is even super low from said business courses. 

TL;DR

Basically, most of the stereotypes that you know about are true, except for the idea that business classes are easy. At least here at CU, I feel challenged and knowledgeable from my business classes, which I couldn’t always say about my communications classes. 

If you’re interested in doing a major at Leeds and a minor at CMCI, or vice-versa for a good mix of both fields, read about one of our writers who is doing just that here.

For more info about CU Boulder’s IUT process, go here.

Marita is a junior at CU and supply chain & operations management and marketing major with a creative technology and design minor. She loves fashion, design and cooking. In her free time, she loves to go on walks and hang out with her bearded dragon, Walter!
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