UCSB is a “globally renowned, tier one research university.” Bordered on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, the university is one of few with its own beach. Isla Vista is, essentially, a beach town teeming with college kids. We have exceptional professors, an abundance of extracurricular opportunities, dominantly sunny weather, and a surf team for crying out loud (excuse my enthusiasm, I’m from Connecticut)! Ultimately, what more could a college student ask for? Well, if you’re anything like me, you might be thinking “a business major.”
As opposed to my two med-school-bound roommates, I’ve always been relatively uncertain of what I want to do post-grad. Perhaps I’ll go into marketing, consulting, maybe public relations? Regardless of the specifics, one thing is clear: my intended occupational interests lie in the business world. However, while my friends are majoring in Marketing at UMiami and Business at Boulder, UCSB offers no business major. According to The Bottom Line, UCSB prefers the Economics major because “UCSB students learn more broadly applied economic theory rather than narrowly-focused business applications.” Similarly, a major in Communication is applicable across various business disciplines, such as media, marketing, advertising, and public relations.
Having taken prerequisite classes for both majors during my freshman and sophomore year, I recognized the applicability of both academic disciplines to my personal career pursuits. The UCSB Department of Communication is a world leader in the social scientific study of Communication, and the Department of Economics was ranked #34 in the country by U.S News & World Report. Both majors are exceptional choices, and both can lead students to business occupations. However, I still found myself yearning for business-specific learning opportunities and hands-on experiences.
Fortunately, I discovered a plethora of ways to get in touch with your business side at UCSB. Truthfully, I wish I’d looked into these opportunities sooner, which is why I’m going to lay out everything that I found in this article. Keep in mind, this list is not all-encompassing, I (unfortunately) do have a word limit to abide by!
Photo taken from UCSB, Women in Business
The professional writing minor is separated into six distinct tracks: Professional Editing, Multimedia Communication, Business Communication, Writing and Civic Engagement, Science Communication, and Journalism. Regardless of your chosen track, the program involves two capstone courses and an internship. Students interested in the major must complete three courses from specified upper-division writing series before submitting a portfolio application for acceptance into the minor fall of senior year. Specifically, the track in Business Communication focuses on “the development of written, visual, oral, and collaborative skills for the workplace (business, government, non-profit, or other organizations), with a focus on design, development, and re-purposing of hardcopy and new media documents.” Upon completion of this track, a student’s final portfolio will include examples of diverse professional genres, including “letters, e-mails, status reports, proposals, press releases, feasibility reports, policies and procedures, brochures.” The Business Communication track in particular may appeal to those interested in entrepreneurial or managerial work, as well as those interested in refining workplace communication. Students of this track intern at local businesses, environmental businesses and organizations, and government and non-profit organizations.
UCSB offers a certificate in technology management for students interested in developing an understanding of the “concepts and principles that are key to organizational success through the various stages of start-up, growth, and continued operations of technology-driven businesses.” Learning outcomes include an understanding of the management of financial growth within marketing and operations, and an understanding of the essential management theories, models and tools in strategy, finance, accounting, commercialization, marketing, and sales–to list a few. Application, program, and course information is detailed on the certificate’s website.
UCSB’s premier consulting organization, 180dc provides “socially conscious organizations around the world with very high quality, extremely affordable consulting services.” Members work in collaboration with organizations to provide solutions for whatever challenges they’re facing. Members possess the right combination of expertise, creativity, and problem-solving, consulting on a volunteer basis. While organizations benefit from customized solutions to the problems that they’re facing, UCSB students get “work experience, professional training, first-hand exposure to non-profits and social enterprises, real leadership development, and the opportunity to make a difference.”
Gaucho Creative (GC) was recently established to “create and provide business opportunities and community for students at the university through impactful hands-on experience.” GC works with real clients facing real problems, “from Fortune 500 companies to startups.” In addition to hands-on experience, GC offers skills workshops and hosts talks by industry professionals. GC prides itself on the diversity of its members, who are “consultants, marketers, journalists, accountants, engineers, creatives, and everything in between.” In recalling the founding of GC, Co-founder Amy Zhou emphasizes the desire to “give students that hands-on experience” that job recruiters seemingly always ask about.
Looking for hands-on marketing experience? Exclusive resources? Networking opportunities? Friends? Look no further, as the AMA is “dedicated to furthering students’ education outside the classroom in the field of marketing,” offering hands-on opportunities through which students can put their marketing knowledge to practical use. Social and professional events further pose networking opportunities for students. Members can look forward to an annual Collegiate Case Competition, as well as marketing experience working with partnered companies and nonprofits.
Created by transfer students, WIB was founded to fill a gap on the UCSB campus: “a strong resource for female entrepreneurs.” The organization is dedicated to “empowering, inspiring, and educating” women through “professional and personal experiences.” Events include networking opportunities, member enrichment workshops, and member bonding and wellness experiences. In addition to working on her resume, learning how to network, and developing her business identity, member Kendall Keller adds that she has found it inspiring “to meet other business-minded women as well as hear from speakers on their career trajectories as they navigate a male-dominated atmosphere.”
Whether you join a club, take up a minor, or network with other business-minded UCSB students, I hope this article helps you find the perfect way for you to learn more about a career in business.
If it doesn’t help, then I’ll mind my own business!