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UVA McIntire School of Commerce The Financial Times helps UVA McIntire School of Commerce to offer dynamic business education

The challenge

In a world that’s rapidly changing, faculty at The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of
Virginia are driven to ensure their students benefit from a broad understanding of the complexities
that define the interconnected global marketplace.

The solution

The Center for Global Commerce at McIntire offers a Financial Times Group Subscription to all students and staff, ensuring that the cases, frameworks, and theories examined in coursework are supported by trusted and impartial material.

The benefits

FT insights allow faculty to corroborate their theories and teachings, while providing relevant
context to help students grasp the concepts affecting global business. Integrating FT also helps students stay attuned to pressing business challenges and prepare to enter the global marketplace.

The FT is a fantastic resource that, at the start of every semester, I tell all the students about. I’m so proud of the relationship we have between McIntire and the Financial Times.

Ira Harris Professor of Strategy and Director, M.S. in Commerce Program, McIntire School of Commerce

What is the McIntire School of Commerce?

Founded in 1921, the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia proudly celebrates a 100-year commitment to preparing its students to become thoughtful, innovative leaders in global business and society. McIntire’s unique integrated educational experience leverages technology, welcomes corporations into the classroom, and offers unparalleled, immersive global learning opportunities.

The school is home to six research centers and many highly regarded undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs: The Economist ranks McIntire’s M.S. in Commerce #6 in the world among master’s in management (MiM) programs, and Poets&Quants ranks the school’s B.S. in Commerce #2 in the United States. FT named McIntire to the list of the world’s top MiM programs for its Global 3 program, offered with two partner institutions as the highest individually recognized U.S.-based school, and ranked #14 overall. Additionally, the Global 3, which includes McIntire’s M.S. in Global Commerce Program, was ranked as the #12 MiM program globally in QS World Universities Rankings® for 2021.

“At the core of a global mindset is understanding that all business is global business,” says Nicole Thorne Jenkins, the John A. Griffin Dean at McIntire. “We want our students to graduate ready to navigate the global marketplace, able to think in novel and critical ways, and capable of responding creatively to the uncertainties that they will inevitably face throughout their careers.”

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A diverse group of international and domestic students

As the school’s graduate programs have continually grown and garnered noteworthy rankings around the world, the total number of international and domestic student enrollment has increased. Each year, around 1,000 students matriculate at McIntire, with 25% representing international students, a testament to the school’s reputation for excellence in business education and a longstanding commitment to prioritizing global commerce throughout program curricula. Thus, the requirement for global insights and cultural fluency becomes ever more important.

“History, beliefs, development, social practices, and many other factors all impact business, yet students’ comparative global knowledge often begins with developing an understanding of their own society within a global and comparative context,” says Associate Dean for Global Affairs Peter Maillet. “We believe that diversity of background and perspective enriches our community, and we encourage deep discussion and debate to promote cultural awareness and understanding and to develop a global mindset. The Financial Times helps us facilitate that every day in our classrooms.”

Whilst a U.S. news perspective helps students to understand theory in relation to where they’re studying, the school is conscious that their graduates often take their learned business expertise anywhere and everywhere around the world.

Ira Harris, a Professor of Strategy at McIntire, who also serves as the Director of the M.S. in Commerce Program, is keen to ensure that students develop a global mindset through his classes, and that his students are prepared to deftly navigate the intricacies of the financial world.

“All of us recognise that we are operating in an increasingly global economy, even though there’s a lot of discussion of protectionism right now,” he says. “I think the globalization train will continue to move, but globalization has been embedded in a McIntire education for a very long time. The world is changing. Markets are interconnected in ways in which they never have been. Often, it’s chaotic. You can’t just rely on what you knew yesterday to inform your decision making today and tomorrow.”

“I’m an international student, and I was really wary of getting stuck in a U.S. news bubble,” says Sasha Clements, a 2020 Commerce School graduate who also minored in History. “I like to consume a mix of domestic and international insights, and I enjoyed applying that to the theory I learned in class. I thought [that process] was much more engaging, and it helped me understand how larger concepts are applied to real-life situations.”

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How the FT adds to McIntire students’ studies

The FT is a trusted global source of information and insights for education institutions around the world. The McIntire School of Commerce is no different: Tasked with applying a global view to the theories discussed in class, faculty can balance company case studies with FT journalism to back up their studies. “More often than using a conventional brief, I’ll create a compilation of popular press articles, including the FT,” says Ira. “Having FT in the array of publishing outlets that we use is a very important part of students’ professional development and encourages them to read the right thing and to read broadly. It’s healthy to consume as much international news as possible, and the Financial Times adds an important additional dimension to developing a global mindset.”

Global curriculum at McIntire also continues to change to reflect the dynamic nature of global business. Students can pursue a Global Commerce Track, complete full semesters abroad or short-term business programs abroad with McIntire faculty, or enroll in courses focused on global and societal challenges to apply their business acumen to complex and real-world contexts. Increasingly, students are eager to combine their business education with a focus on societal issues and global challenges. McIntire meets those interests through innovative global coursework and programs, diverse and reputable content such as that from FT, and a focus on commerce for the common good.

McIntire began to provide FT access to its staff and students in 2014, and has seen a significant increase in readership in recent years.

“During the first year of our FT subscription, we probably had around 20-25% readership,” says Chris Elliott, Assistant Dean of Academic & Faculty Affairs. “I’d say now we have a lot more students who are really voracious readers. The readership is now closer to 70% in the school.”

Sasha Clements is one such reader. After graduating in summer 2020, he now holds a position in New York as an Associate Consultant for Bain & Company.

“In some classes, you want to learn one thing and then be tested on it, but when you apply it in a real-world situation, it doesn’t always work,” says Sasha. “I found it really helpful to learn about a theory followed by the professor telling us about a specific deal that happened yesterday, how it’s related to what we’re talking about, and explaining how it applies.”

Supplementing McIntire coursework, the Center for Global Commerce maintains a strong focus on helping students to develop globally focused insights and patterns, a skill that they can rely on as they begin their careers, providing immediate value to potential employers. Peter Maillet says that international news consumption patterns, which include news outlets like FT, are equally important to ensure that students avoid “U.S. blindness” when informing themselves on the day’s events.

“Our students learn early on that they would be wise—in their studies and in their careers—to include the FT among their regular reading, to work against those blinders beyond U.S. markets and stories, and to develop that global acumen that is so important.”

Sasha maintains that FT greatly helped his understanding of his work. “It wasn’t out of a textbook. The professors would say, ‘Here’s a company; go and develop a marketing campaign for them or value them financially.’ Then we would rely on resources like the FT to research more about them, and put what we were learning about into context.”

“As students leave here and graduate into the marketplace, we certainly don’t want them in a situation where what they learned will become quickly obsolete,” Ira says. “We strongly believe that the global mindset that we’re helping them develop never goes out of style.”

“It’ll still be something I read daily as I’m on the job now!” Sasha says.

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