After studying biology, chemistry and radiologic science over the last several years, I knew almost nothing about business. During my time at Carolina, my career goals changed many times but I always knew I wanted to help people and make a difference in healthcare somehow.
As I moved away from the idea of working for a hospital, I became interested in getting involved in non-profit organizations. Not only did I want to set myself apart from other recent graduates in the science field, I wanted to diversify my education and get a leg up in the business world. The UNC Business Essentials program was exactly what I was looking for.
Being a program specially designed for non-business majors, I assumed UBE would just teach me the basics of business so I could have a general idea of what it is like to have a business related career. When I started the program however, I realized that I was not just getting a brief overview, I was actually learning practical business skills in accounting, marketing, business communication and economics. One of my friends was starting the UNC Master of Accounting program at the same time that I was working on the accounting portion of the online business certificate program and to my amazement, we were learning the same exact things. I learned how to create balance sheets, make business plans and even develop my professional communication skills. It felt great to be able to have a conversation about the current state of the U.S. economy and know what I was talking about.
One of my favorite things about the program was the online format. Knowing I would be working in the hospital over the summer, I was nervous about taking an online class and having time to complete assignments and take tests. The UBE program, however, is self-paced and other than having to finish the program by the end of the summer, I was free to view the lessons and take tests whenever I wanted. I was able to revisit lessons and quizzes as many times as I wanted so that I could get the most out of the program. The ease of the program was the most surprising thing for me because instead of worrying about learning information in time for a test, I could focus on actually absorbing and understanding the lessons so that I could use the skills I learned in the future. I truly feel like I learned a lot from the UBE program and that the knowledge and skills I acquired from one of the best business schools in the nation will open up new opportunities for me.
By Amanda McClung (UNC ’15)