I’ve never been a business minded individual. Growing up, my mother always used to joke that I had no sense of business, and I could easily be tricked out of anything. In my obstinate ways, I informed my mother that not everyone has to major in accounting to know something about the world. Now as I prepare to look for jobs after graduation in the spring, I realized that I’ve had it wrong. I realized how hypocritical it was that I preached social entrepreneurship and business trainings as means of empowerment while I was working in South Africa, yet I had no knowledge of even the fundamentals myself. These were the main reasons why this past summer I chose to enroll in the UNC Business Essentials Program.
To be honest, not everything about UNC’s UBE was easy. Some of the lessons, specifically macroeconomics, were incredibly difficult, especially for my social science background. Even the most complicated lessons, the ones where I thought I would never understand all of the components and equations, were immeasurably valuable. Some elements, like discussions of marketing and business writing I understood as immediately applicable to my life. Others, such as the micro-economics section, taught me elements like balancing budgets and creating sustainable business plans. While these elements are not necessarily the most entertaining, I now feel more comfortable entering the nonprofit world with the skills I’ll need to succeed.
Time management hasn’t always been my area, especially when it is in relation to Carolina, and as I was a rising senior, I kept struggling with how I was going to fit everything I wanted to accomplish before the end of the year into my final two semesters. UBE was the perfect option because taking online business classes allowed me to still be able to have my summer internship, as well as spend time with my friends. I still don’t think I’ll be able to check everything off of my bucket list before I graduate, but lacking a knowledge of business is one less thing that I’ll have to worry about.
By Nicole Welsh