We've got big news for aspiring business majors (and non-business majors, too, as you'll read about here): Siena now offers a true, plain-and-simple business major. But the truth is, it's not plain and simple at all. In fact, we couldn't be more excited about how unique and robust our business major is compared to what you'll find elsewhere. To tell you more about it—and why it'll really give you a leg up in job interviews—we caught up with Dr. Chuck Seifert, Dean of the School of Business.
What makes Siena's business major different from what other schools offer?
The new business major really gives students more flexibility than any program anywhere, and I mean anywhere. Students will continue to take the same core as other majors, but the 30 credits they need to take in their chosen discipline will now be divided between two concentrations [from this list.] So for example, a business major could take half of her credits in investment fundamentals and the other half in, say, market research and analytics. Students can really diversify their educational experience and focus on areas that are really interesting to them. And if they have any college credits coming their way or they're able to get creative with their elective credits, they could even graduate with three concentrations.
That sounds like something employers will be very drawn to; having at least two concentrations under one's belt.
Absolutely. Being able to focus on different areas opens up more career opportunities for students after they leave Siena. This will give them the chance to really say "yes, not only do I have a degree in business, but I also have concentrations in X and Y." That will definitely be very intriguing for the students and employers. In addition, our business school has a very high level of faculty with terminal degrees and true business experience. Students graduate having already applied what they learned in real situations, not just memorizing facts.
Can you talk a little bit about the concentrations?
Right now, there are 154 different possible combinations of concentrations. We chose them very carefully after consulting with many members of the Siena community and looking at today's job market. The list we came up with is very market-driven, but what's really cool is that, going forward, we can very quickly respond to changes in the job market by making a modification instead of having to create a new program; a much quicker and more streamlined process. It's truly ideal (both for us and for students) to be able to be so flexible with the curriculum.
What does all this mean for non-business majors?
The great thing about this list of concentrations is that it's open to anyone, even beyond the School of Business. If you’re a history major, you can also have a concentration in entrepreneurship. If you're an English major, why not graduate with a concentration in marketing communications and digital marketing? No matter where you're working, the general principles of business are still applicable, and any student can benefit by having a concentration in business.
How does Siena's location impact the experience for business majors?
First, I have to say, if Siena was located anywhere else, it'd still be a wonderful place to study business. But the fact that we happen to be in the Capital District certainly has its benefits. We have so many opportunities for internships that aren't available at other places, and Albany is really a vibrant community with so much to do. We're also centrally located with easy access to the Adirondacks, Lake George, Montreal, New York City and Boston. In addition, we have a very strong alumni network in this area—which is really beneficial for internships and job placements. Our network, of course, stretches a lot further than Albany, but for students who want to stay close, here's the good news: we have more businesses that want our students than we have students looking for internships!
Speaking of internships, what are some examples of where Saints have interned?
The Albany Devils, Albany Medical Center, Ballston Spa National Bank, Bank of China, BBL Construction Services, Carnegie Hall, Empire Financial Advisors, Inc., Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, Latham Pool Products, LiveNation, Morgan Stanley, NYS Office of the Inspector General, Otsego Golf Course, SEFCU, State Farm Insurance, The Walt Disney Company... just to name a few.
Thanks, Dean Seifert! For more information on our business major, contact us anytime. Or better yet, schedule a trip here to meet with Dean Seifert yourself. We've got a lot more to share.