Imagine you’re a music major who hopes to someday run a record label. Or a biology major with notions of becoming a pharmaceutical executive. You might expect to start out as a session musician or a lab tech, but is there coursework you can take now to give you a leg up toward that corner office?
At Boston College, growing numbers of arts and sciences students have been taking classes in the Carroll School of Management. “In a sense, we’ve been offering them shadow minors for a while,” Dean Andy Boynton wrote in a memo to faculty. Starting next fall, the Carroll School will make things official. Four new minors will be offered to non-management students, Boynton announced in the memo: finance, marketing, accounting for CPAs, and accounting for finance and consulting.
By supplementing their studies with lessons in auditing, corporate finance, or market research, undergrads from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and Boston College’s other schools will boost their versatility and broaden their base of potential employers.
“They have an opportunity to come out of BC with a quantifiable certification in management that enhances their chosen major,” Carroll School Associate Dean Ethan Sullivan said in a statement. Sullivan suggested that business training could help launch a Lynch School of Education student into a role as a school principal, for example, or give a fine arts major the skills to help market his or her work.
The four new minors join two Carroll School minors already open to students from other schools: Management and Leadership, and Managing for Social Impact and the Public Good. One impetus for adding the new minors is Boston College’s new Strategic Plan. The first of the plan’s strategic directives is to foster a culture of learning that “promotes opportunities for students to integrate traditional liberal arts disciplines with professional preparation and vocational discernment.”
All six minors meet Morrissey College criteria defining a minor as six or seven courses, including both an introductory and an upper-level course or seminar. Students who have already taken Carroll School courses that fall under one of the new minors can declare that minor retroactively.
“I fully appreciate the merits of a liberal arts degree,” said Skyler Gaccione, Morrissey ’20, but she also wants a pragmatic grounding in “the context in which people earn profits, [the] rudiments of accounting, and the critical elements that make organizations function efficiently.” That’s why Gaccione is now considering a finance minor to go with her economics major, she said. “The two go hand in hand.”
Communications major Andrew Linnehan, Morrissey ’20, is excited to learn marketing principles. “This minor in marketing will allow me to direct my communication degree to the business environment while developing skills in business fundamentals,” he said.
“The possibilities are endless,” said Sullivan. “Finance, marketing, accounting, and other facets of business and management aren’t simply about numbers and dollar signs: They are disciplines that help in analyzing situations, asking questions, and devising solutions.” In other words, they fit right in with a course of study in the arts or sciences.
Reporting by University Communications contributed to this article.