Straight to the Source - Giving to UVA

Straight to the Source

The best way to gain perspective on global commerce is by seeing the world. There’s just no substitute for learning.

By studying the global context of business, students learn to appreciate how economic, social, political, and cultural dynamics drive both the opportunities and the challenges facing today’s global organizations. The McIntire Global Immersion Experience (GIE) curriculum—an integral component of the M.S. in Commerce—is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in global commerce fundamentals as well as a rich opportunity to explore the dynamics of the business environment in one major region of the world.

The GIE curriculum comprises two parts: GIE Classroom and GIE Abroad. McIntire faculty members teach courses during the spring and then lead students to a GIE Abroad destination, providing continuity and “on-the-road” teaching throughout the experience.

Students find the experience revealing. “It’s one thing to learn about other cultures in the classroom,” said 2013 McIntire graduate Thomas Rogers, who traveled to Europe. “It’s something entirely different to experience them firsthand.”

The John O’Connell family created the O’Connell Global Immersion M.S. in Commerce Endowment, which has helped almost 50 students cover expenses while traveling overseas as part of the program’s month-long GIE. Since the initial gift in 2009, the O’Connells have increased their commitment, enabling greater student support while also funding GIE curriculum and faculty enhancements.

John O’Connell (McIntire ‘79) voiced his family’s strong support of the M.S. in Commerce Program. “It is great to see the McIntire School extending the reach of its programs to include recent grads from other disciplines, facilitating their future success in business,” O’Connell said. “We were first exposed to the program through our son, Robert (College ‘08, McIntire ‘09), and we were really energized by his experiences—especially the GIE. We wanted to make the program more affordable to a broader cross-section of students.”