Business 3/2 Program works for J Student

(S.O.S. – Page 1 – October 30, 1990)

Andi Christenson is a woman with big plans for her future. As a graduate student working toward her M.B.A. degree, she looks back on her education at Ball State and lessons well learned.

“I want to own a magazine,” Christenson says. She graduated with a journalism major in May 1989.

“I enrolled in the 3/2 program because I don;t want someone to know my business better than me,” Christenson explained.

The 3/2 program is offered by  the College of Business for liberal arts and sciences majors who want an even more salable major.

The program allows a student to get an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree and an M.B.A. in five years. The first three years are spent on the undergraduate degree with the remaining two years devoted to the master’s candidacy.

Janice Steele, coordinator of undergraduate programs for the College of Business explains the ideals behind the 3/2 program. “We were looking for way to expand the focus of the College of Business, and this was a way to help those students in the liberal arts who wonder is they are going to b able to get a job when they graduate,” Steele said.

Admission into the 3/2 program requires a 3.2 GPA and a passing score on the GMAT, an SAT-like test needed for M.B.S> hopefuls.

“Don’t let the GMAT scare you,” said Christenson. “It’s not bad, but you should study for it.”

“The 3/2 program is good, but graduate level courses are different fro my undergraduate work. It’s easy to get wrapped up in my business program and lose track of my journalism,” Christenson said.

To better stay in touch with her journalism skill, Christenson sought out a job as a graduate assistant (GA) where her journalism degree would be utilized.

“I work in the Office of Student Life with Barb Jones. I create the Insider, a four-page newsletter designed to help student organizations run more efficiently. I also work on brochures and surveys,” Christenson said.

A graduate assistantship pays well too. “A GA pays all tuition plus a stipend for living expenses. It also gives you access to professors and an office to work from,” Christenson said. “People who want to be a GA should apply early and talk to department heads. They know what the job is and will remember you.”

Her job also requires computer skills. “There is a lot of Mac work. The Macintosh classes really helped. I really like the emphasis that the journalism department has put on computers. But it’s best to know the limits of computers – where they are useful and where they are not,” she said.

Christenson explained the transition from journalism to business. “The hardest part is going from a writer’s perspective to numbers. People who are not math-oriented may have it rough in he program – especially if they had problems in MATH 125,” she said.

“Accounting was really hard. I had to take it twice. I never had to repeat a class in undergrad,” Christenson said.

“But the 3/2 program i good for people in the writing business,” she explained. “I want to be able to look at a financial statement and tell if it has been done right. I want to be able to tell if things are running right.” – David Speakman