OPINION | Do not default to business school

Bobby Becker, Associate Views Editor

(Gabe Darley)

The Freeman School of Business enrolls 25% of undergraduate students, and for good reasons: it offers built-in career support, excellent leadership and Tulane University’s sexiest building. 

Once arriving at Tulane it seems that many students flock to the B-School even when they lack interest in business. From social and parental pressures, a business major is deemed inherently “safer” and “more employable” than other areas of study. 

While a major in business has advantages, simply defaulting to business may harm one’s academic success. First and second-year students should consider other options before blindly jumping into the B-School. 

The Freeman School of Business curves their class grades to meet a 3.0 GPA, which means half of business majors will graduate with a 3.0 major GPA or below. If you are concerned with building a desirable resume, consider if a higher GPA in another major would fare better.

Tulane University’s business majors also require more credit hours than most other majors. A Business Management Major, for example, requires 84.5 credit hours. By contrast, humanities majors require around 30 credits, while hard sciences mostly require up to 60. 

The heavy course load restricts business majors from exploring other interests during their first few semesters. Simone Hernandez, a sophomore business major, said, “I wish I had a little more time to explore college before jumping into the business school … I had no idea coming in that the business school was such a [commitment].”

Hernandez said she now has to overload her schedule to balance the business school with other classes she wants to study. Also, she said she must study abroad through the B-School; According to Hernandez, studying abroad through other programs would yield less credits for her major and make it harder to graduate on time. 

Opting out of the B-School provides undergraduates far more flexibility to try out different classes, allowing students to discover their intellectual passions and strengths. 

Tulane is home to professors who teach hundreds of topics, all eager to share their expertise. Students can learn about the evolution of life on Earth, the civil wars within the Roman Republic or the inner-workings of artificial intelligence. 

College is not a four-year job audition. It is an opportunity to understand aspects of the world, and thus oneself, on a deeper level. Doing so adds value beyond putting a serious looking major in your LinkedIn profile.

Intrinsic motivation is an electric engine; it propels students to challenge themselves and engage deeper in their studies. Taking advantage of one’s interests — both in school and in career — leads to greater fulfillment and success.

Extrinsic motivation is gasoline — a fuel source most need to get to the grocery store but a poor investment in the transitioning economy. Like the oil industry, relying on extrinsic motivation is risky and can devastate the planet if left unchecked. 

A bachelor’s degree takes an average of 40 courses to attain. Throughout a college experience, students spend thousands of hours studying, completing coursework or attending class. A high percentage of this experience is directly impacted by a student’s major of choice. The decision is too important to shrug your shoulders and choose whatever major looks prettiest on paper. 

Obsession over one’s future job, salary and prestige consumes much of the American psyche. While it promises silver, those who give into their curiosity may find gold.

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