Description of the Business Program
The Washington & Jefferson campus offers both a major and a minor for Business Administration. There are a myriad of benefits of the program that will permit you to understand business principles that are the backbone of our capitalistic society, and that can be applied to everyday life. Not only will you learn about the American market but also about foreign markets, including the European market and the ever expanding Chinese market. You will better understand the current market trends and in the future use concepts learned when making business decisions for yourself or on behalf of a company/organization.
W&J’s Business, Economics and Accounting professors come to us from diversified backgrounds that all hail experience. The majority of these professors did not spend their entire careers in academia, but had careers in the business world for several years. Here is where you really receive an education -- these professors can offer valuable insight into the practical business world. Theories and models are great, but they can only go so far. There are a lot of different variables that need to be factored into the dynamic business world. Professors often give personal experiences when discussing a certain topic and compare/contrast with the theory or model being deliberated. A list of professors from the Business and Economics Department can be located via the link at the bottom of the page.
Although in the near future the Business Administration degree may undergo some changes in the prerequisites and core-requisites, the overall requirements will demonstrate the same principles. Before you take any of your main business courses the basic concepts in macro/micro economics, accounting, calculus, and probability & statistics will have to be mastered. Once those required courses are fulfilled the premier business courses may be taken, usually in the students’ junior and senior years. These courses include finance, marketing, operations management and the psychological side to business. Students will also have to complete a capstone, which is a course that allows you to get hands on experience in the business world. Obviously, there are less courses needed for a minor as compared to the major and can be found by following the link at the bottom of the page.
The majority of the business students’ classes will be held in The Burnett Center, named after the former college president, Howard J. Burnett. Opened in 2001, Burnett stands three stories tall and includes a functional basement -- it mimics the architectural feel of Old Main and other historic buildings on campus, but has 21st century design and technology inside. Students are able to obtain Wi-Fi access on their laptops or plug-in directly via an Ethernet cable to access the Internet. Burnett is the premier location for lectures due to its diversity -- it includes 12 multi-media rooms, 3 circular seminar rooms and 2 computer labs. The Yost Auditorium located on the first floor, seats 118 and has the latest technology, which makes it perfect for any speaker that visits W&J. Although some mathematics courses will be held in Old Main, the business students will become quite acclimated with the intricacies of Burnett.
Opportunities after W&J
Calvin Coolidge stated in 1925, “The business of America is business.” This statement still holds true today, but has expanded. Everything in America and the majority of the developing world is a business. Whether it is government, a non-profit organization or a private/public company they still require people to manage that particular organization effectively. This is the reason that the Business Administration major remains in the top five most popular majors throughout the country. However, being a business administration major at W&J comes with an advantage -- it comes with the Washington & Jefferson name that will allow you to get a leg up on the competition. It is a practical and useful major that will guarantee a job after college. That is true because it is such a broad area that allows the graduate to explore basically any area of the business world -- finance, upper management, sales, and accounting just to name a few.
Now, the most important and most interesting section of the Business Administration major -- the money. If you’re in business, generally speaking, you’re in it to make money. The average salary of a recent graduate with a Business Administration degree is $48,000. It is also an interesting fact that statistically someone with this degree will make more than any other undergraduate. Experience and hard work will allow you to climb the ladder and move up the pay scale, but a graduate degree will really accelerate your involvement in the organization. Don’t think your limited to just an MBA. There is a lot to be said for crossing over, such as pursuing a degree in statistics. The possibilities are limitless for the Business Administration graduate, whether it is the job market or graduate school.
(Narrative written by Eric Efaw based on an interview with Dr. Liberatore)
Dr. Ralph Liberatore is an associate professor here at W&J in the Business and Economics Department and comes to us with experience in industry and academia. Over the years he has earned multiple degrees: a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering, a Master’s in Metallurgical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research. Not only has he achieved such prestigious degrees but has also accumulated 32 years of experience in industry as an engineer, a manager and a consultant. After working in the metals industry for years, Dr. Liberatore opened up a consulting business that allowed him to work with a variety of different businesses from titanium to moving and storage. He has served as adjunct faculty at Penn State, Point Park and Duquesne and sat as the chair at numerous institutions. Here at W&J, he teaches various business and accounting courses.
Dr. Liberatore is a lifelong learner and has done a considerable amount of research and learning as an adult. He believes that W&J’s Business Administration major is an excellent program and facilitates lifelong learning within students. He states, “Remember that in a liberal arts setting you will get about half the business credits you would get at Pitt….That is not necessarily bad. In fact I have come to the conclusion that it can be a plus.” That being said the program here allows you to broaden your horizon and learn in different settings, such as a public speaking or a writing course. The diversity opens you up to other opinions and new experiences that will promote lifelong learning after you leave W&J.
Being a lifelong learner, Dr. Liberatore is a strong advocate of graduate school. Whether it is right after college or a year or two later it is a must. Graduate school is a good place to “weather the storm” of a bad economy. Assistantship can be obtained from the graduate school or an alternative is if your employer has some sort of tuition reimbursement program you should take advantage of that. There are numerous graduate programs out there and you should try to get in the best program possible; this is necessary because it will separate you from the competition. After completing your undergraduate work at W&J you will have a better chance of getting into a highly respected graduate program. His advice is, “the best school strategy is always a good strategy.”
How to Become a Business Major/Minor
Department Chair: Professor Gregor: email@example.com (http://www.washjeff.edu/staticFiles/asp/MailTo.asp?recipient=jgregor*washjeff.edu); 724-503-1001, Ext. 6150; Burnett Center, Rm. 316
Professor West: firstname.lastname@example.org (http://www.washjeff.edu/staticFiles/asp/MailTo.asp?recipient=jwest*washjeff.edu); 724-503-1001, Ext. 6154; Burnett Center, Rm. 110
Professor Liberatore: email@example.com; 724-503-1001, Ext. 6556; Burnett Center, Rm. 105
Fill out the proper forms from the Registrar and have your academic adviser sign off on it; then register for the appropriate courses