“What’s your major?” That small question haunts me. There’s no other question which makes me squirm more. I’m a business major, well, Business Administration to be exact. This fact is not something I’m proud of. Being a business major comes with stereotypes that I find very embarrassing. I could possibly be the only one that has this deep-rooted resentment towards business, but personal concord is something I need.
Most people view this as a small, harmless question, yet I never have the words to suitably answer it. I don’t want to stop after, “Business Administration.” I want to continue explaining how I’m only a business major because I can’t get a diploma with 4 years of General Education requirements. How I only became a business major because I was running out of time. After a year in engineering, I realized it was not the direction I wanted to go in. Then I spent a period of time in Liberal Arts as a prestigious “Undeclared.” I eventually found myself in that hole where if I didn’t pick a major soon, I might have to extend my incarceration at the University of New Hampshire. I chose the next logical step for students with no goals or aspirations, the Whittemore School of Business Education (WSBE).
There’s a good reason why in the engineering department WSBE is referred to as the Whittemore School of Bad Engineers. Many of my fellow dejected ex-engineers also took the plunge into business. Business Administration is as close to Undeclared as one can get. The title is so vague, that no one knows its true meaning. I think it’s an all-encompassing business major due to the fact the WSBE only has 2 other majors. So they must have decided to group everything not related to Economics or Hospitality under this title.
Some people don’t understand why I’m so embarrassed of the major. I suppose it’s something I take too personally, or maybe it’s because those asking are one of “them.” First day of classes my teachers asked each student why they chose business as their major. A common reply was, “Because I want to make a lot of money.” That simple reply is the embodiment of all that is wrong with business majors. They believe themselves to be above the “average” person, and by average they mean “non-business majors.” They think that they’re going to graduate and immediately be launched into executivehood. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that 90% of them will spend the rest of their lives either running a failing department store, or sitting in a cubicle 40 hours a week.
Whenever a business major speaks of WSBE, he gets a twinkle in his eye. He speaks with the smugness of an Ivy League graduate, but without nearly the education. Some students even go as far to say that UNH isn’t a very good school… except for WSBE. It’s as if I was absent the day they had the workshop on “How to pretend WSBE is a prominent department.” For years I’ve been hearing people say, “WSBE is a top ranked program.” Yet, I have no idea what rankings they’re referring to. The most well-known rankings are by US News, which has WSBE tied for 130th with 19 other schools, and the list only goes up to 150. WSBE received an academic rating of 2.5 out of 5. I guess I’m just not getting something; I must be missing some glaring fact, which perfectly explains how 2.5 out of 5 is highly rated. It must be something taught in Finite Mathematics.
The business major attitude even translates itself into their clothing. Every time I walk into McConnell (the main WSBE building), I can visibly see the difference between me and them. If I didn’t know better I’d think WSBE had some unwritten dress code. For men the code breaks down as this: a collared shirt with buttons (preferably from Structure or Abercrombie), fashionable dark-blue jeans, leather shoes, a large silver watch, a cell phone set to ring during class, leather jacket, and a cologne which was agreed upon by everyone (because they all seem to wear the same one).
This is probably the most difficult trait for me to understand. The underlying law is apparently form over function, because I see no need for most of those items. My reasoning breaks down as such: collared shirts are not comfortable, fashionable jeans are out of my budget, New Balance doesn’t make leather shoes, I have no need for a watch bigger than my wrist. I’m also willing to admit I don’t get phone calls. How many people can honestly say they receive calls that are too important to wait until they get home? Leather jackets are also a big mystery to me. Why would I pay $300 for a jacket that isn’t even warm? Finally, I guess cologne is just something I never thought I needed. Personally, I’d rather take a shower if I smell bad. Cure the disease, not the symptom.
So there is my dilemma. How can I properly summarize this to a short reply, which elegantly fits into a conversation of small talk? I guess it’s impossible. I’ll have to relegate myself to just “Business Administration,” fighting the urge to justify my actions. I realize that I have no one else to blame but myself, but human nature is to hold outside circumstances accountable for one’s actions. Never mind what I’ve written, I’m probably just in a bad mood. I must now end this disparaging tirade, because I have some Economics homework to tend to…
Comments / Criticisms appreciated. Send to Woburn, thanks.