Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Restructure Management 101 for McCombs Students

Evan Montelongo

As a second-year McCombs student, far removed from the trials and tribulations of my first semester, I can look around in my upper-division business administration class and recognize only a few familiar faces. I met most of my classmates in Management 101: a one-credit-hour class that acts as a first-year interest group for business students. To prepare freshmen students for college life, MAN 101 should provide more holistic guidance and information about on-campus events.

Helping students transition to UT is an important part of their first-year experience. FIGs provide freshmen students with a curriculum about the struggles UT students might face, how to utilize university resources and prepares them to get involved on campus. FIGs differ between colleges, but the general structure consists of an hour-long seminar and a few classes taken with the same group of peers.

Intended to cluster business majors with their peers, MAN 101 organizes McCombs students into groups with a more narrow scope, said Kayla Ford, assistant director of academic advising in the McCombs School of Business. The class’s material is mostly communicated online in the form of short readings and videos on topics such as leadership skills, business ethics and conflict management.

“The ultimate goal of Management 101 is clustering,” Ford said. “The idea is that you’re going to be in a small group, which is your MAN 101 class. … MAN 101 is a one credit hour course and also a degree requirement for our degree.”

Because MAN 101 is a degree requirement, the curriculum splits its focus between life skills and business skills, condensing a semester’s worth of presentations into only a few topics, like mental health and registration planning. By minimizing the amount of time spent on the life skills required for a successful college transition, MAN 101 does a disservice to business freshmen.  

Business sophomore Francine Gumban said she felt that the class’ curriculum was too general to teach students applicable management skills. 

“I personally felt like it was very much common sense,” Gumban said. “I feel like we all knew what was going on in the class, or the materials they were talking about.”

There’s no need to overhaul the entire management 101 curriculum. Instead, the material should be more focused, specific and useful. Students should leave the class feeling as if they learned something new while also developing the practical life skills needed to transition to life at university. 

The structure of the MAN 101 class makes it simple to focus on teaching students specific management and life skills in an intimate environment. The small size of the classes facilitates conversation between students, and the TA mirrors the peer mentor who leads FIG seminars. The management-based curriculum justifies the status of the course as a one-credit-hour while simultaneously fulfilling a major requirement. However, a renewed and supplementary focus on UT campus-specific topics will better prepare McCombs freshmen for their experiences at the University.  

The MAN 101 curriculum must change to reflect its status as a management course by focusing its content on more helpful and relevant material. With a campus this large, we must strive to get freshman students involved, especially those who might not have the experience to seek out on-campus resources. Ultimately, MAN 101 should be restructured to teach specific management skills while simultaneously fostering the connections that will make every business student feel at home. 

Breeding is a business sophomore from San Antonio, Texas. 

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