Meet a Major
Ieva Vitola ’14 - Management
- D1 Track and Field
- School of Business Passport Program
- Honors Enrichment Program
Why did you choose your major?
My decision was affected by many factors. It’s a combination of my experiences, and also of my abilities and interests. When I lived with my parents, I saw some of the main points of management — performance efficiencies and relationships with people. Both my parents were managers — one in a government institution, the other the owner of a small business. I enjoyed watching them in their work. Furthermore, my first work experience was as a salesperson. Later on, my first internship was as a logistics manager. This gave me a chance to compare management practices and what quality of management might do to companies. All my experiences gave me the willingness to learn how to become a good motivator for others. Also, I’m good at learning different kinds of sciences, as well as math, finance, psychology and sociology. I found that in management, by being a little bit creative, I can combine all of my interests.
What has been your favorite class?
I have two favorite classes in my major: Human Behavior in the Organization (MGMT 315) with Janet Rovenpor and Operation and Quality Management (MGMT 307) with Michael Sutera. Both of these classes bring reality into the classroom.
Mr. Sutera’s class was beneficial because of his critical attitude toward the systems that people follow every day. He explained complex past events in a way that made students think critically about the possible future. Also, he offered many critical information sources which I still use, not only for management classes but also for self education.
In Dr. Rovenpor’s class, I was able to see how each management principle applies to real life, why it is necessary, how it might improve relationships among people, and also how it might improve individual performances inside of organizations. Part of her class involved improving self-awareness, which further impacted my self-analysis.
Have you done any internships?
In the summer of 2012, I had a management and logistics internship at Reneks Sia in Latvia. Reneks Sia is a logistics firm, which offers tracks in Europe for large cargos. As an intern, my duties were to find new clients and deal with long-term clients all around Europe, to draw up the routes and compile them, and to manage orders and invoices. I had the opportunity to work in a big company with more than 70 tracks. The work they provide is high quality, but they also struggle to deal with changes in the competitive industry.
What are your plans after graduation?
My goal is to gain experience with business consultant companies and to improve my knowledge about different types of businesses. Also, I want to work in Latvia for the Ministry of Economics.
What are the faculty like?
I would say that they are knowledgeable, kind and helpful. Many of them are passionate about what they are doing. They have gained a lot of experience in their fields which they now share with us.
What’s your favorite thing about this major?
My major gave me opportunities to meet interesting people, to think outside the box, and to see correlations between theory and real life. Also, it gave me great sources for information and opened my mind to controversial opinions and thoughts about different events.
What’s the most difficult thing about this major?
The most difficult thing is learning that management does not mean being the boss and doing nothing, but that it means understanding and empowering people, increasing efficiency, improving quality, thinking creatively and critically, constantly adapting to changes and resolving all kinds of problems that companies face.
What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?
List which actions help others and which of these actions will make you happy. Do not hurry — try different jobs before choosing your major, and remember that it is important to be flexible in whatever you choose. Even though it is a hard decision, it doesn’t mean that you are choosing to do only one thing all your life. Nowadays, you can study one major, but you’ll also have the ability to adapt your knowledge to different situations in different fields.