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Societal Impact through Business

The Endeavor RSB (Robins School of Business) program provides students with an opportunity to live and learn together as they explore introductory business concepts through a set of seven integrated courses built around a common theme.  The theme for this year’s Endeavor RSB program is “Societal Impact through Business.”

Students in the program will learn about the variety of roles businesses play in society and how business decisions can have a meaningful impact on the world around us. The program will also help students discover the many ways their own business degree can help set them on a path to becoming a force for good in society. Our students are engaged in using their business degrees to find solutions to challenges related to healthcare, education, childcare, community-building, pro-bono advertising, and even the national response to COVID-19.

At the heart of the Endeavor RSB program is a group of dedicated faculty and staff who are responsible for teaching, advising, and mentoring the students in the program. These faculty are devoted to building an inclusive and supportive community where students of all backgrounds are able to thrive and excel. The close interaction with faculty will help students in the program build strong mentoring relationships that foster growth and exploration that will last well beyond the program and the student’s college career.

Outside of the classroom, students participate in a variety of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities, such as field trips, meeting business leaders, case discussions, etc., all with an aim to give them a hands-on experience with what they are learning in the classroom. In addition to their Navigator, students will also interact with other peer mentors, from RSB students, to learn from the experiences of their peers. 

Coursework Overview

The coursework for the program includes the pre-business courses required to declare and take advanced coursework towards a Business School major, and also includes a unique Applied Business course which provides students with an opportunity to explore and discuss the various business disciplines

Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Fall 2021**
BUAD 100: Applied Business Topics: Exploring Business (0.25 unit) BUAD 100: Applied Business Topics: Applying Business (0.25 unit) BUAD 202: Business Statistics (1 unit)
ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics (1 unit) ECON 102: Principles of Macroeconomics (1 unit) BUAD 205: Business Communications (.5 unit)
MATH 211: Calculus (1 unit) ACCT 201: Fundamentals of Financial Accounting (1 unit) First Field-Specific Class* (1 unit)

ECON 101: satisfies the general education requirement for social analysis (FSSA)

MATH 211: satisfies the general education requirement for symbolic reasoning (FSSR)

ECON 102, ACCT 201, BUAD 202, BUAD 205: are all course requirements towards the major/minor in Business Administration

* Advisors in the program will work with students to choose their first field-specific class based on their individual interests. Fields offered in the Business School include Accounting, Business Analytics, Economics, Finance, International Business, Management-Entrepreneurship, Management-Consulting, and Marketing.
** Students in Endeavor RSB will not live together as a cohort for the Fall 2021 component.

Specific Course Information

Fundamentals of Financial Accounting (ACCT 201):

Students in the introductory financial accounting course will be introduced to the language of accounting.  They will learn all about financial statements so that they can manage their own and organizational finances, invest wisely, help companies develop financial strategies, and be knowledgeable stewards of financial resources.

Applied Business Topics (BUAD 100):

BUAD 100, Applied Business Topics, will provide students with an opportunity to explore each area of business taught within the business school including course offerings and potential career paths through engagement with fellow students, faculty, staff, and executives from each discipline.  Students will also have the opportunity to see businesses in action through guided site visits to business operations on campus, in the city of Richmond, and beyond.  Students will apply concepts that they are learning to various business scenarios and consider their broader societal impact.  These application activities will include various group discussion forums, business simulations, field trips, attending speaking engagements, and/or through other small projects. 

Statistics for Business and Economics (BUAD 202):

BUAD202, Statistics for Business and Economics, will introduce students to the fundamental tools of statistical analysis. We will examine a variety of real-world applications, thinking about how to interpret quantitative information and how to develop quantitative approaches to problem-solving.

Business Communications (BUAD 205):

In BComm, the slang name for BUAD 205, students take a practical (yes, this means practice is involved!) approach to learning successful verbal, non-verbal, and written business communication techniques. While the content focuses on use in professional settings, past students share that the course has enhanced their personal communications as well.

Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 101):

Principles of Microeconomics is devoted to how we as a society allocate our resources. Shall our factories produce more passenger sedans or more battleships? Should high quality health care be available freely or only to those able to pay for it? When do unfettered markets deliver the greatest good for the greatest number and when do markets fail? By equipping students with the analytical tools to answer these questions, this course will help them become more informed decision makers, both in the context of business as well as in their personal and civic lives.

Note: This course satisfies the general education requirement for social analysis (FSSA)

Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 102):

In this course students will learn about how businesses and households make decisions, how macroeconomic data can be used to measure the impact of these decisions, and how policy-making can be used encourage households and businesses to alter their decision-making towards the goal of increasing the economic welfare of society.

Calculus I (MATH 211):

Calculus is the mathematical language that allows humans to understand and describe change. To prepare for the future workforce, Forbes recommends gaining familiarity and prowess with change.  In this semester of calculus you will learn the two key concepts that model instantaneous and total change: the derivative and the integral. These powerful tools can be used to explore a wide array of problems, including modeling the spread of a virus or measuring income distribution.

Note: This course satisfies the general education requirement for symbolic reasoning (FSSR)

Incoming AP Credit Information

I already have AP credit for Calculus I. If I am selected into the program, will I still be required to take Calculus I?

While students with AP credit can choose to opt out of Calc I, we strongly advise them not to. The Calc I course is closely integrated into the program curriculum and students who opt out of it will be unable to fully appreciate how calculus can be used to model and solve business problems.

I already have AP credit for Principles of Microeconomics and/or Principles of Macroeconomics. If I am selected into the program, will I still be required to take both Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics?

Students in the program will be required to take both Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics. Given the fundamental nature of these courses and their integrated nature with the program curriculum students electing to be part of the program may not apply Economics AP credits.

Faculty Information

Nancy Bagranoff is Professor of Accounting and University Professor (bio). She teaches courses in introductory accounting and cybersecurity.  She enjoys introducing students to accounting in a broad context and helping them to understand its importance in their lives and in contributing to a prosperous society.

Della Dumbaugh is Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Coordinator in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (bio).  She teaches across the mathematics curriculum and beyond. She has created travel courses to Vienna and a First Year Seminar on correspondence. She especially enjoys teaching Calculus and leveraging the powerful ideas of the subject to develop successful skills for the future. She has written about how Calculus prepares you for the future workforce in Medium.

Timothy Hamilton is an Associate Professor of Economics who teaches courses in Environmental Economics, Statistics, and Econometrics (bio). He’s excited to be a part of the Endeavor RSB program because he believes strongly in the effect of a positive classroom atmosphere and a collaborative learning environment.

Kathy Hoke is Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (bio).  She teaches courses at all levels of the mathematics curriculum, but she particularly enjoys teaching calculus. Her favorite courses to teach are sections of calculus taught in context; she has taught SMART calculus (calculus coupled with a biology and chemistry section) and calculus with a social justice context.

Cassandra Marshall is an Associate Professor of Finance (bio).  She teaches Principles of Corporate Finance where she enjoys teaching the foundations of finance to students from all business majors, intermediate Corporate Finance where her students learn the theory behind corporate decisions and how to analyze data through Excel modeling, and Financial Modeling in the MBA program.  She demonstrates the importance of financial decisions made by businesses as well as personal financial decisions made by each individual and how these decisions collectively affect outcomes in our society. 

Saif Mehkari is an Associate Professor of Economics (bio). He teaches courses in Macroeconomics, Mathematical Economics, and Computational Methods. One of his favorite courses to teach is Principles of Macroeconomics as he loves teaching and thinking about how firms and households make decisions!

Kelley Ranager is the Administrative Coordinator for the Economics Department (bio).  She has a background in Economics and Public Policy and is happy to help you in any way she can!

Laura Thompson is Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Student Services in the Robins School of Business (bio). She often speaks with prospective Spiders, so you may have already met her on a college visit?! She is excited to work with the Class of 2024 pre-business students to their develop their academic paths. She is also looking forward to teaching Endeavor RSB students her favorite class, which is BUAD 205 Business Communications.

Tom Zylkin is an Assistant Professor of Economics who teaches Principles of Microeconomics and as well as elective courses in International Economics (bio). He is excited to teach in the Endeavor RSB program because he is passionate about giving his students a positive and eye-opening introduction to the rich subject of Economics.

Other FAQ's

Are there any other course restrictions I should be aware of?

Students are highly recommended to take no more than 4-4.25 courses per semester their first-year. The two courses per semester required by this program along with the required First Year Seminar will not allow for any space on a student’s schedule to take an intensive language course in French, Italian, or Spanish during their first year. Student wishing to pursue any other language will have no such constraint.

If after the first or second semester I decide I am no longer interested in the Endeavor RSB program can I leave the program?

Our ultimate goal is to work with all of our students to create a meaningful and successful cohort experience and path into the Robins School of Business; however, due to unforeseen circumstance where a student may need to leave the program, we will fully support that student as they transition into an alternate academic path.

Roadmap Short Course Information

As part of the Endeavor program, you will particiapte in the popular Roadmap to Success pre-orientation program, where you will take a short course.

Short Course Description

This short course will describe a framework for analyzing the many opportunities businesses have to make a real impact in our society. You will learn how to examine the role that businesses play in creating products and services that meet the needs of society, are technically feasible to develop, and have sustainable economic viability. Faculty will actively demonstrate how businesses can create efficiencies and optimal solutions to some of society's biggest challenges through simulations, group case discussion, and interactive activities and discovery.

Have Questions about Endeavor RSB?

If you have questions specifically related to the Endeavor RSB program, please contact the EndeavorRSB program directors: Cassandra Marshall and Saif Mehkari