Economics and Business Administration Department Growing at McDaniel

Photo by Jeremy Simon.Photo by Jeremy Simon.

Are you interested in careers like entrepreneurship, economics or accounting? Are you interested in studying marketing or going into careers in that area? Are you interested in studying areas such as accounting, economics or statistical analysis? If you say yes to any of these questions the Economics and Business Administration department is the perfect fit for you.

With eight faculty members and 40 to 50 students graduating every year over all three specializations, the business and economics department is growing at McDaniel.

Faculty members interviewed for this article include Dr. Ethan Seidel, the Department Chairperson, and Professors Kerry Duvall and Nigel Burdett.

Dr. Seidel lectures to students. Photo by Jeremy Simon.

Dr. Seidel lectures to students. Photo by Jeremy Simon.

“Every Business major studies a core of economics, accounting and statistical analysis,” said Seidel. “Students then branch off and have a fair amount of latitude to choose electives to build on the core.”

Students in the major have a lot of business, accounting, economics and finance courses to choose from, and they can base their classes on the career path that interests them.

Seidel is currently teaching Statistics, which can fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement of the McDaniel Plan. He has previously taught Accounting, Finance, and Macroeconomics.

Seidel claimed that “[Economics and Business Administration] is an interesting department because all three areas of study are covered. Not only do they have to have good business skills but have good accounting skills”. They also offer minors in all of the fields, which can be attached to any major in the college.

“We want our students to get a basic understanding on how the economy operates, how individual affirms operate, what their goals are and the ability to develop analytical skills. All of these classes have to do with decision-making,” he said.

“If you are going to be successful in business, you not only need to have good business skills, but you need to know how the economy works,” Seidel added. “If you are going to be a successful accountant you not only need to know good accounting skills, but you need to know how the economy works.”

The business department is adding more courses in small business and management, and they started a special topics course in business strategy. They are also revamping their courses in entrepreneurship. They are looking at how to revise the major so it becomes more beneficial for students.

Professor Burdett helps his students prepare for the business world. Photo by Jeremy Simon.

Professor Burdett helps his students prepare for the business world. Photo by Jeremy Simon.

Professor Burdett talks about the business administration side. His goal is to  prepare students for careers in the business world by giving them a broad view of key business concepts and the opportunity to apply those concepts to real business situations.

He teaches Marketing, management and entrepreneurship. On the first day of class of the Marketing course, Burdett asks students, “What does marketing mean to you?” The most common response is a definition of advertising.  

“Marketing is about creating and delivering value to meet customer needs,” says Burdett.  “Advertising is just one tool at the marketer’s disposal.”

In the course, student teams develop and present a marketing plan for a new product.  A new toilet paper is the assigned product this semester. He wants students to get an experience that real marketers do.

Students can go into market research, advertising, graphic design, publishing, marketing strategy, sales, convention planning, and numerous other careers in the field of marketing.

Duvall enlightens her students on the world of accounting. Photo by Jeremy Simon.

Duvall enlightens her students on the world of accounting. Photo by Jeremy Simon.

Professor Duvall, on the other hand, teaches classes that focus on Accounting.

“Accounting works closely with business,” Duvall said. The biggest thing she wants her students to get out of the accounting classes is critical thinking.

“Critical thinking is a big part of my exams,” she added.

There are more students coming into the Accounting program. It is growing and students seem to enjoy it. Students with an Accounting degree can go into public accounting and work in a tax or audit department, or they can work as a private accountant.

Duvall also runs the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program. The program is designed to allow students to prepare income tax returns for low-income individuals and families free of charge. The program was introduced by retired faculty member Susan Milstein. The business department partnered with Carroll Community College to offer this joint program.

The Economics and Business department gives students leeway to customize their major based on their interests, creating a diverse yet rewarding experience for those going into this field.