Business Administration

  • Degree Type Bachelor of Science
  • Department Business Administration
  • Academic Division The Williams School
  • Offerings Major Entrepreneurship minor

Students at the New York Stock Exchange Students at the New York Stock Exchange

Business administration is one of the most popular majors at W&L. We offer small classes (usually 16 to 22 students) that are innovative and experiential. Our professors maintain open-door policies and are regularly available to students outside of class. Quality teaching is unquestionably our highest priority.

Business Administration

Business students engage in multiple aspects of business administration and how they relate to the broader social and cultural aspects of society and the world. 

Typical areas of interest are in the financial industry (such as banking, investments, Wall Street and real estate development), marketing (advertising and branding), entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability and business consulting. Business Administration students engage in case studies focusing on many aspects of business (finance, marketing, organizational behavior, leadership, strategic management, law and ethics). They have the opportunity to critically analyze real companies in current situations and make recommendations.

The Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship

The J. Lawrence Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary center intended to help students from across campus learn how to turn their creative ideas into successful business ventures. Students are immersed in a course of study that emphasizes analytical thinking, qualitative and quantitative reasoning, creativity and innovation.

The Connolly Center provides students with the necessary tools to develop business plans that are both executable and fundable, and an extremely supportive faculty and alumni community help shepherd students’ ventures from concept to business plan to launch and beyond.

The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics

The Roger Mudd Center for Ethics advances dialogue, teaching and research about issues of public and professional ethics across all three of the university’s schools — the College, the Williams School, and the School of Law. It was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd ’50.

“I enjoy the process of analyzing problems, finding the best solutions and supporting my decisions with evidence.”

Joe Wen
Class of 2019

Related Programs

The Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability integrates thought and action in direct service to disadvantaged communities. Through an array of courses and service opportunities, the program prepares students from a variety of majors and political perspectives to work with those communities to address the problems associated with poverty.

The Environmental Studies Program is designed to educate students in a broad class of issues related to the environment and humanity's place in the natural world. 

Amanda Bower

Department Head

Conner Williams

Administrative Assistant

News


W&L Outcomes: Jackson Hotchkiss ’24

Hotchkiss is spending the next year competing in professional cycling events.

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Jay Margalus tackes his Design Thinking class for a site visit at the Virginia Innovation Accelerator.

CBL Faculty Collaborative Generates New Community Connections

The 2023-2024 academic year at W&L saw the proliferation of several new course offerings for students through a new faculty development initiative offered by the Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL).

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Bright Frimpong Co-Authors Journal Article on Crowdfunding

The first-year business administration professor authored the paper with the members of his doctoral dissertation committee.

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Two Williams School Faculty Members Co-Author Journal Article

Bright Frimpong and Keri Larson teamed with two others to produce a paper on crowdfunding that was featured in the Journal of Business Venturing Insights.

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W&L’s Leslie Frederick to Present at the 2024 AACSB Assessment and AoL Conference in New York City

Frederick will serve as co-presenter for a session that demonstrates the beneficial uses of technology in the curriculum mapping process.

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Meet Nathan Unger ’24

Unger embraces the full W&L experience, including incredible academic opportunities and being a DIII athlete.

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W&L Students Claim First Place at University of Georgia Stock Pitch Competition

A four-person team comprised of John Schleider ‘24, Diwesh Kumar ‘24, Bradford Bush ’25 and Drew Thompson ‘25 claimed the $3,000 top prize for their pitch on CVS Health.

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Meet Leif Smith ’24

Smith’s W&L experience includes finding a family in his lacrosse teammates and helping other students discover their career paths as a career fellow.

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Justin Davis

Professor Justin Davis Published in the Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting

The second-year faculty member co-authored a paper analyzing the effect of CEO age on financial reporting quality and clawback provisions.

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W&L Student Receives Venture for America Fellowship

Josh Rassin ’24 will begin his two-year placement with a startup company following graduation.

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Justin Davis

W&L’s Justin Davis Published in the Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science

The second-year faculty member co-authored a paper analyzing the relation between institutional ownership and earnings management.

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Sample Courses

Courses emphasize communication, business theory and practice, connections between business and other fields, and serving society with vision and integrity.

BUS 383

The Business of Tech

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of process through which technological inventions are transformed into innovations. Key works from scholars in the field will guide class discussions on understanding why managing innovation is complex, cross-functional, and a historically dependent endeavor. By the end of the class, students will have an appreciation for the entrepreneurial mindset, key actors in the start-up process, and the means through which technology is commercialized. In addition to these discussions, students will travel to Silicon Valley to not only meet individuals who are a part of the recent start-up/technology scene, but also visit key locations that capture the history and context of innovation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

BUS 370

Integrated Marketing Communications

Nature and contributions of the elements of marketing communications (e.g., advertising, sales promotions, the Web) in creating brand equity and stimulating demand. A project-oriented course with an emphasis on the strategic application of concepts resulting in an integrated communication plan for products and/or services. Course has a complementary lab component to teach technical skills and reinforce concepts via practicum.

BUS 392

Layered Berlin

A four-week course taught abroad that offers students a true immersion in German language, culture and business environment. In order to give students a complete understanding of contemporary Germany, we integrate a literary-historical analysis of the country's rich history from 1848 to the present day with an introduction to German social and economic systems that focuses on stakeholder-centric business and sustainability principles. Through an exciting mix of literary fiction, historical readings and cases, and film screenings, along with corporate and cultural site visits, students gain an understanding of the interdependence between “big C” Culture and business culture.

An alumna speaking with a student

An alumna speaking with a student

After

W&L

Business administration majors can look forward to careers in investment banking, marketing, consulting, finance, retailing and manufacturing. A number of alumni enter MBA programs at the finest schools in the country.

Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.

Amanda Bower
Amanda Bower

Amanda Bower

Charles C. Holbrook, Jr. ‘72 Professor of Business Administration and Head of the Business Administration Department

Bower teaches courses in marketing management and creative strategic planning. She has studied the relationship between the liberal arts and a business environment, which gives her courses an interdisciplinary aspect.

Curriculum Vitae

Joel Adams
Joel Adams

Joel Adams

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Curriculum Vitae

Andi Coulter
Andi Coulter

Andi Coulter

Visiting Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Professor Coulter teaches business communication and social media strategy. Her research interests include the music industry, user-centered design, and social sustainability in art. Professor Coulter wrote a book for the 33 1/3 music series on the New York underground band Suicide, and her current research looks at short-form video and engagement analytics.

Michelle Cowan
Michelle Cowan

Michelle Cowan

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Anushka Daunt
Anushka Daunt

Anushka Daunt

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Justin Davis
Justin Davis

Justin Davis

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Gavin Fox
Gavin Fox

Gavin Fox

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Fox teaches marketing and works extensively with the entrepreneurship faculty. His background is in supply chain management and he served a tour in Iraq as a quartermaster First Lieutenant in 2004. He researches viral marketing.

Curriculum Vitae

Bright Frimpong
Bright Frimpong

Bright Frimpong

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Elisabeth Gilbert
Elisabeth Gilbert

Elisabeth Gilbert

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Gilbert teaches courses in the area of organizational behavior. Her research focuses on how people can improve their experiences at work, including such topics as voice, employee well-being and constructive deviance in organizations.

Curriculum Vitae

Andrew Hess

Andrew Hess

Ehrick Kilner Haight Sr. Term Professor of Business Administration and Associate Department Head of Business Administration

Hess is a 1997 alum who researches and teaches in areas of social innovation, strategy and international business. Before returning to W&L, he worked for Fleet National Bank and Silicon Valley Bank in Boston.

Curriculum Vitae

Charlotte Hoopes

Charlotte Hoopes

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Curriculum Vitae

Lingshu Hu
Lingshu Hu

Lingshu Hu

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

With a PhD in journalism focusing on computational methods and a graduate certificate in AI and Machine Learning, Professor Hu’s primary teaching interests include making data analytics accessible to students in the social sciences and helping students master storytelling skills with data analytics and visualization.

Emily Landry
Emily Landry

Emily Landry

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Keri M. Larson
Keri M. Larson

Keri M. Larson

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Larson teaches courses that help students learn to understand and use data in areas of management. She has researched the analytics of unstructured textual data to support organizational decision making.

Curriculum Vitae

Jayson Margalus
Jayson Margalus

Jayson Margalus

Johnson Professor of Entrepreneurship and Leadership and Director of the Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship

Jeffrey Schatten
Jeffrey Schatten

Jeffrey Schatten

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Professor Schatten teaches courses on organizational behavior, leadership and decision making, as well as a unique class composed of students and inmates and taught at a minimum-security prison near Lexington.

Curriculum Vitae

Robert D. Straughan
Robert D. Straughan

Robert D. Straughan

Crawford Family Dean of the Williams School and Professor of Business Administration

Straughan teaches International Marketing Strategy and Sustainable Business. He has authored dozens of studies on sustainable business and cross-cultural business. He works closely with students with career interests in consulting.

Curriculum Vitae

Pooja Thakur-Wernz
Pooja Thakur-Wernz

Pooja Thakur-Wernz

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Thakur-Wernz is a strategic management and international business educator and scholar. Her research focuses on the impact of strategic choices made by firms, such as offshoring, outsourcing and international expansion, on the innovation of firms, especially in the pharmaceutical industry.

Joel Adams
Andi Coulter
Michelle Cowan
Anushka Daunt
Justin Davis
Gavin Fox
Bright Frimpong
Elisabeth Gilbert
Lingshu Hu
Emily Landry
Keri M. Larson
Jayson Margalus
Jeffrey Schatten
Robert D. Straughan
Pooja Thakur-Wernz
Amanda Bower