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How a Non-Business Minor Can Add Value to Your Business Degree

As one of the largest universities in the United States, Ohio State has the unique benefit of being able to offer a wide and diverse array of academic programs. According to the university’s institutional data, OSU offers over 400 academic programs for the 60,000+ students who attend. Within this vast sea of academic programs and colleges, the Fisher College of Business shines as an award-winning business program, consistently ranking highly amongst public universities. Individuals within Fisher have the opportunity to hone in on their business skills by selecting one of twelve business specializations. While these offerings cover a wide range of the business world, there is so much additional knowledge to be acquired here at Ohio State.


To address this, many students will add a minor to their academic program. According to OSU, a minor can be defined as “coursework that gives you proficiency in additional subject matter and consists of at least 14 semester hours of coursework.” OSU offers over 220 minors across all colleges, stating that the benefit of these programs is to expand one’s academic experience more succinctly and efficiently. While Fisher offers five minors for its students, many see the benefit in adopting a non-business minor to diversify their courseload and strengthen their understanding of the business world. 


One of these students is second-year Sydney Hoffman. Hoffman served as a member of the Women in Business Career Fair Committee and is specializing in Accounting with a minor in Fashion and Retail Studies. Fashion and Retail Studies, she explained, is offered through the College of Education and Human Ecology and consists of 15 credit hours and 5 courses. Two of these courses are predetermined (Aesthetics of Fashion and Retail, and Business of Fashion and Retailing) and the other three may be chosen from a list of electives.


Hoffman, who selected Accounting because of the career prospects associated with it, explained that the Fashion and Retail minor is a great way to break up her business-heavy courseload with something she is passionate about. She added that originally, she was considering the Business Analytics minor offered through Fisher, however, she opted for Fashion and Retail because it is a passion area for her and is a way to diversify her knowledge and offer insights into future career paths. 


“I think that it is really important to pursue a career path that you enjoy and will be happy doing,” she said. “I want to start in the accounting world, but eventually, I would like to work in corporate retail because I think that it would be a fun way to leverage something that I am good at with something I enjoy.” She added that she has learned new skills that could be transferable to her future from her fashion courses such as how to use Photoshop and how to apply her accounting knowledge to the fashion industry. 


Another student currently pursuing a non-Fisher minor is a second-year Marketing student and WIB member, Molly Esque. In addition to her Marketing degree, Esque is pursuing a minor in Spanish through the College of Arts and Sciences. According to the program’s advising sheet a total of 15 credit hours, and 5 courses are required to obtain the minor. Each of the courses is predetermined and includes Spanish 3401, 3403, 3406, 2506, and 4606. 


Esque explained that she never considered another option for a minor because she has always enjoyed learning the language and did not want to give it up when coming to college. She said, “I have taken Spanish courses since middle school and it is something that I have always enjoyed and excelled in, so I felt it would be fun to continue learning in my collegiate life.” 


However, beyond pure enjoyment, Esque cited rapidly changing demographics in the United States as another reason for her Spanish minor. According to the LA Times, Latino people are projected to make up over a quarter of the U.S. population by 2060, an over 7% increase, making Spanish proficiency of the utmost importance. Esque said, “In our ever-changing society, it is more important than ever to understand different cultures and to be able to communicate in the business world.” She added that, as someone aspiring to be in the marketing field, having cultural competency and strong communicative ability will be crucial to producing impactful work.


“With these rapidly changing demographics, it is going to be really important to be able to speak and understand Spanish in the marketing field,” she said. “If over 25% of consumers in the U.S. are going to be Spanish speakers, I want to have a background in [Spanish] to effectively market toward that population of people in my future career.”  


 It is apparent that, even when seemingly unrelated, adding a minor to one’s academic program can help to bolster one’s overall experience and strengthen skills and understanding in their major and future career. For both Hoffman and Esque, a minor can not only tap into a passion area and lessen the stress of a rigorous business course load, but also provide valuable skills that could be applicable in their future studies, careers, and lives.


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