A choice for the better


by Jess Nickels ('21)


SUMMARY: With CHOICES around the corner, one student reflects on why he chose to transfer to JMU.

Choosing a college to apply to is one of a high school senior’s biggest decisions. The process entails months of research, campus visits and personal reflection on future goals. It’s important for students to consider their options, weigh drawbacks and benefits and recognize personal non-negotiable ‘wants’.

CHOICES is JMU’s admitted-student open house; a day when admitted students can explore what JMU has to offer, from dining options to academic programs to student life. With first-year applications surpassing record numbers, it’s important to also recognize the significance of transfer students, who represent an increasing percentage of the student population.

Whether they attended a local community college to earn an associate’s degree and want to continue their education, or chose a school they’ve come to realize is incompatible with their goals, transfer students take a more unusual pathway to get to JMU.

Sean Mundie, a College of Business fourth-year majoring in Computer Information Systems, transferred from Wake Forest University in North Carolina after completing his first year there. Mundie originally chose WFU with the intention of playing intercollegiate football but after one too many concussions decided to let go of that ambition. His focus shifted to his education and future business career.

“I was attracted to JMU because of their student-centered approach. They really place an emphasis on career readiness and ensuring students know how to present and conduct themselves professionally. JMU focuses on who and what they’re putting into the professional space,” Mundie said. 

There are many reasons for which a student may want to transfer schools, including for mental health or for social, financial, or academic reasons. An 18-year-old, first-year student may feel differently about their path once they have matured a bit, and it’s OK to have a change of heart. Mundie said that when he arrived in Harrisonburg, it was odd not knowing many people, but that changed when he began to put himself out there and foster new friendships.

It’s understandable that a transfer student may have concerns regarding the logistical aspects of switching schools, such as transferring academic credits and getting acclimated to new processes, but Mundie described this aspect of his transfer as smooth. “I didn’t have any problems with paperwork or transcripts while I was in the process of transferring,” he said. “The transfer orientation established a great starting point for joining the JMU community.” Additionally, the College of Business has its own team of dedicated advisors, which Mundie said “helped make the transition as easy as possible.”

Without the schedule and time-demands of football, Mundie was able to get more involved on campus and within the College of Business. In 2023, he helped establish the Madison Consulting Club, a student-led organization that ​​prepares members for successful careers in the consulting industry, and now serves as the director of projects. 

“Having the ability to work with local business clients provides an excellent opportunity for college students to apply real-world, critical-thinking skills to make a positive change in the community,” Mundie said.

Mundie’s ultimate goal is to start his own consulting company. Toward that end, he’s completed two different summer internships which are paving the way to his future. At Peraton, he first served as an Agile intern and later as a Cloud Engineer intern. More recently, he completed an internship at KPMG, where he served as an IT Strategy intern. Reflecting on his internships and his chosen major, he said, “The CIS major gives a great balance between technical and business foundations that I can carry with me into any career.” Upon graduation, Mundie will begin a full-time position as a business technology analyst at Deloitte.

While transferring schools can be intimidating for students, many times it’s a matter of finding a support system, getting involved with the campus and community and discovering their career path. JMU’s CHOICES event allows admitted students to get a real feel for what their time at JMU could be like and offers a glimpse into why we’re breaking records for numbers of applicants. Each student’s academic journey is unique, but it often leads one to discover what JMU and its College of Business are all about: our students and their success.

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Published: Thursday, February 29, 2024

Last Updated: Friday, March 1, 2024

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