What to do with an Organizational Management Degree?

By: Rachel

What is Organizational Management?
Organizational Management is a major within the Labovitz School of Business & Economics (LSBE). It can cover such a wide variety of areas that it’s difficult to sum it all up in one line, but here is the description provided by LSBE: “The Organizational Management major provides students with an understanding of management principles to direct the skills and efforts of people within an organization and to make strategic decisions that meet organizational needs.”  

No matter what your area of study is, chances are you’ll be working in some form of an organization. Even if you’re a freelancer who works alone, you’ll probably be collaborating with other groups. Organizational Management is about a lot of things, but one of the biggest points I’ve picked up on is that it’s about leveraging people and forces at work to meet various goals.

plant leaves; What to do with a degree in organizational management.

What can I do with an Organizational Management degree?
Since it is so broad, there is almost no limit to the occupations where you could apply your Organizational Management degree. To start with an obvious job title, you could be a manager. It may sound basic, but think about how many different fields that title could apply to! You might be a manager of a restaurant, retail department, accounting firm, construction outfit, sports team, health care office, or engineering company.  

Some people jump into the workforce by applying for management positions, while others begin in an entry level position and spend years working their way up the ladder. It is also worth mentioning that many companies have management-in-training programs where you might be cycled through a variety of departments and even company locations to build the knowledge and skills necessary for a leadership role. Some companies might pair you with a mentor as well. If you know management is where you’d like to be, a program like this can expedite the process of getting there.

Going back to what I said earlier, we will all likely work in a business at some point. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a knowledge of general business areas, such as accounting, marketing, human resources, and economics? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to go into a job with some experience and knowledge of how to work in teams effectively? If you enjoy your job and would like to move into a leadership position, wouldn’t you feel better prepared for that role with some prior study of what goes into being a great leader? My education at UMD in the Organizational Management degree has already helped me grow in these areas.

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Rachel’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Syd Sujuaan


#BulldogOnTheJob: Jacob

Editor’s Note: We’re trying something new this year. We are interviewing various UMD Alumni about how their experiences at UMD have impacted their professional lives. They will also be giving their advice for being successful out there in the real world.

Name: Jacob Froelich
Majors: Organizational Management BBA & Theater BA
Minor: Marketing
Grad Date: May 2015

Organization, title, and a brief synopsis of what you do
As of July 5, 2016, I work for City Girl Coffee Co. (a division of Alakef Coffee Roasters.) I am our Brand Development Coordinator based in the Twin Cities. Brand Development at City Girl means a lot of different things depending on the day, but generally it involves building our brand and presence in the Twin Cities through various different methods. This summer I was tasked with creating and running a Demo program, to make it easier for customers to sample our coffee before buying. I took on the responsibility of recruiting, hiring, and training brand ambassadors on our story and how to interact with customers in a grocery store setting. It was super fun! That is still my main responsibility heading into the busy holiday season, however side projects for me included conducting market research on new markets for City Girl as well as getting trained in on our sales techniques and process. More to come in the future I’m sure!


What were the jobs, opportunities, and/or classes you had that led to your current role? 
While it’s hard to pick any one single experience that let me to my current position, the most direct connection with my current job would have been my internship experience I completed I completed during my Junior year at UMD. My business major and marketing minor made me a perfect fit for a Social Media Marketing internship and my time spent networking with the folks in the Career and Internship Services office was well spent when I was approached about interviewing for the position by Mary Gallet who worked in the Career and Internship Services office at the time. Mary arranged my interview and the rest is history. I interned for the company I work for now, specifically my internship was created and I reported to my current boss. While the company didn’t immediately have an opening for me when I graduated, I was approached about joining the team full-time this past spring and jumped on board without hardly any hesitation. The experiences that led me to the internship in the first place were varied. I would say it helped that I had previously visited Career and Internship Services quite a bit, had my resume up to date, and was actively seeking out an opportunity like the one I found. I believe my Marketing minor helped to demonstrate knowledge in the area the company was looking to bring someone in and I believe my Theater major helped with being personable and communicative during my interview. At the end of the day though, it wasn’t just me, job hunting really is a community effort. I’m glad I had people willing to help me. I would recommend to anyone looking for their next opportunity in a job, or otherwise, that a great first place to start, would be reaching out to your network and seeing what’s already sitting there just waiting for you.

What were some of the lessons you learned while on-campus at UMD you’ve incorporated into your professional life?
Don’t be afraid of failure. It seems that many people get caught up (and quite worried) about having everything right the first time around. I’ve found it’s much more productive to direct your energy into a choice you make and go with, rather than wasting time worrying and not making a decision. As David J. Schwartz, author of the Magic of Thinking Big once said “Action cures fear.” Take a step in the direction you want to go, even if you’re scared or nervous, take the first step scared or nervous.

As many people will readily recognize it’s not always what you know, but who you know. Smarts and experience are ultimately very important, but it’s always a good idea to take action to expand your personal and professional network whenever possible. Joining clubs and organizations and going to those sponsored lectures and lunches is actually super beneficial! You never know who you will meet and where, keep a resume on hand, or at least be willing to talk about your skills and interests at any time with a potential employer. I’d recommend taking the Myers-Briggs and StrengthsQuest career assessments, if you haven’t already, to be more in touch with your skills and interests.


What do you know now that you wish you’d known prior to entering your role/field?
Hmmm. It’s probably something I was told 50 times while in college but it seems some things you just have to go out and learn the hard way. That being, make sure to find something you actually care about. I started out of college at a technology company that by all means had the makings of a perfect career starter for young people. Great culture, good(ish) pay, and a fun team of people to work with. It checked a lot of boxes on my list and so without really investigating my other options, I jumped at the opportunity. 6 months in, and while I enjoyed going to work with my friends every day, it wasn’t enough to quench my thirst for something more meaningful to me. I feel lucky to have come into the opportunity I have at City Girl now, but definitely take your time job hunting. It will take time!!!! Start early, and make sure the places your interview at, reflect your true passions, or at least provide a path to them.

What career advice do you have for students wishing to enter your field?
Know thyself. While in college, try as many different things as you can! Find out what you love, find out what you don’t and look for those things in your future career. And if after college you feel just as lost as when you entered, know that it’s okay. Start somewhere, just go for it, life is not a race and don’t compare yourself to those around you. Compare yourself only to your previous self and take pride in your accomplishments. Love yourself, because that energy is contagious. Read the book You are a Badass by Jen Sincero if you don’t know how. And ask for help when you need it. It’s not a race and you’re not alone.

Anything else you want to add about your time at UMD, or since, that greatly impacted where you are now?
It’s good to say yes, and it’s good to say no. If you come to an opportunity at least be open minded enough to investigate it. Jobs and careers can come from the least likely of places. And if you have an idea for a business or lifestyle, TRY IT while still in college. It’s the easiest time to try and fail and try and fail and try and fail and try again.

Read other #BulldogOnTheJob stories!

Interested in City Girl Coffee? Check out their employment page.

Photo sources: Jacob & Unsplash|Drew Coffman

What Can I Manage With This?

By: Andrew

Being an Organizational Management major, I often get asked, “What can you do with that major?” My response is clearer for me now, but that was not the case prior to this year. It’s hard to know what to say because the major is quite broad in where it can take you after college. In saying that, here are where graduates have ended up working and what I have gained most from taking classes for this major.

Org Mgmt Major

If you’re wondering where this information comes from, check it all out in our Graduate Follow-up Report. As promised though, here are some jobs that Organizational Management graduates now hold:

The Predictable:

  • Assistant Store Manager at Kohl’s
  • Executive Team Leader at Target
  • Sales Manager at Trade Home Shoes
  • Project Manager at Dynamic Sealing Technologies

The Related:

  • Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial
  • Treasury Analyst at Varde Partners
  • Logistics Coordinator at Transamerica

The Unexpected:

  • Teacher at Summit School
  • Creative Engineer at Mayer
  • Advertising Consultant at Rendezvous Pages

It’s important to see that there are many different spots this major can take you. When you declare a major you aren’t necessarily saying that you will/want to do that for the rest of your life, you’re just saying that you would like to focus your current studies to that major. For me, I won’t be a manager in my first job out of college. I’ll be an analyst that does a lot more with numbers than leading or managing a group of people. What is particularly great about this major is that you are getting practical training for when you do become a manager some day, because believe it or not, if you are good at what you do you will be asked to lead and manage.

My major takeaway from this major is that you are really getting training for years down the road. If you feel that you are good with people and can take charge, there is no reason to think that this major may not be for you. As long as you are willing to learn the job specific roles and job duties of a new company, then you would have no problem taking on this major! Of course, it’s not for everyone, but hopefully this blog post shows you that you can truly go anywhere with this major.

Read Andrew’s other posts

Choosing a Major: How Management Chose Me

By: Andrew

We all have to do it and it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. For some people, it is as easy as thinking of what we love. For other people, it is an endless saga that seems to have no end in sight. I was fortunate to have the first instance occur for me.

I am a now a junior at UMD and am majoring in Organizational Management, and most recently added a second major in Finance. I mentioned that choosing a major can be as easy as doing what you love. Doing what you love seems like a never-ending cliché. The fact of the matter is that Management and Finance are what I love.

I started my senior year of high school thinking I wanted to be a doctor, like I could be a doctor. I could barely tell you what the bones in the body are, let alone tell you why I would even enjoy being a doctor. The middle of the first quarter of school came around and I was really enjoying my Marketing Strategies class (insert epiphany here). It all of the sudden clicked: business was what I loved. It made so much sense, it was so practical, and best of all, it was fun.

Management Says: I choose you!

People ask, “Why do you like business?”, why Management to be exact. It’s an easy and long answer, so here it is! Managers get the best job in an organization because; they oversee everything, they lead, they teach, they learn, they represent the business and the brand, they help people reach their potential, they touch all facets of the business, they bring people together, you see this could go for a while. To sum it up, they get to do it all, whether if the daily task is business as usual or an unexpected event. From the day’s beginning to end they work with people. I love helping others, which is why I love Management.

As I said in the title, “Choosing a Major: How Management Chose Me,” I didn’t choose Management. I never had to search for what I love, because I always knew it was there, I just had to realize it. Choosing a major doesn’t have to be a long search, but all you need to do is think of what you love to do. We all have that one passion that we can’t get enough of, mine is helping and working with people.

I’m not saying that the major for your college career will finally appear in your mind overnight, but that you should be able to get a fairly good idea of what it is by just thinking of what you enjoy doing. But hey, if you’re really stumped, here are three awesome assessments that can lead you in the right direction for choosing a major:

  • Strong Interest Inventory (confirmed my Management major decision)
  • StrengthsQuest
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The assessments are $15 at Career & Internship Services (that’s a big discount FYI) and come with a meeting with a Career Counselor (that’s a nice bonus) to discuss your results.

Read Andrew’s other posts