Not Business As Usual

By Breanna Pianfetti

College is an investment for your future career. Often, the choice of a degree further defines your career trajectory. If you earn a degree in journalism, it stands to reason that you will likely become a journalist, much like someone with a degree in theater may be expected to become a performer. A business degree is a bit different.

While a degree in finance sets the stage for a career in banking and an accounting degree is pretty much mandatory to be a certified public accountant, someone with a degree in one of those areas is not limited to those kinds of careers.

In fact, a business degree is very much about teaching a set of skills that can translate to a wide number of career paths. The process of earning a business degree is the process of learning how to be an entrepreneur, how to craft a business plan, how to find investors, and how to conduct effective marketing. Few people with a business degree describe themselves as a “businessperson”—they are chief marketing officers, data analysts, social media specialists, controllers, venture capitalists, supply chain experts, and so on. They can also be farmers, lawyers, musicians, and journalists.

Through an array of traditional business degrees like economics, finance, and accounting and degree concentrations in high-tech or unique areas like business analytics and value investing, The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business is preparing students for just about whatever career path they choose to go down.

One of the more interesting career paths—or perhaps country lane—is that taken by Culverhouse grad Natasha McCrary, owner and founder of 1818 Farms, located outside Huntsville, Alabama. Her business, which sells personal care products and is a full working farm, was recently named Amazon’s “Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.”

What started as an idea for a family project to raise a unique breed of sheep to teach McCrary’s children to appreciate the land and animals, turned into an enterprise that is perhaps not the typical image one thinks when imagining a typical business career. However, running the farm and growing her online operations is one that requires all the tools gained from earning a degree in business.

McCrary said, “My time at the Culverhouse College of Business provided me with both the knowledge and skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur. The wide variety of required classes introduced me to the many facets of business. Even if you are a marketing major, you must have an in-depth understanding of finance, economics, and management to launch a successful business.”

McCrary’s story is emblematic of the kinds of success a business degree, such as those offered by UA’s Culverhouse College of Business, can provide. For more information about all the degree options available at Culverhouse, visit


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