A Day in the Life of an MA Student

Joshua Bryant
Joshua Bryant

I’m Justin Rizzi, a member of the Master of Arts in Management (MA) Class of 2015. Before coming to the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, I attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, graduating in 2014 with a major in Economics. I chose the MA program to supplement my quantitative background with qualitative skills, and the program has allowed me to accomplish this and much more. 

Because I am an Ambassador for the School and I meet with prospective students to answer questions they might have, I’m frequently asked what a typical day is like. So I thought I would share mine:


Since I will be a Capital Markets Analyst at Regions Bank upon graduation, I like to come into Farrell Hall before class and read the Wall Street Journal. It is a great way to stay in touch with the news that is happening around the world, and free copies are available to students every morning. 

9:30 – 10:45    

Many classes begin around this time, although not all of them, and not every day due to the fact that our class schedule changes every day. In the summer/fall, I took Business Analytics, Organizational Behavior, Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and Managerial Economics. In the spring, I am taking Corporate Finance, Marketing, IT Management, Operations, and Macroeconomics. Throughout the program, we take Executive Communication and Presence and Professional Leadership and Character Development. Today, we had Macroeconomics, and the topic of the lecture was how FED Chairman Paul Volcker was able to combat inflation in the early 1980s. This class is mostly case-based and is an open discussion, so each class is highly interactive.

10:45 – 12:00    

After class, I meet with my ALP (Action Learning Project) team. In ALP, we are given the opportunity to work with companies on real-world business problems and issues. My teammates and I are partnered with Wake Forest Baptist Health, and we are tasked with combatting the rising re-admission rate into the hospital for patients with COPD. Afterwards, we take a lunch break where we hang out with our friends and do a little bit of homework/reading.

2:00 – 3:15    

Onto the last class of the day: Marketing. This class is unique in that it is half lecture-based and half case-based. Today was one of the case-based days, and we discussed Louis Vuitton’s decision to enter India. We divided the class in half and one side argued that they should enter luxury malls and the other side argued that they should enter a luxury retail cluster. The debate was centered on marketing-specific ideas, such as how to maintain their brand equity as a high-end luxury good provider, maximize foot traffic, and appeal to the target customer base.

3:15 – 5:00    

After class, we normally wrap up any team-related deliverables that we were not able to complete earlier in the day. If we have completed everything, then I normally find a quiet place in Farrell to complete any assignments due, read for upcoming lectures, and check in with what the market is doing. After that, I make some dinner and catch up with friends and family. 

So that is an overview of my typical day as an MA student. Looking forward to next year, I mentioned that I will be a Capital Markets Analyst at Regions Bank, and I feel especially prepared due to the integration of teamwork into everything we do here at Wake Forest. At Regions, I will rotate between M&A, loan syndication, and high yield fixed income teams, requiring me to work with a multitude of different individuals. Learning how to work with individuals from unique perspectives at Wake is the best preparation I could ask for.