Business Essentials Courses

Business Essentials faculty teach courses that help all business majors develop core business and professional skills that are critical to your success as a student and beyond. Business Essentials courses introduce our EPIC approach and are part of the shared undergraduate business curriculum.

  • BUSN 201: Foundations of Business 
  • BUSN 205: Introduction to the World of Business 
  • BUSN 225: Winning Presentations 
  • BUSN 325: Organizational Communication 
  • BUSN 171: Mathematical Applications for Business 
  • BUSN 212: Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business 
  • BUSN 301: Career and Professional Development 
  • BUSN 323: Legal Environment of Business 
  • BUSN 329: Intercultural Communication 
  • Info 16X Series


Studio BE


  • We offer a safe space for students to expand their Business Essential skills in math and communications (writing and public speaking). 
  • Our diverse team of peer consultants guides students to present their business knowledge in clear, concise, and creative ways, driving audiences to action. 
  • We provide a welcoming environment with peer consultants who are experts in math, writing, and public speaking.
  • We are inspired by creativity.
  • We seek opportunities for growth as individuals and as a community of business professionals. 


Studio BE offers peer tutoring for writing, presentations, and business math BUSN 171 & BUSN 212. Peer consultants are in-person Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Located in Snead Hall, Room 1212. Virtual appointments are available on Thursdays and Fridays. Zoom links are sent when you sign up for an appointment.

Schedule an Appointment

With your VCU credentials, log-in to Navigate,

  • Click on Appointments/Schedule an Appointment
  • Click on Writing Consultation 
  • In the next dropdown list, select the service you wish to sign up for, 
    • School of Business Presentation Consultation
    • School of Business Writing Consultation
  • Location is Studio BE virtual
  • Select the time and day of the appointment
  • Check your VCU email for confirmation

  • With your VCU credentials, log-in to Navigate,
  • Click on Appointment/Schedule an Appointment
  • Click Campus Learning Center
  • Individual Tutoring appointment, click next
  • Select, location is Studio BE virtual 
  • Select the time and day of the appointment
  • Check your VCU email for confirmation

Meet the Team

This is Alyssa Vega, one of our Presentation Consultants this year. Alyssa is a Marketing major in her senior year, and plans to graduate in May 2022. Her favorite thing about working at Studio BE is getting to hear student’s success stories with their presentations and their increase in confidence. When she’s not working, she likes to go to the beach, hang out with friends, and explore new food spots!

Brooke is a third year VCU student majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Communication and Analytics. Brooke is also a Business Student Ambassador and enjoys representing what the School of Business is all about. Outside of school, Brooke enjoys playing basketball and going to the beach to relax. She says that her favorite thing about Studio BE is watching students grow throughout the semester and she can’t wait to meet you and see you do the same.

Meet Samantha Alto, Studio BE Writing Consultant! Sam is a senior majoring in international business management and political science, with a minor in economics. Her favorite thing about working at Studio BE is being able to connect with students from every concentration within the business school. Outside of Studio BE, you can usually find her at a coffee shop or listening to folk music by the river. Swing by to ask her for the best spots along the James!

Brian is a third year VCU student majoring in Finance with a minor in Media Studies. Brian is also in Business Student Ambassadors and InterVarsity at VCU, allowing him to reach all parts of campus. When Brian isn't in class he enjoys playing spikeball and reading. He says that his favorite thing about Studio BE is helping the students succeed in their studies at VCU School of Business.

Chanpreet is a second year Graduate Assistant working on her Masters in Economics with concentration in Financial Economics. She has a dual assignment with Business Essentials as a peer consultant in Studio BE for Differential Calculus, and as a GA with BUSN 323: Legal Environment of Business with Dr. Black. She enjoys playing musical instruments and hiking. She is excited for this opportunity to learn, grow, and work with business students.




Studio BE offers writing, presentations, and business math (BUSN 171 & 212) appointments.

Get one-on-one help from a peer consultant for your written assignments. From choosing a topic to perfecting your final draft, an experienced business major will guide you to success, 25 minutes at a time. If you need assistance with long reports or papers, please schedule two back-to-back appointments. This is not a proofreading service. You are expected to read your work aloud to the peer consultant. Reading aloud is a tried and true practice that will help you identify errors and improve your writing skills.

**Note, if you are drafting a presentation, make sure to sign up for a presentation consultation. Writing consultations are for written assignments, reports, papers, etc.**


Work one-on-one with an experienced peer consultant to nail your next presentation. Get 25 minutes of personalized coaching as you develop and polish your content and visuals. Peer consultants will guide you through the process from start to finish. If the length of your presentation is 10-minutes or greater, schedule two back-to-back sessions. All teams/groups need to sign up for two back-to-back sessions.

You will be expected to rehearse your presentation aloud as if you were presenting the real thing. Rehearsing aloud helps you identify what is working and what needs work. It also will help you learn your content to deliver with confidence. The consultants will not read through your outline or drafts. You will deliver your ideas to the consultants and they will take notes and offer feedback.

Be prepared to share your screen if you are working with a slideshow.


Get one on one help with BUSN 171: Math Applications for Business, & BUSN 212: Differential Calculus. Don’t go at it alone. Trained peer consultants have successfully completed the courses. They are ready to help you work through problems and help you troubleshoot. Please come to the appointment prepared with your course materials and the problems you’d like help with. Sessions are 50-minutes, one on one.

You can expect the same welcome and friendly service both online and in person. Consultants are here to help you! 

  • Consultations will be held in person on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. On Thursdays and Fridays, all appointments will be virtual. 
  • The Zoom link for virtual appointments will be included in the confirmation email sent to your VCU account.
  • Peer consultants will meet you where you are in your process, from brainstorm to drafting, or dress rehearsal.
  • Check-in for your appointment 
    • In Navigate OR
    • In B1212 of Snead Hall
  • At the start of the appointment, you and the consultant will go over your goals.
  • The consultant will either 
    • Send you a feedback form in the chat of the virtual appointment to be completed in the last 5-minutes of the session OR
    • Have you complete the feedback form in the Studio before you leave
  • The consultant will email you the notes from the session.

BE Prepared, BE Professional

Students often report that the experience could have been better if they were more prepared for the appointment. 

  • Arrive on-time. Communicate with the consultant if you will be late. 
  • More than 5 minutes late? Your instructor will be notified to determine if credit for attendance is awarded. The consultant will do the best they can to help you with the time allotted. The appointment will conclude at the scheduled time so you can complete the feedback form and they can prepare for the next appointment.
  • Writing consultations: Check the confirmation email for instructions on submitting your assignment prior to your appointment.
  • Be ready to read your written work aloud, or rehearse your presentation on your feet and out loud. The consultant will take notes and offer feedback. 
  • If you are still in the brainstorming stage, consultants will ask questions to help you discover and craft your content. They will not create content for you.
  • If you have a virtual appointment, please have your camera on. If you are not able to have the camera on, no problem. The consultant will work with you through audio. 


About Studio BE

A peer consultant will meet with your students to review their assignments and offer feedback to help improve their skills in communication and business math. The goal of Studio BE is to polish students’ existing skills to prepare them for life after college. We keep attendance records and notify instructors at least once per month if a student attended an appointment for their class. 


Syllabus Statement 

Students can meet with a tutor at Studio BE in person or online by making an appointment at  


Studio BE is located in Snead Hall B1212. It is a free resource for VCU business undergraduate majors and minors. Trained peer tutors are ready to meet with students and assist them with writing, presentation, and business math assignments. Tutors are prepared to meet with students at any stage of the process from brainstorming, to organization, to final drafts, and working through math problems.


Sample Rubrics: 

Rubrics for grading presentations and written assignments can be found in the School of Business page on Canvas, under Faculty/Teaching Resources.


Faculty FAQs

Copy and paste the following into Announcements on Canvas:

Dear Students,
Do you need 1-on-1 help with presentations or writing assignments for business classes? The School of Business has tutors available to help you in Snead Hall at Studio BE. Visit the Business Essentials web page for instructions on how to sign up.

Studio BE keeps track of students’ attendance. Each week, professors will be emailed a list of their students that attended.

Yes, but our services are limited. In order to make sure we have enough staff to accommodate your entire class, please email Marisa Guida,, with the assignment description, due dates, and rubrics. The more information you can provide the better we will be able to assist your students.

While our consultants may correct grammatical errors they notice, they are primarily reviewing for clarity of ideas. Students seeking assistance with grammar should use sites such as Grammarly to proofread or the ESL program for those who speak English as a second language. 

Studio BE can help students at any stage of their assignment. Students do not need to have a full draft before coming in to meet with our consultants but appointments work best when students have a clear understanding of the assignment.

Ethics Alive Through Creative Communication Competition sponsored by Altria


This competition is an opportunity for students to build an appreciation for ethical decision making in business and polish their public speaking skills. Students will develop, rehearse, and deliver an ethical business case study presentation with the help of professional coaches and compete for cash prizes. This mentored virtual experience begins with the announcement of topics at the Kickoff event and culminates with the Final Round of presentations on Saturday.  



Kickoff: Friday, February 4, 4:00 PM-6:00 PM

Workshops: Friday, February 18, 5:00 PM -10 PM  & Saturday, February 19, 9:00 AM - noon

Competition: Saturday, February 19, 12:30 PM - 5:00 PM