Shannon McNatt is no stranger to rigorous training. The U senior and NCAA regional beam champion gymnast spends more than 20 hours training each week preparing for competition. And her dedication in the gym is paralleled in her coursework. She’s in one of the David S. Eccles School of Business’ most demanding majors, Quantitative Analysis of Markets and Organizations (QAMO), which requires advanced courses in mathematics, statistics, economics, and business.
The QAMO major helps put the Eccles School on level with places such as Berkeley, Columbia, and other top schools from around the country, says Adam Meirowitz, director of the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis. And in a competitive market, graduates like McNatt—with exhaustive training both in the gym and in the classroom—enter the business world on even better footing. Skills such as time management and teamwork that student-athletes excel at have tremendous value in both the classroom and the workplace, adds Meirowitz.
In addition to a successful gymnastics career, including a 2017 NCAA regional beam win with a 9.9 score, McNatt is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic first-team member, a College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District first-team honoree, and a three-time Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association Scholastic All-American. She’s currently an intern at the U’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and is exploring career options for utilizing her analytical and leadership skills after she graduates.
“You don’t just go from the floor to the high beam and say, ‘I hope it goes well.’ We have progressions for how we learn skills… and that progression is the same in academics.”