An Insight into the Real World: How the UIC Business Scholars Program is Preparing Students for the Future

In 2013, the UIC Business Scholars program was founded with the goal of providing leadership and professional development within the UIC Business curriculum for high-achieving high school students. The 2018 President of the Collegiate Association of Business Scholars (CABS), Ehlimana Gutošić, gives an insider’s perspective on what it is like to be a part of such a supportive program, full of like-minded students with similar dreams of success. She mentions that one of the biggest highlights of the program is the individualistic support, opportunities, and guidance given from faculty, UIC Business alumni, upper-classmen, and fellow peers from their cohort. Grouped into different “families” of similar majors and ambitions, students attend get-togethers with their faculty mentor to discuss their progress in school and in finding internships. These events build long-lasting connections and networking opportunities within families.

Another highlight to the program is the Speaker Series events hosted on campus. These events invite UIC Business alumni, who are already professionals in their respective field, to come in and talk with the students about their own journey to success. Prior guest speaks from industry-leading companies like such as Motorola, Ulta Beauty, BMO Harris Bank, UPS, and McDonalds. The Speaker Series has even brought in guests outside of the business field like one of the judges from the Cook County circuit court and owners of startup companies, demonstrating the limitless careers one can obtain with a degree from UIC Business.

On a personal note, Gutošić shares her own experience of being a first-generation college student and how being in this program has been the “best decision she’s ever made.” With the initial arrival of acceptance into the program, Gutošić says that she has grown in self-confidence with the overwhelming support of the program. She learned to get out of her comfort zone and debunk the myth that asking for help equates to incapability. Gutošić advises business students to take more initiative in having a presence on campus. With so many organizations and career fairs held on campus and some recruiters even personally going to Douglass Hall to hire students, presence is key in finding opportunities specifically catered to undergraduate students. 

As a third-year undergraduate student, Gutošić is double majoring in Accounting and Information & Decision Sciences. With the connections and skills she has acquired through her involvement with the Business Scholars program, Gutošić plans to intern at a mid-sized and a big-four accounting firm, Michaelsilver and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) respectively. After graduation, Gutošić will plan to prepare for the Certified Public Accountant exam (CPA), which as the name suggests, will certify her as an accountant. As proof of the effectiveness of the Business Scholars Program, Gutošić is just one of many students who are already making waves in today’s business world.

Article was originally written by Caseylin Cheng, Biology Major l Pre- Medicine