by Jasur Rasulov
A premiere benefit of the UIC Business Scholars Program is the Speaker Series. Every semester, several well-established business professionals—most of them UIC alumni—visit UIC Business to deliver speeches on a variety of topics, exclusively for Business Scholars.
Although the specific details of every speech vary, the common underlying themes surround the topics of leadership, determination, paths to professional success, personal branding, and dealing with setbacks.
The speakers appeal to scholars across majors and a range of professional interests, representing backgrounds in varied industries and diversity in career roles. The different perspectives the speakers bring ensure that the interests of all students are addressed, and everybody has a meaningful opportunity to learn.
The first unique element of the Speaker Series is that the industries the speakers represent are not limited to only a handful of well-known sectors, but instead are extremely wide-ranging. For instance, over the course of the last two semesters, scholars have had an opportunity to benefit from the speeches of industry leaders in banking & financial Services, supply chain management, technology, restaurant business, healthcare, and the public sector. Companies represented in the series have included BMO Harris Bank, UPS, Motorola Solutions, McDonald’s, X-Change Financial Assets, Cooper’s Hawk, Tiger Electronics, and many others. This gives students an incredible opportunity to connect directly with the professionals in almost any future career field.
Moreover, diversity with regards to the roles and job titles held by speakers is another appealing feature of the series. We have had speakers from sales, strategic planning, recruitment, digital media, options trading, and many more. This presents a remarkably distinct learning experience for our ambitious scholars, as each student has unique career aspirations.
Scholars often have the opportunity to interact directly with the speakers. For instance, when Stefond Harris, Vice-President of Human Resources for the UPS Supply Chain Group, came to speak, he dedicated his entire presentation to students’ questions, engaging in conversation. Another example was the keynote speech delivered by Senior Finance Director of Global Managed & Support Services at Motorola Solutions, Tim Jones. He used, for the first time in the Speaker Series, Poll Everywhere, an audience response gathering tool. This technology made the presentation interactive, as Jones asked a number of questions along the way, and related students’ answers to the topics he was covering in his talk.
In summary, the Speaker Series is a motivating and beneficial aspect of the Business Scholars Program, contributing directly to the professional development of students. By dedicating two hours per week to connect with experienced industry leaders, students receive practical insights on career success. In addition, the speakers often mention how much potential they see in scholars, and express their confidence in our future. Overall, this is another bright example of how UIC Business embodies the concept of “Chicago’s Living Classroom,” and prepares high-achieving students for professional success.
Undergraduate applicants can learn more about the UIC Business Scholars program on the UIC Business website. Current UIC Business freshmen and sophomores who meet selective criteria are invited to apply to the program. For more information, email Business Scholars Program Academic Advisor Mayra Sanchez.
Jasur Rasulov is a UIC Business Scholar in his junior year, studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with Finance and Business Analytics minors. In the summer of 2017, Jasur was a treasury sales and services officer intern at the BMO Harris Bank’s Treasury and Payment Solutions group. At UIC, he works as a service management analyst with ACCC and a student coordinator in the Business Scholars program. He serves as vice president of the UIC Political Science Student Union.