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Welcome Business Scholars Class of 2017!

Another exciting year is beginning at UIC's College of Business Administration as we welcome the first cohort of the Business Scholars Program.

UIC Business Scholars Orientation 2013

(Business Scholars Frank Lin, Gabriella Santoyo and Krishna Shah, work with their Business Scholar
peers on a marketing exercise during Orientation 2013 in Douglas Hall)

A week before the new school year commences, the first cohort of UIC Business Scholars came together in Douglas Hall. The cohort program means this group of high-achieving, hard-working students will have the next four years to build close bonds.

We began the orientation with a welcome from Dean Michael Mikhail who shared his enthusiasm for the first UIC Business Scholars Cohort. Dean Mikhail discussed student expectation and set the standard of conduct for the Scholars, explaining that Business Scholars would receive a great deal from this program, and in turn, would be expected to lead by example.

Sandy Wayne, faculty director of the program, underscored the important mission of the Business Scholars program:

The purpose of the UIC Business Scholars program is to develop leadership excellence and professionalism among a cohort of highly motivated undergraduate business students.

This mission was built upon the goal that these scholars will use their skills and experience to promote positive change as leaders in the global business community. The program will promote leadership excellence and professionalism:

The new scholars learned from Assistant Dean Angela Prazza Winters, about their unique introductory class BA 100, Business Administration Orientation. Taught by UIC Faculty Michael Popowits and myself, this course will expose scholars to networking, cultivation of business acumen and career exploration and planning.

I had the opportunity to discuss the program requirements and tell scholars the exciting news that they are all expected to study abroad during their sophomore years to gain international experience. Study abroad provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the world, make new friends and create unforgettable memories.  I also told them the importance of giving back to the community. The scholars program provides plenty of service opportunities for students to see the impact they can make on the community.

Later, my coworker Nicolas Bernal, Associate Director of Career Services, gave scholars a glimpse into their future--a look at the exciting career paths they will take one day. At UIC Business, we help students every step of the way, with resume reviews, mock interviews and career fairs. And with an expanding career services department, these scholars are in good hands for the next four years.

After learning about the many great things to come in the next four years, we put our scholars to work! The students helped us out on an exciting project where they split into teams of six students and looked at a series of advertising campaigns. Each team scored and critiqued the materials, and through a process of elimination, the group as a whole narrowed down the field to the most effective marketing campaign. Students unanimously agreed with one advertisement and were able to provide insight on what it was about the material that they found to be effective. One day in the classroom, and they are already becoming experts!

The orientation was a great way to welcome our inaugural cohort of Business Scholars. I am very excited to help start them on the journey, and I look forward to traveling with them over the next four years.