Moderator: Hello everyone! Welcome to today's Online Chat with SBSP Alumni. We would like to begin today's conversation by allowing our SBSP alumna, Aurley Morris, to introduce herself! Aurley, would you mind sharing a bit about your background?
* Aurley Morris, SBSP ’15: Absolutely! My name is Aurley Morris. I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA but currently reside in Chicago. I graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Allegheny College in 2015. I also spent a year abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE) from 2013-2014. I was an SBSP student following graduation in the summer of 2015, before I began my career with Deloitte Consulting. One of my favorite SBSP memories was definitely when my team did a scavenger hunt around the UChicago campus; we were able to meet Nobel Prize winners, learn more about campus history, and also become closer as teammates!
Moderator: Please describe your background prior to SBSP and what led you to apply to the program.
* Aurley Morris: Prior to SBSP, my focus was primarily related to politics. I majored in political science, held a campus job related to the field, and interned with a think tank over the summer. When I received an offer from Deloitte in the fall of my senior year, I was looking for opportunities to provide me with more business knowledge before starting my career. SBSP was a natural fit for this need and I found great value in what I learned from the program!
Program & Experience:
Guest: Can both business and non-business majors get something out of SBSP?
* Aurley Morris: Absolutely! The skills you learn and the people you meet will be helpful regardless of your background. My fellow classmates had a range of skill sets and we were all able to learn from each other.
Guest: What about the SBSP experience was the most impactful (coursework, professional/personal development programming, social programming)?
* Aurley Morris: I benefitted from all of these elements. Each piece was vital to help grow close with my fellow classmates and also grow personally. The variety kept each day interesting and provided us with unique lessons. Couldn’t have been happier with the curriculum and attention to each of these key areas!
Guest: Aurley, did the experience at SBSP amplify your dreams? Did it make you feel equipped enough to want to do what you had planned on doing in life? In your case politics?
* Aurley Morris: Yes, my time as an SBSP student equipped me well! In my case I actually transitioned from politics to business and the program allowed me to more seamlessly make that change in direction. The SBSP classroom lessons helped to increase my confidence to navigate the business world, despite having most of my educational experience in politics.
Guest: How has SBSP impacted your career trajectory or how you have thought about your future career or academic pursuits?
* Aurley Morris: The program has definitely impacted my considerations for my future. In general, it encouraged me to pursue an MBA someday. I want to expand on what I learned during SBSP and also continue to grow a similar network of talented and intelligent people.
Guest: What are the benefits of the SBSP network? How do students build community during and after the program?
* Aurley Morris: The SBSP network has been one of the most valuable elements of the program for me. Many of us have since moved to Chicago and I will regularly see fellow 2015 students. Reunions are fairly common across the globe too—we will be sure to share with the group when a couple of us have the chance to get together. In fact, I even ran into a fellow student once while at the airport a few months ago! When I visit Ireland this summer I will also be visiting an SBSP alum. In general, I have made lasting and impactful friendships through the program despite its shorter timeframe.
Moderator: How would you describe an average day with SBSP? Or perhaps, your favorite day?
* Aurley Morris: An average day at SBSP includes class time, homework time (usually in a group setting) and typically either an office visit or activity (such as a Cubs game, scavenger hunt around campus, etc.). There was a lot of activity diversity and ability to learn both in and out of the classroom.
Guest: What is your most lasting memory of your time in SBSP?
* Aurley Morris: My most lasting memory is when a part of our group got tickets to attend the Manchester United soccer (also known as football) match at Lincoln field. It was incredible to enjoy this sport with people from across the globe! Our small group was comprised of people from Brazil, India, Greece, and the US all coming together over a shared interest. The night was beautiful from the open air stadium and I was able to learn more about my friends and their cultural backgrounds.
Guest: Hi Aurley! I am a Round 1 SBSP applicant. Excited to hear that you enjoyed the experience. What other activities did you do in your free time/weekend during the 3 week program?
* Aurley Morris: We did a lot of activities during the program. This was not only a lot of fun but it also allowed me to make lasting friendships. Some activities we did as a group included attending a Cubs game, trying out new restaurants in the city, and exploring local landmarks/museums.
Guest: What resources are available to make us feel comfortable at the beginning of the program since we will be so diverse?
* Kristen Robinson – Admissions Director: We pair each student with one or several roommates at the beginning of the program, which will serve as the start of your network. Throughout the program, we provide opportunities to socialize, whether through formal program activities or suggestions for group outings on your own time. We also put you into squads that represent a diversity of backgrounds over the course of your time in the program. We hope that students use this valuable opportunity to learn from classmates coming from different backgrounds and challenge their own assumptions!
Guest: I've heard a lot about the newly redesigned curriculum. Can you shed some light on how it has changed over the past year?
* Nahida Teliani – Admissions Director: Over the past few months, our team has focused on creating an SBSP curriculum that is both foundational and immersive. A curriculum that challenges scholars to develop an understanding of business concepts and provides you with the skills to turn these concepts into practice. Our 2018 Summer Scholars will experience a unique curriculum that blends theory and practice by building upon key business competencies from week-to-week. Your first week of SBSP will expose you to the language of business through a course on Financial and Managerial Accounting. You will take these concepts with you into the second week where you will learn to think creatively in a Marketing, Innovation and Strategy course. By the final week of the program, you will be prepared to tie these concepts together in a week-long, live business simulation that teaches you to build out a business, take calculated risks, and work collaboratively with peers from around the world!
Guest: How do we sign up for classes/ activities mentioned?
* Kristen Robinson: All SBSP students are enrolled in the same classes, and all personal/professional development programming is required as part of the program. In the evenings and on weekends, students are free to make plans with their classmates to explore Chicago!
Guest: Case studies will mostly be American sourced right?
* Nahida Teliani: The curriculum is managed by our terrific faculty members and is designed to be relevant in today's business world. Through classroom instruction and discussion, and a live business simulation, students build an analytical framework rooted in problem-solving and collaborative thinking.
Guest: Hi Aurley, I am in the exact same position that you were 3 years ago, as I am beginning my consulting career in September. You said that you found great value in the program, being in such a position, so I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit further on the ways that the program impacted you at the start of your career.
* Aurley Morris: Hi Vasileios—that’s great, I have really enjoyed my time in consulting! The program was especially helpful for me because of the classroom lessons I was able to easily apply to my job. For example, the accounting class provided me with the skills I needed to be able to quickly assess a company’s financials (balance sheet, cash flow statement, etc.). I can’t tell you how many times I would use that when reviewing company 10-K’s or similar reports to perform my analysis in consulting.
Guest: I am in a full-time rotation program, and I worked with my manager to pursue my next rotation after SBSP. What are your tips to maximize my SBSP experience as I transition to a new role?
* Kristen Robinson: I think that, for someone who is early on in their professional career, it is important to leverage the personal and professional development programming that SBSP offers. Honing your leadership and interpersonal skills can be a great way to make a tangible impact on your organization and in your new role. Additionally, your coursework will provide you with a detailed framework for how to work through complex problems, regardless of industry or function.
Guest: I am interested in developing apps for mobile devices, and I was wondering how SBSP can help in this endeavor. Thank you!
* Megan Lakatos – Admissions Director: The SBSP curriculum is designed to provide young scholars, early in their educational or professional career, with a solid foundation of business principles. SBSP will help you develop the framework necessary to turn business concepts into business practice - where you choose to go from there, is up to you!
Guest: I want to become a management consultant and I want to inquire whether joining this program will help put me on this track or not? Will it give me an edge to join one of the sponsoring companies?
* Kristen Robinson: SBSP provides students with valuable exposure to a number of industries and companies. This access, coupled with your coursework and personal/professional development programming, will help you develop the confidence you need to be successful. It is important to remember that corporate visits are meant to be educational and not recruiting-focused.
Guest: How is the weather like during the program?
* Megan Lakatos: Just like every day of the SBSP curriculum will be different - the weather can be different too! Summer in Chicago can be very nice! Typical summer weather will be in the 70s and sunny. There could be some cooler days or nights, so it is good to prepare in advance.
Guest: What would you recommend bringing to Chicago? (clothes, resume, etc.?)
* Aurley Morris: During my time as a student, we would dress in business appropriate clothing during the week. Since we would regularly visit local businesses (or have representatives come to us) this was especially important. Otherwise—be sure to bring clothes appropriate to engage in all Chicago has to offer for the summer! There are plenty of great restaurants to try, museums to visit, or the lakeshore beach to enjoy over the weekends. Besides clothing—I would be sure to bring an appropriate bag and notebook to use during your time on campus. In general, however, the team is great at providing you with the supplies and materials you need to be successful in the program (for example, in one session we exchanged and reviewed resumes but they were already available for us in the classroom in advance).
Guest: What piece of advice would you give prospective students?
* Nahida Teliani: My advice is to seek out a summer opportunity that will help to differentiate you from your peers and give you a distinct competitive advantage. This program is a unique opportunity to develop skills to be successful both academically and professionally, especially as you pursue an internship or job.
Guest: What is the SBSP application process like?
* Nahida Teliani: The SBSP Round 3 application cycle is now open. The application is very straightforward and gives us an opportunity to get to know you. We ask you submit one letter of recommendation, your undergraduate transcripts, and a short essay, in addition to other areas of the application. Our team is ready to answer any questions you have about the application process.
Guest: How many scholarships are available and what do they cover?
* Nahida Teliani: We know this program is a big investment and believe you will benefit greatly from participating in the program. Many SBSP alumni have gone on to succeed in roles at top firms like Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, Nike, and other major organizations. And a number have come back to Booth to earn their MBA. We are able to provide merit-based scholarships to approximately 30–35% of our Summer Scholars.
Guest: How many international students typically join the program?
* Megan Lakatos: The program attracts a very diverse audience of scholars. We typically welcome 55-60 students total to SBSP. Around 50% of the cohort will be international students from outside the US. SBSP is a great way to broaden your global network!
Guest: How will we be notified for waitlisted applicants?
* Kristen Robinson: Waitlisted applicants will be notified of their decision on the decision date for the next round (in the case of candidates who were waitlisted in Round 1, they will learn their updated decision on March 29th). Students are informed of all decisions via email.