SBSP: Week One

 The SBSP Class of 2018 arrived in Chicago just over a week ago and immediately jumped in to their jam-packed schedule. In addition to attending Financial and Managerial Accounting class, the scholars went on two corporate visits, crafted the perfect elevator pitch, and explored how to approach conflict as leaders. Of course, they still found time to try their hand at improv, sightsee downtown, and sample Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza. 

Before heading out to experience a Chicago summer weekend together, we asked some of our scholars to reflect back on their first week in the program…



What was your favorite moment from this past week?

My favorite moment was hanging out with my newly made group of friends after my first exam. We spent the rest of the day exploring Michigan Ave and Millennium Park before going to Chinatown for Little Sheep hotpot. I enjoyed getting to know my friends better and exploring more of the city’s shops.

Alice Cheng, Flushing, New York
University of Chicago, Economics


The visit to Cara, a nonprofit-making organization, was the best time I had so far in SBSP. The way the company has grown from inception, and has been financing itself greatly moved me. The concept of social return on investment also really interested me. They are doing some amazing work, and making society a better place. I’ve learned things from this organization that I can take back to my home country.

Akhil Papineni, Hyderabad, India 
National Institute of Technology Warangal, Chemical Engineering

What is something you learned this week?

I learned the basics of financial accounting, how to manage a balance sheet and income statement, and my TKI conflict style. We also heard from the nonprofit company Cara, and Goldman Sachs.

Humberto Fernandez, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Accenture, Consulting Analyst


This week, I was able to extend and deepen my knowledge in financial and managerial accounting. Being in class also helped me in adjusting to and keeping up with a fast pace and challenging learning environment. Consequently, this helped me to improve my time management skills. I had the chance to develop and enhance my elevator pitch, to learn about two different businesses. It was interesting to see and analyze the different cultures, values, and missions within these companies.

Lisa Schwemmie, Stuttgart, Germany
European Business School, Business and Management


What did you do outside of your comfort zone this week?

Despite attending the University of Chicago, I felt outside of my comfort zone when playing the Scavenger hunt. But I let myself run around campus not worrying about "looking weird" and built new connections with my classmates, with whom I learned to work as a team. I felt challenged in being on the spot as “the local” of the community but pushed myself to handle it well by remaining calm and offering informed suggestions.

Kyle Shishkin, Kiev, Ukraine
University of Chicago, Economics and Fundamentals


I studied with people from all around the world. Coming from an HBCU I was used to being in an educational environment that was fostered for African Americans. However, this week I’ve really had to choose to be outgoing and meet people from all other parts of the world. I want to learn from them and glean insights from their strengths.

Zachary Tanner, Washington DC
Guilford County Schools, Middle School Teacher


This week I took a risk with our improv exercise leader, Pete, who encouraged us to turn off our socially conditioned minds and act silly and carefree in front of everyone. It was a great way to start the week, and has really set my attitude for how confident and considerate I would like to be for the rest of the program.

Lela Jenkins, Athens GA
University of Chicago, Art History and Media Arts & Design


What is one question that you had answered this week? Who helped you to answer it?

How does one prepare themselves for the business world? This question was answered by the corporate visits, in classes, and during the info session on the Booth MBA. The answer is that preparation comes in different sources. Either you are mentally prepared, educationally prepared, or professionally prepared. Preparations are the essence of a successful career and life.

Ahmed Nadzry Azli, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
SP Jain School of Global Management, Finance


What is something special that you experienced or learned about the University of Chicago?

I have learned about the strong culture that exists within the community and how it spans generations of alumni and incoming students. It is awesome to see that we are now part of a larger community purely because of this program.

Benjamin Bergeron, East Lansing, Michigan 
Technological University, Mathematics and Statistics


Given that I am a University of Chicago undergraduate, I can attest that the rigor of this program is very similar to the workload of a UChicago student. One could argue the program is even more difficult than college coursework because so much more information is being condensed in three weeks compared to the information I would learn in a typical quarter. Because of this very reason, the SBSP program pushes its members to work together to succeed. I believe this push is very emblematic of the Chicago Approach that Booth preaches, specifically the significance of collaboration and building a supportive community.

Alice Cheng, Flushing, New York
University of Chicago, Economics


How has SBSP added value to your summer experience?

SBSP is definitely a great platform for networking and learning business basics. Since I come from a STEM background, I had no prior experience in business related subjects. I applied to SBSP because I have plans to pursue a career in product development and marketing, but never had the chance to explore it. I am really looking forward to the marketing and innovation class. This will give me firsthand experience in marketing. Apart from learning, SBSP gives a unique exposure. I have met people from 14 different countries. Each one of us has a unique perspective on various things, which makes the whole class a great place of learning.

Meghana Reddy, Ganesina, India 
NIT Warangal, Engineering


Choose three words to describe the SBSP community.

Professional, diverse, outstanding

Gabriela Rodriguez, El Paso, Texas
The University of Texas at El Paso, Accounting


Eclectic, driven, well-fed

Andre Woon, Singapore
Durham University, Law


Engaging, fun, eye-opening

Cesar Villescas, El Paso, Texas
The University of Texas at El Paso, Business Management