GSB aims summer program at undergrads

By Kate Shepherd

The U of C Graduate School of Business (GSB) has launched the Summer Business Scholars Program, a new program to help college undergraduates transition from school to the workplace.

The three-week-long program offers classes in marketing, accounting, finance, and competitive strategy, and features trips to companies as well as a lecture series, according to a press release. The goal of the program is to give students an edge on the competitive job market.

“We’ve taken the strengths of our M.B.A. program and developed an intensive program for bright, highly motivated college students and recent college graduates,” said Mark Zmijewski, deputy dean of the GSB and senior faculty director of the program, in the press release.

The program is meant for students who want to improve their business skills, get a better understanding of careers in business, and get a feel for the academic preparation necessary to succeed in the business world, according to the Summer Business Scholars’ website. Besides taking classes in traditional areas of business, students will also work on teamwork building, professional networking, and career planning. GSB faculty will teach the courses; and current M.B.A. students will serve as mentors to the program’s students.

Although the program is open to college juniors, seniors; and recent graduates who are looking to find a job, it would also benefit students who plan to attend business school after graduating from college or after working for a few years, said Gretchen Cooper, admissions manager of the GSB Evening and Weekend M.B.A. program.

“The program was started in an effort to encourage some students to think about business school at a younger age,” Cooper said.

Although the program’s website said that Summer Business Scholars took the strengths of the GSB’s M.B.A. program and turned it into an intensive program for undergraduates, Cooper said that the program is not meant to be a mini–business school that teaches the basics of the M.B.A. program in three weeks.

According to a sample schedule, classes will be held in the morning. The afternoons and evenings will be filled with field trips to Chicago-area businesses, lunches with corporate sponsors, career sessions, team-building activities, lecture series, review sessions, and Chicago sightseeing activities.

Even though it is the program’s first year, the website said that the curriculum is attracting a diverse group of students who have a history of leadership and academic success and are interested in setting themselves apart in the job search.

The program will be held at the University’s downtown Gleacher Center from July 22 to August 10. Downtown accommodations and weekday meals will be provided for students as part of the program’s $5,800 tuition. Applications are due by April 20 and can be found at