During the week of July 16, 2017, 12 high school women joined faculty and staff for the Smith Summer Business Program, Women Investing in Learning Leadership (WILL) at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Presented by the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets and the Undergraduate Studies Program, WILL provided students with both classroom and experiential learning opportunities to develop and hone their emerging leadership skills. Faculty members Rajshree Agarwal, Neta Moye and Beatriz Winn introduced students to systems thinking, developmental goals, strategic thinking and value creation, while partners from the Undergraduate Studies Office and the Office of Global Initiatives led interactive sessions on networking and global acumen.
In addition to activities that challenged students to try new experiences, such as trips to the university ropes course, golf course and salsa lessons, WILL also arranged for two corporate site visits. Students first visited Marriott headquarters in Bethesda, Md., where they toured both cutting-edge corporate workspaces and model guestrooms for Marriott’s various properties. After a Q&A session with current Marriott employees and interns, students practiced their networking skills at a catered mocktail reception at the onsite Bethesda Marriott Suites. For their second site visit, students toured NewDay USA corporate headquarters in Fulton, Md. Following the tour, NewDay professionals led students in interactive sessions regarding personal finances and financial goal setting.
For the final day of the program, students spent time preparing for their final presentations. Delivered to an audience of Dean Victor Mullins, WILL program faculty and staff, as well as their families, each WILL participant utilized the cumulative academic and experiential knowledge gained during the program to present a leadership plan meant to guide their next five to seven years of development.
Combining classroom content, site visits and activities, this year’s WILL program helped establish students on their journey to adopt the growth mindset needed in tomorrow’s leaders.
A special thanks to the following Smith staff and student leaders who assisted in making WILL a huge success! Program Director Alyse Carter, Administrative Director Amy Merritt, Resident Director Sabrina Callan, and Resident Assistant Mentors Jacqueline Deprey, Sarah Lodder, and Sarah Nguyen.
For more information about the undergraduate business program at Smith, visit: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/undergrad.
This program is sponsored in part by the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Amy Merritt, Undergraduate Program Office