I Discovered the Michigan Difference at All Access Weekend, and Now I’m Helping Prospective Students Do the Same
Fly-in programs are a little-known aspect of college admissions.
Traditionally, these are paid weekend trips to a U.S. college for high school families who typically would not be able to afford them. The Ross All Access Weekend is a fly-in program at the Ross School of Business aiming to expose underrepresented/low-income students to business. During this weekend, students and their families are flown to the University of Michigan to learn more about the Michigan Ross Bachelor of Business Administration Program. When I heard about All Access Weekend, I was eager to apply, but unsure I would get accepted.
My experience at All Access Weekend
I was so nervous on my flight to Michigan. It was my first time traveling to the Great Lakes state, and I had no idea what to expect. Would the students be nice? Would the faculty test my business acumen? Would I somehow embarrass myself? I must have practiced my introduction 400 times on the four-hour flight.
When I arrived at U-M, all my worries melted away. From the first session, I was surrounded by diverse Michiganders who generously shared their experiences. I met BBA students who were concentrating in industries I only dreamed about. By the third session, I was remembering names and making friends. I even had dinner with Cheri Alexander, a former executive for General Motors who currently teaches at Ross.
For me, All Access Weekend was a crash course on the Michigan difference. Everyone I met asked me questions about my unique goals and experiences. Many of them already knew information about me because staff members received a short statement about every participant. I left U-M thinking about what was possible, whether I attended Ross or not. From my own experience, this is extremely rare. Many college programs are very university centered. Students end their experience strictly thinking about what the university could do for them. In contrast, the All Access Weekend made me think about utilizing business to help society.
Reengaging with All Access Weekend as a Michigan Ross BBA
Fast forward three years, and I was a full-time BBA student at Michigan Ross when I excitedly applied to the All Access Weekend planning committee. The committee is responsible for planning events and building the participants' anticipation. We arrange activities and ensure the students get free Ross merchandise. Most importantly, we mentor students during the program. It’s a special chance to connect with underrepresented students just as uncertain as I was.
This past year, All Access Weekend was held virtually, but it was no less impactful. I met students from diverse cultures and various U.S. states. I received questions about everything from accounting to cafeteria food. The weekend was surreal to me since I sat in their shoes three years ago. The students reminded me how much I’ve grown since high school. I was constantly distraught while applying to college, and the participants were clearly stressed as well. I relished the opportunity to be a little light in the dark season of college admissions.