Ready for Business School: Ross Summer Connection Program Introduced 45 First-Year BBA Students to the Curriculum and Helped Them Build Meaning Relationships With Their Peers
This summer, the largest cohort of incoming undergraduate students at the Ross School of Business participated in the Ross Summer Connection program.
Through the virtual three-week program, 45 first-year BBA students were introduced to the academic and social experience at Michigan Ross to help make their transition from high school to business school easier. This includes the rigorous coursework, action-based learning experiences, professional development workshops, and the opportunity to form relationships with fellow participants and mentors.
This year, eight RSC alumni, who are all current BBA students, served as mentors to the participants, allowing them to share insights from their experiences and provide guidance to incoming students.
Even in a virtual format, RSC was able to deliver on its goal to prepare the incoming BBAs for business school as well as to develop strong relationships with their peers.
“The Michigan Ross Summer Connection program made the transition to college easier by introducing me to an amazingly talented and handworking group of fellow first-year BBAs,” said Jaden Douglas, BBA ’25, an RSC participant. “It is so comforting knowing that I already have a group of friends I can count on. During my first week on campus, it has been especially nice seeing my peers around the dinning hall and at bus stops. It reminds me that I am never alone here.”
In addition to building relationships, Douglas said he enjoyed being introduced to three first-year required courses in math, economics, and writing. However, he said that his favorite part of RSC was competing in the case competition challenge organized by the Zell Lurie Institute.
“I had so much fun brainstorming a product with my group and creating a presentation. I will never forget how happy our group was when it was announced that we won the category of best overall presentation,” Douglas said. “That experience has made me eager to participate in more case competitions at Michigan Ross.”
Another aspect of the program that incoming students felt they benefited most from was exposure to all the resources Michigan Ross has to offer.
“My main takeaway from the program is that the resources at Michigan are abundant and I just have to put in the effort to utilize them,” said participant Sandeep Singh, BBA ’25. “Most importantly, Michigan culture is one of collaboration, and I should not be afraid to reach out and ask for help.”
Creating lasting relationships between first-year students and upperclassmen
One of the most valuable aspects of the RSC program is that it not only offers incoming BBA students the opportunity to connect with each other, but it also allows first-year students to connect with experienced upperclassmen.
Hailey Love, BBA ’25, along with many of the RSC participants, believe that the mentors have already greatly impacted their experience at Michigan Ross.
“My Ross Summer Connection mentors have been guiding hands and friends since I arrived on campus,” said Love. “I can always look to them for advice, clarification, or help with navigating college.”
Singh also shared that his mentors made the transition to college so easy for him.
“Sonali, Cortez, and Alyssa welcomed me when I got on campus — looking out for me, talking to me, and overall checking in making sure I was adjusting well,” he said. “I appreciate them the most. Other mentors like Izzy were happy to answer any questions I had on my transition to Michigan Ross. I am very grateful.”
One of the main reasons the RSC alumni credit for their desire to serve as mentors for the program is because of how positively RSC has affected their own college journey.
Gabriel Correa, BBA ’23, said that coming to University of Michigan not knowing many people was tough, but thanks to the people he met during the program, it made Michigan Ross feel like home. “I was really inspired by the work my mentors put into making my experience a memorable one, so I wanted to do the same for others coming from similar situations to mine,” said Correa.
RSC mentors also shared the pride they felt watching their students grow in just the span of three weeks.
“My favorite part about being an RSC mentor is the ability to watch the students I mentor achieve their goals,” explained mentor Izzy Martini, BBA ’23. “At the beginning of every semester we set different goals that students want to try to accomplish at Michigan Ross and they never fail to amaze me by doing incredible things such as landing internships, or becoming presidents of different clubs.”
While the summer portion of the program has concluded, the RSC community will live on throughout the students at Michigan Ross and beyond.