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School of Business Administration

Elliott Hall, Room 427
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)

School of Business Administration

Elliott Hall, Room 427
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)

A young woman standing in front of a projector screen displaying percentage data.

Business Scholars Program

Motivated business students strengthen core business competencies in the competitive Business Scholars program. In the elite Business Scholars program, Oakland business students push the boundaries to expand their education and master professional competencies through:

  • leadership development
  • case competitions
  • mentor/mentee relationship
  • community involvement

Generously sponsored by Michael and Susan Novak, the Oakland University Credit Union and New World Diamonds.

Important Dates:

  • Business Scholars Application opens on Wed, Jan 5, 2022
  • Business Scholars Application closes on Tuesday, February 1, 2022
  • Candidates will be notified about interview dates on Tuesday, February 2, 2022
  • Candidate Interviews will be held Monday, February 7-Friday, February 18, 2022
  • New Business Scholars will be notified if they did (or did not) receive this leadership position by Monday, February 21, 2022 for the Fall 2022/Winter 2023 Academic Year

Complete an application by 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 1, 2022. Click here to submit an application.

Contact Us
Joy Jiang
(248) 370-2832

Meaghan Cole
Program Highlights

Through the OU Business Scholars program a select group of OU business students take advantage of career-enhancing activities to further develop their problem-solving, decision-making and leadership skills.

Leadership Development

Leadership development is based on the Lorminger Leadership Competencies that are selected specifically for the level of the students based on their progression in the program.

First-year Scholars
Presentation Skills
Conflict Management

Second-year Scholars
Negotiating Skills
Process Management

All Scholars
Annual challenge course team building event

Case Competitions

Three Saturdays per academic year devoted to case competition training

Scholars work in teams (lead by senior-level students) to analyze and present a solution to a specific business challenge to a panel of  faculty and business professional judges. Prizes are awarded to the winning team. Previous prizes have included tuition credit, iPads and Microsoft Surfaces)


Each Scholar has an opportunity to receive mentorship from a business professional in various capacities.


Each year, Scholars decide what community project or organization they want to engage to support.

Meet the Scholars
Business Scholars
A head shot of Jesse BischerJesse

Major: Pre-Business

Campus involvement: OASIS, Grizz Gang, Business Scholars

Why Oakland University: I chose Oakland University because I was aware that it had a strong business program, the campus is beautiful, and my brother lives close by.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: The case competitions are very unique. They offer real solutions to real business situations.
A head shot of Madelyn RogersMadelyn

Major: Pre-Business

Campus involvement: Honors College, Alpha Lambda Delta, Chamber Orchestra, Women in Business, Academic Peer Mentor with University Housing

What makes Business Scholars interesting: Working on real-world problems with peers while forming great relationships.

Why major in business: I chose business because of the versatility in the field as well as the opportunities for growth and stability.
A head shot of Alex GrennAlex

Major: General Management

Campus involvement: Community Council, Intramural sports, Business Scholars

Internship lessons:At my internship at Plastic Omnium, I learned how vital internal and external communication is to the success of a company.

Why major in business: I chose to major in business because of the competition within the field to be successful.
A head shot of Alexis HarpAlexis

Major: General Management

Campus involvement: Honors College, Business Scholars

What makes Business Scholars interesting: The opportunity for networking and learning from business professionals is the most interesting part of the Business Scholars program. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to gain knowledge from competition judges as a well as mentors in the program.

Why OU: Because I am from the Upper Peninsula I was looking to expand my opportunities by attending college downstate. I thought furthering my education in an area I have always loved, in a wonderful city, on beautiful campus, would offer great opportunities for me in the long run.
A head shot of Penny HowardPenny

Major: Pre-Business

Campus involvement: Business Scholars, SOPE

Why major in business: I love the professional and personal aspects that come along with business. You need to dive into a situation and come up with solutions and figure out why the problems arose.

Why Oakland University: For the personability of smaller class sizes, distance, and the wonderful programs offered.
Emma Harrison Business Scholar Emma

Major: Accounting

Campus involvement: Treasurer, Business Transfer Students organization and Business Scholars

Why Oakland University: The university gives its students plenty of opportunities to succeed.

Internship lesson: Learning takes time and patience. Stick with it, and you’ll eventually be an expert in your field!

Why major in business: Business offers many paths for one major. Just because I’m majoring in accounting doesn’t mean I have to be a CPA. I could go into private accounting, managerial accounting and even governmental accounting.
Erin McElreath Business ScholarErin

Major: Marketing

Campus involvement: Business Ambassadors, Business Scholars and Business Transfer Students

Why Oakland University: I chose Oakland University for its academics, transfer student program, and campus involvement.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: Its focus on professional growth though its mentorship program and case study competitions.
Kurtis Jackson II Business ScholarKurtis

Major: Marketing

Campus involvement: Business Scholars

Why Oakland University: It is my home. Before attending Oakland University as a student, I spent most of my time there with my parents who are both alumni. OU has provided me with the best resources, relationships, and education anyone student can ask for.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: The opportunity to work with individuals who share the same competitive mindset, but also very different backgrounds. It has helped me learn much more about the amazing students that are a part of OU.

Why major in business: I chose to major in business because of my passion for learning. Business has no limitations, and it provides you with unlimited opportunity.
Mariella Simoncini Scholars Mariella

Major: Finance
Minor: Spanish, Data Analytics

Campus involvement: Honors College, NCAA Women's golf team, Student Athlete Advisory Committee and Business Scholars

Why Oakland University: I chose Oakland because of the outstanding golf program and its medium-size, beautiful campus!

What makes Business Scholars interesting: Competing in case competitions and being under the pressure with my group. Receiving feedback on our performance and creativity is always helpful, and I enjoy watching us improve each time.

Why major in business: I have always had an entrepreneurial mind and I enjoy problem-solving and critical thinking about how to make a business more efficient.
Nick Norman Scholars Nicholas

Major: Accounting
Minor: Finance

Campus involvement: Business Scholars

Why Oakland University: I chose OU because I really liked the layout of the campus and everything OU has to offer.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: The mentorship program.
A head shot of John Atkinson, business honors studentJohn

Major: Finance

Campus involvement: Business Honors Program, Honors College, Financial Management Association, Beta Gamma Sigma

Internships: Finance Controlling Intern, Faurecia; Human Resources Co-Op, Meritor

Motivation: A microeconomics class first piqued John’s business interest. “Even though the class was challenging, I persevered and tried my best to understand the concepts rather than just memorizing formulas.”
A head shot of Lauren Goralczyk, business honors studentLauren

Major: Management Information Systems

Why OU: The university is oriented toward making each student feel supported. A clear path to success, support resources and a supportive peer group makes the OU program feel very personal.

About the Business School: “I am impressed by how eager the faculty are to help students.”

Campus involvement: Supplemental Instruction Leader, instructor for OU Math Bridge
Hannah T OU Business Honors Student 2020 cohortHannah

Major: Operations Management

Why OU:“I knew [Oakland University] was the place for me. The small, personalized classes of the Business Honors Program combined with the culture of the campus felt right.”

More: Lauren appreciates how business students help each other succeed.

Additional experiences: Honors College

Major: Finance and Marketing

Why OU: “I love the area, the campus and was impressed with the business programs, including Scholars and the Business Honors Program. I’ve seen first-hand how much the Business Career Services team cares about students. There are just so many opportunities.”

More: Attending Oakland allowed Matthew to move his athletic career to the collegiate level with an offer from OU coaching staff to paly on the D1 ACHA Hockey team.

Why Scholars: It allows students to be creative in real-life scenarios. “The ability to apply our ideas and collaborate ultimately prepares us for the professional world.”
OU Business Scholar Ara, female, wearing glasses and dark business suit coat and gray turtle neck smiling for camera in professional headshotAra

Major: Marketing

Motivation: Ara connects with the community at Oakland University and the Business Scholars Program.

“[The Business Scholars] will allow me to connect, meet, and work with other students I would not have met if it were not for this program.”

More: Staying social, Ara mixes business and ballroom dancing. She is also a member of DECA and the Ballroom and Latin Dance Club.
OU Business Scholar Marissa, white female with dark hair and glasses, professional headshotMarissa

Majors: Accounting and Finance

Motivation: Marissa wanted a degree with professional range. She found what she was looking for in the Oakland University School of Business.

“I wanted a degree that would be versatile and would help me become a business owner in the future.”

More: “Put[ting] yourself out there” is the key to gaining experience, according to Marissa. She’s also active as president of the Gay-Straight Alliance and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta.
OU Business Scholar Kayla Reddic, Black female college student wearing white shirt, smiling for camera in professional headshotKayla

Major: Pre-business

Motivation: Kayla chose Oakland University because it allowed her to stay close to family. Enrolling in the Business Honors Program also opened the door to develop more supportive relationships.

“The [Business Honors] Program offers so many opportunities for students to use toward their career. From mentorship to leadership, Oakland makes sure every student has the ability to be more in life, and that's why I chose to come here.”

More: Kayla is building strong connections through involvement in Project Big Sister and the OU Women in Business organization.

“Each one of us wants to improve our professional skills and make use of it in our future. What better way than improving with [the help of established] professionals?”
OU Business Scholar Porfio, dark haired male college student wearing suit coat, shirt and tie smiling for camera in professional headshotPorfirio

Major: Operations Management

Motivation: When looking to transfer from community college to a university, Porfirio was drawn to Oakland University’s small class sizes.

“Attending OU was the best transition for me coming from a community college. The classrooms provide a more personal learning experience that has helped me excel academically.”

More: After graduation, Porfirio aims to secure a full-time operations manager position.

“[The] OU School of Business Administration is recognized nationally as one of the best business schools in the country. The resources will provide me with an advantage in my job search.”
OU Business Scholar Jaymie, white female, smiling at camera for professional headshotJaymie

Majors: Accounting and Management Information Systems with a Business Analytics specialization

Motivation: After stepping foot on campus, Jaymie knew Oakland University was for her. She declared her majors following an accounting class she “loved.”

“I chose Oakland because I fell in love with the campus when first visiting.”

More: Jaymie is building connections across campus through Phi Sigma Sigma, Emerging Leaders, Alpha Lambda Delta and Women in Business at OU.

Major: Economics

Motivation: When looking for the right college Navneet wanted a large yet close-knit community, and Oakland University was the best fit.

“I came from a small high school. The other colleges I visited didn't give the same vibe as Oakland.”

More: The Business Honors Program helps Navneet build diverse professional relationships.

“[I wanted] to work with students in different years of college and gain their wisdom and tips.”
Sam, Business ScholarSamantha

Major: Human Resource Management

Motivation: Samantha prioritizes her people skills with her studies in human resource management.

“I learned that it is important to know how to communicate with others and how to be on time.”

More: Samantha gained hands-on experience when she accepted an HR internship with Urban Serving LLC, where she also works as an administrative assistant.
Leo, Business ScholarLeandro

Major: Finance
Minor: Business Analytics

Motivation: Oakland University checked off all his boxes when looking for a college home.

“I liked the location a lot, beautiful campus, vicinity to my new house, vicinity to so many big businesses. It has a great alumni network, and [the] International Students Office is very helpful.”

More: Branching out, Leandro is gaining experience as the vice president of the OU Financial Management Association and as a mortgage loan processor intern at Zana Financial and Equity Group.

“When you work in the mortgage industry, you become an essential part of one of people's most important transactions, financing their dream house. Doing this, I find true meaning in the work I do and it is very rewarding.”
Marcello, Business ScholarMarcelo

Major: Finance
Minor: Accounting

Why OU: Smaller class sizes, affordability and quality of the undergraduate business program fueled Marcelo’s decision to attend Oakland University.

More: The university and business school provide great resources to those who seek them.

“A business degree allows you to take a variety of classes, meet great people and develop skills that can translate in the workforce.”
In the News
Business Scholars practice change management in case competition
February 13, 2020

Oakland Business Scholars team members put their change management skills to work in a case that challenged them to examine the relationship between organizational culture and morale.

Business Scholars focus on marketing strategies in latest case competition
December 12, 2018

In their most recent case competition, teams of Business Scholars developed and presented marketing strategies to grow annual sales for Detroit Bikes.

Business Scholars case competition puts strategy and leadership skills to use
October 23, 2018

Scholars were challenged to create a case for complimentary service offerings in the evolving the business strategy of Banff Aspen Lodge.

Business Scholars present strategies, learn by doing
April 10, 2018

Three OU Business Scholar teams faced-off in their final case competition of the year.

OU Business Scholars place second in prestigious international case competition
May 11, 2017

After a demanding 12 weeks of competition in the two-part International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC), the OU Business Scholars placed second for overall performance in their world.