Summer Venture in Business program introduces high school students to KU

High school students got a taste of life at KU during the School of Business’ inaugural Summer Venture in Business program June 4-6, 2017.

Introduced by 2016-17 Student Body President Stephonn Alcorn and Vice President Gabby Naylor, the program aims to familiarize underrepresented students and potential first-generation college students with business topics and equip them with the tools to succeed in college.

The Summer Venture in Business class of 2017 included 35 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who were selected from 79 applicants. Participants stayed in a residence hall and were awarded scholarships to cover the cost of attendance.

During their three days at KU, students received information about the university’s admissions process, financial aid, scholarships and resources, and toured campus as well as Hallmark’s Lawrence production facility. They also learned about the business school’s eight majors and met current students, alumni, faculty and staff.

For Carlos Nino, a senior at Mill Valley High School in Shawnee, the highlight was hearing from Tyler Johnson, a 2010 business school graduate. While he was in school, Johnson had the idea for a business building hiking trails for the U.S. government using specialized techniques. He developed and later sold the company and now works for data analytics company Splunk.

Knowing a School of Business alumnus was able to achieve success early in his career was encouraging, Nino said. The program also provided him with valuable information about college scholarships and grants.

“Honestly, it takes a lot of the stress out of me,” Nino said.

Ri’Auzzia Watson-Miller, a junior at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kansas, said she filled out the Summer Venture in Business application right after her guidance counselor told her about the program.

Watson-Miller wants to be a certified public accountant and entrepreneur. The program’s accounting panel discussion helped her understand the testing process required to become a CPA and how she can get internships to assist her along the way.

In addition to gaining a clearer of idea of how to achieve her professional goals, Watson-Miller said the list of colleges she’s interested in attending changed after spending time on campus and experiencing the support offered by faculty and staff.

“I feel like KU is my first choice now,” she said.

Thanks to Summer Venture in Business 2017 sponsors Deloitte, Grant Thornton, Hallmark, JE Dunn, Koch Industries, KPMG, Royal Street Ventures and UPS.