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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.

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 Maria BarriosMaria

Major: Operations Management

Campus involvement: Business Scholars

Internship lessons: I have an Internship at Valeo, an automotive supplier. Although I did not have the expertise in the field or the product, I had the commitment to learn about our customers and competitors. What I learned from this experience is that it doesn't matter if you are not the most knowledgeable, smart or talented in the room. Be consistent, find a mentor and push yourself. What you lack in talent CAN be made up with hard work.
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 Kenzie WeingartzKenzie

Major: Finance
Minor: Accounting

Campus involvement: Business Scholars

Internship lessons: Throughout my internship at an automotive supplier I learned it is important to ask as many questions as possible. Make the most of your experience as an intern by surrounding yourself with people who know more than you.

Why major in business: I chose to major in business because of the diverse opportunity it presents. Many people who complete a major in a specific discipline end up working in different functions within a company. Taking the undergraduate courses and the business pre-core allows you to gain exposure to all business functions, which opens up different career paths.
A head shot of Lauren LuciaLauren

Major: Finance

Campus involvement: Honors College, Business Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, Rotaract Club, CASA

What makes Business Scholars interesting: The impact that the Business Scholars Program has made on my business education has been very positive and empowering. I have gathered knowledge and understanding of how the business world truly works and have learned that I am capable of enhancing it. The case competitions have strengthened my communication, time management and teamwork skills. These experiences have led me to be more of a critical thinker and to be very strategic when making decisions. I am also more confident in myself having been part of the Business Scholar Program at Oakland University.

What Why major in business: I chose business because it offers a variety of career options that I can pursue in the future and is without limitations. I can use my creativity, intelligence and communication skills in the business world to amplify both products and companies.
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 Rob SobieRobert

Major: Accounting

Campus involvement: Business Transfer President, SOPE Ambassador, Business Scholar

Why Oakland University: Most people will say I chose Oakland for Chick-Fil-A. The actual reason is challenge. I wanted a school that would constantly challenge me and engage me in and out of the classroom. Oakland University gave me a sense of pride and hope. As I got involved, I discovered new talents within myself and as I sit in lectures with wonderful faculty my sense of the surrounding business world is constantly growing. And, yes, maybe small fraction of me wanted Chick-Fil-A everyday until I graduate.

Why major in business: I chose business because, quite simply put, it clicked. Negotiating, team building, collaboration, critical thinking, analytics are all factors as to why I chose to major in business. I have big visions for what direction I can see things going economically, politically and how that dynamic can alter the business field around us rapidly. I have a good sense of situational awareness for this area and with every class I take I find it easier than the last.
A head shot of Marcella LessnauMarcella

Major: Management Information Systems

Campus involvement: Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Association for Information Systems, Business Scholars

Internship lessons: I had a summer internship at Continental. I learned the importance of professional communication in the workplace and was able to apply concepts that I learned in the classroom in a real business setting.

Why Oakland University:I chose Oakland because of its strong business school. Also, I really love the people and the beautiful campus.
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 Sarah GauthierSarah

Major: Marketing

Campus involvement: Business Scholars

Internship lessons: During my internship, that I discovered through OU, the most important lesson I've learned is to take advantage of all the opportunities you are given. Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn as much as you can in the workplace.

Why Oakland University: I chose Oakland University because of its impressive academic programs, I liked the campus, and the ability to work during the school year at successful companies in the area.
A head shot of Samantha ShinaSamantha

Major: Marketing

Campus involvement: DECA, Business Scholars

Why major in business: I was a political science major my freshman year because I always found government/civics interesting. I realized during my first semester, while I enjoyed learning about these areas, my post undergraduate opportunity would be very limited. I would need to go to graduate school to then find a job. I decided to take a MIS 1000 during second semester and thoroughly enjoyed the class. I switched officially my sophomore year and have not looked back ever since! Majoring in the business school allows me to learn about my major but also all aspects of business and how they are interrelated.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: I appreciate the team collaboration aspect. The program takes students' expertise from all knowledge areas and apply them to real business issues.
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.
A head shot of Angelina AllenAngelina

Major: Marketing
Minor: Entrepreneurship

Campus involvement: Meadow Brook Ball Committee, Beta Gamma Sigma, Golden Key, Business Scholars

What makes Business Scholars interesting: The most interesting aspect of the Scholars program is the networking. We make so many great connections with students, staff and business professionals. We also get to experience real-time business problems and have the opportunity to show our creativity in problem solving.

Internship lessons: I had a Marketing and PR internship at a small retail boutique. The most important lesson learned from that experience was that it is beneficial to explore all your options to find what is the best job-fit for you.
A head shot of Juliauna SandersJuliauna

Major: Marketing
Minor: Business Analytics

Campus involvement: Honors College, Alpha Lambda Delta, Housing, Business Scholars

What makes Business Scholars interesting: Definitely the case competitions. They force you to work effectively within a team of like-minded peers with diverse knowledge and backgrounds. They challenge you to think critically and creatively, and to work competitively. Even if you don't win, you still learn so much from each case and the judges who offer feedback and advice for future competitions.

Why Oakland University: I chose OU because it offered me the most scholarship money out of all the other universities that I applied to. It was after attending that I realized this was the school for me. I like the size of the university, the amount of opportunities offered, and the number of free resources provided to me.
A head shot of Jacob EskelsonJacob

Major: Marketing
Minor: International Management

Campus involvement: Honors College, Bear Bus, OU Housing, Business Scholars

Why major in business: I like to form connections with new people. I enjoy networking.

Internship lessons: I learned that Marketing is much more involved than most people think.
A head shot of Luis Hernandez-ColinLuis

Major: Finance

Campus involvement: Recreational Soccer, Business Scholars

Why major in business: One day I would like to have a business of my own, and I wanted to learn how I can make it as successful as possible from the lessons taught in school and this program.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: The experience and skills that you develop by learning from the case studies and the team collaboration that it involves.
A head shot of Navneet DhamiNavneet

Major: Economics

Campus involvement: Business Scholars

Why major in business: I chose my major because I want to be someone who has the answers to questions that people ask. A person who has knowledge in Economics.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: Being able to work with students in different years of college and gain their wisdom and tips.
A head shot of Jenny ForgaciuJennifer

Major: Business Analytics and Spanish

Campus involvement: Business Scholars, Honors College, Business Honors Program

Why major in business: I chose to study business because it presents countless opportunities for employment and will provide a solid foundation for graduate school.

What makes Business Scholars interesting: Interacting with actual companies in solving live case studies.
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.