Psychology major Fanchao (Frank) Zhu ’15 never expected to receive intensive business preparation as a liberal arts student. A scholarship through the College’s Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) has changed his perspective.
The psychology major from Nanjing, China attended the prestigious Stanford University Summer Institute in General Management that he describes as “a mini-MBA.”
“The program gave me a taste of everything in business,” says Zhu, who works in his family’s small chain of restaurants. “Now I know what I am really passionate about in business — entrepreneurship and marketing.”
Liberal arts and business can combine into a powerful mix. Just peek into the college backgrounds of CEOs at some of the nation’s most well known companies. Hiring professionals also prize liberal arts students who can think creatively and critically.
The summer business programs inspire students and complement Grinnell.
“When coupled with their academic and co-curricular experiences at Grinnell, these summer programs expand and refine the participants’ soft and hard skills as they prepare for their post-graduate careers in business and other sectors of the economy,” says Mark Peltz, Daniel ’77 and Patricia Jipp Finkelman ’80 Dean in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service.
Last summer, Zhu and Thatcher Healy ’16 (pictured) attended the Stanford Institute and Chi Nguyen ’15 and Joseph Wlos ’16 attended the University of Chicago’s Booth Summer Business Scholars Program.
Students studied finance, corporate operations, marketing, accounting, and human resources. They also interacted with professors, other students, and local business professionals. Students visited companies such as Intel, which was co-founded by Robert N. Noyce ’49.
Value of Studying Business
Healy, a biological chemistry major from Mill Valley, Calif., wanted to learn more about the business side of biotech.
“The Stanford program helped me understand how I could apply what I’ve been learning in Grinnell to a job in the future,” Healy says. “I feel equipped to market myself to a business or start my own business if I wanted to.”
All students can benefit from having a business background, Healy says.
“It is pertinent to most all fields of study,” he says. “Especially for those seniors who are lost on what to do after undergrad or how to apply their expertise into a lucrative career.”
The program has excited Nguyen about the possibility of earning an MBA after graduation. She especially liked working with a diverse mix of students from around the world.
“Academically, the concepts that I learn will help me with my senior seminar in macro finance,” she says. “Activities from the program also inspired me to start some similar workshops about business and professional skills in Grinnell.”
Opportunities for Summer 2015
Next summer 2015, CLS will offer two scholarships to Chicago’s Booth Program, which Peltz said fits well with Grinnell’s priorities. Scholarships include tuition, housing, most meals, and a travel stipend.
Fanchao (Frank) Zhu ’15 is a psychology major from Nanjing, China. Thatcher Healy ’16 is a biological chemistry major from Mill Valley, Calif. Chi Nguyen ’15 is a French and economics double major from Ha Noi, Vietnam. Joseph Wlos ’16 is a political science major from Crete, Ill.