Center for Business Excellence Campaigns for Student Fellows

October 2013

One of the main initiatives of the Center for Business Excellence (CBE) this semester is a push for more awareness about their Student Fellows program. The program focuses on giving students a leg up in the professional realm - providing them with opportunities to interact with professionals and to obtain valuable leadership experience.

The goal of the initiative, according to Center co-directors Brian Ballou and Dan Heitger, is to encourage the university, outside companies, and individuals to engage in funding students' practical experiences and leadership opportunities. For $2,500 per year, an individual or organization can sponsor a "student fellow" within the center and give the student an opportunity to get real leadership experience in a professional setting. One hundred percent of this fund goes toward the student's stipend of ten hours a week.

These Student Fellows are vital to the work environment at the CBE. They work with faculty, professionals, and peers to pursue innovative, interdisciplinary activities focused on creating and sustaining long-term value for organizations. They organize conferences, meet with executives, and set up events for the Center. In the past, student fellows have helped develop and implement numerous initiatives, including: the Annual Executive Conference; the CBE/Duke Energy Inter-University Case Competition; the CBE/KPMG Curriculum Development Initiative; and the CBE Beta Alpha Psi Sustainability Reporting Initiative.

"It's relatively little money to impact a student's learning experiences and to help a student go a long way," Brian said.

Mary Tehrani, junior marketing major and Student Fellow, works on communications for the Center. "It's what you make of it," she said. "Brian and Dan let you tailor your experience to what you need and what you want to learn about. You get exposure to a professional setting and learn how to interact with executives and professional people—you can't learn that in a classroom."

Ania Furmanava, who will graduate in 2014, feels similarly, citing her experience with the CBE as something she can build on in her professional life after graduation. "Working for the CBE inspires me with new insights that I can apply to my future career," she said. "I couldn't wish for a better opportunity to develop my skills and meet so many competent people who help me make the right decisions for my life."

Ania and Lauren Schroeder have been chosen as EY CBE Student Fellows for the coming year. For more information on how to become a sponsor or a student fellow, contact Brian Ballou ( and Dan Heitger (