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Oxford and Beyond Student Success

Discover U students discover more about themselves and business

Discover U in Business is about business, but also a lot more, students say

Students at Paycor Stadium
Oxford and Beyond Student Success

Discover U students discover more about themselves and business

How do you bring together a group of 25 students from different places and successfully show them a little bit about what a college business program can offer? Perhaps, by encouraging them to become uncomfortably comfortable.

The Harnett Family Discover U in Business program is a three-day summer on-site experience that is designed to expose top multicultural (African American, American Indian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, or first generation) high school students to the Farmer School of Business.

The first day, the students and their parents had dinner at Goggin Ice Arena, met their chaperones, and heard from Tommie Lewis of Make It Plain Consulting, before the students moved to the Farmer School for a career services activity and strength-finder test.

“That first day, nobody really talked to anybody at first. But as time went on, we really grew as a team and a family and helped each other out with all the activities and everything we did,” Beechwood student Dakota Houston said. “It just felt like friends hanging out.”

On the second day, students traveled first to Cintas headquarters in Mason, where they toured the plant, engaged in interactive activities with Six Sigma team members, and heard from young professionals about their work at Cintas. A trip to the U.S. Bank Cybersecurity Center followed, where the students learned about the bank’s constant efforts to keep its customers’ data safe. The students then visited Paycor Stadium, where they talked with Cincinnati Bengals employees and saw some of the prep work being done for Taylor Swift’s upcoming concerts.

“The visits, they were really cool. I learned a lot about networking. I learned no matter where your path starts, that may not be the same path you stay on, but that's okay. There's a lot of opportunities out there for us as young students,” New Bremen student Sam Bernhold said.

The students’ last day began with a tour of campus and Uptown Oxford, then a team-building exercise, before meeting with their parents again for lunch at the Marcum Center.

“I wouldn't say I expected it to be boring, but it's a business camp -- you don't really know what you're getting yourself into. But I found myself having a lot of fun during this trip,” St. Xavier student Jontae Harris said. “The overall experience that we had, the people we met, and the way the program was set up, it didn't feel like a school field trip or anything like that. It felt open, interactive.”

Many of the students said taking part in the program helped them grow personally. “The biggest thing I would take away is learning more about myself and who I am. So then I can project that to other people and then learn what I want to do with my life,” Badin student Nicolai Salgado-Urcia said. “I would say now I'm more outgoing, I know how to put myself out to other people, help myself learn more things, and push myself more towards the future.”

“I had a lot of fun. I will repeat it a hundred times. It was amazing. I got to meet a lot of people. I went out of my comfort zone. I got to experience what college will be like,” Mason student Yolandana Arismendy-Cardozo said.

“You might not know just from this camp alone, but I'm normally not outgoing. I decided to come here and push myself and not just let stuff come to me, but actually go out there, push myself, and make new opportunities,” Harris said.

“Never be afraid to do something that you either don't want to do or you haven't tried or you're scared it's not going to turn out the way you want it to be. Because at first I really wasn't going to go, but then my mom was like, “Oh, it'd be a good idea if you go,’” Houston said. “So I'm like, ‘Okay, I'll try going, get out of my comfort zone.’ And I had a lot of fun and I'm actually really glad that I came.”

And would they recommend other students take part in the future?

“Absolutely do it, because not only do you take a lot of lessons and advice from other people, you’re getting connections and mentors and networking with other people. That's very important,” Houston said. “You might not take everything away that they said to you, but there are definitely key details that you take away.”

“Definitely do this because it's an opportunity you should take to gain an advantage for the future,” Salgado-Urcia said.

“The worst part about this camp is that it was only three days,” Harris said.

“100 percent, do it,” Arismendy-Cardozo said.

Students at Paycor Stadium

Students at US Bank

US Bank cybersecurity director talks to students

Students and employee panel at Cintas

Students take part in a Six Sigma game at Cintas