Summer Business Institute at PSU’s School of Business Invites Under-served Oregon Students to Experience the College Life
Author: Melinda Crouchley
Posted: May 23, 2018

The Institute is Accepting Applications Now; Deadline is July 1

Summer for most high school students means lazy days, possibly a vacation, maybe a summer job or a volunteer gig. But for roughly 40 high school students across the state of Oregon, this summer means they will spend an intensive and inspiring week immersed in the world of business through The School of Business Summer Business Institute (SBI).

SBI students in the plaza - resized“Our goal with the SBI program is twofold. We want to showcase the diversity of PSU business programming, but we also want to increase the diversity of our own student population,” said Evan Green, Diversity Outreach Specialist. “SBI is tailored to serve underrepresented students and help experience what being a business student at a highly respected institution feels like -- and can mean for a successful future.” 

High school students spend a week on campus, participating in site visits at companies like adidas, meeting with local business leaders, and attending workshops on the PSU admission process, financial aid, and financial literacy. At the end of the week, in a culminating project, the students pitch a business venture to a panel of mentors and donors. 

The SBI applications are being accepted now - the application deadline is July 1 - and financial assistance with application fees is available for those who qualify. Remaining slots are filling rapidly as students recognize the value in this unique opportunity to have a first-hand collegiate experience. 

The Student Experience
While not every SBI student converts to a School of Business student, there are a growing number who do. 

“I was inspired to sign up for SBI because I was interested in business and thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about it,” said freshman Karina Antunez-Diaz,‘22. “I absolutely loved my SBI experiences! I got to attend classes, visit local businesses, and make lots of new connections.”

For Antunez-Diaz the best part of her program experience was her group winning the “shark tank” pitch, and then later being approached about their business idea. They had the opportunity to pitch their idea to Koopman Ostbo via their mentor, Craig Ostbo

She also appreciated housing in dorms and attending classes, simulating a real Portland State student experience. She established relationships with other SBI attendees, with whom she has remained connected. 

“SBI inspired me to apply to The School of Business, and made me really excited to attend Portland State,” said Antunez-Diaz. “I would absolutely encourage high school students to sign up for SBI. I loved it. It was such a great experience to make new friends while at the same time exploring Portland State University.”

Go Where the Money Is 
SBI students who complete the program also receive one college credit that can be applied at PSU or any college or university in the United States. In addition, the School of Business is offers scholarship opportunities for SBI graduates who, like Antunez-Diaz, decide to enroll at Portland State. Those scholarships are available for freshman and transfer students. 

The 2018 SBI session will take place July 30 - August 3. Historically underserved rising high school sophomores and juniors throughout Oregon are encouraged to apply today.