Making my own path: Fleischer Scholars reflect on program in their own words

  • August 13, 2018
  • By Molly Cruitt
  • 3 minute read

The Olin Fleischer Scholars Program is a free, week-long college preparatory program for high school students from underrepresented or first-generation college populations. Students experience college life, learn the essentials of business and university education, and improve their professional skills and résumés. We talked to this year’s scholars to see how they grew and how they’re forging their own paths.

Andressa

2018-Fleischer-Andressa.jpg“I think learning about finance was something I was scared about. I thought it would be really difficult to learn about in college, but the professor made it really simple. The professor gave the brief overview and it didn’t scare me. Some people have stereotypes with professors being really non-personal, and ‘just do your work,’ but not only he, but all the people that presented tried to connect with us.

“It was an amazing opportunity where you see that people really want to invest in you and your education, and to learn not just about the subject of business but college life. They helped us with essays, résumés, they help you get ready and take a step forward into the real world.”

William

2018-Fleischer-William.jpg“The biggest thing I’ve done this week is network. I’ve met so many cool people — the other scholars in the program, the mentors, all the people running the show behind the scenes, and the guests we’ve had as speakers on company visits. I learned a lot about business and what it actually is compared to what I perceived it as in the past.

“I come from pretty much nothing back home, and everything I’ve done I’ve created for myself. I learned this week even more so that I can take charge of my situation and that what I’m dealing with right now back at home, it can’t affect me if I am able to take charge.”

Reina

2018-Fleischer-Reina.jpg“I’ve gained a lot more confidence, and I’ve learned to think positively about my future, who I’m talking to, and to be able to communicate with more people. I’m not shy, but talking in front of people is a huge thing, and you need to learn how to do that. We’ve learned about shaking hands, and talking to people, and introducing yourself. We’re going to have a project to show in front of people, so being able to do a presentation is a really big thing.”

Brayneisha

2018-Fleischer-Brayneisha.jpg“One day, I plan on owning my own homeless shelter, and I want to go to school for social work — so I can put those two things (business and social work) together. This was really insightful for me. I got to go to different businesses and learn about marketing and everything in the business world.

“The most important lesson I learned is to make my own business and how to make it successful. I learned about startups and what you have to go through to make a business. I thought you could just have a plan and do it. I didn’t consider finances and capacity. It was a lot of things that I learned this week.”

Janyce

2018-Fleischer-Janyce.jpg“I want to own my own practice for psychology, so I learned a little bit about finance, which is the big part. I’m really appreciative of the information I learned, especially how to start a business and that having a startup in anything will help you.

“The most fun thing has been hanging out in the common room and getting to know each other. Now I have an amazing friend from Brazil, and amazing roommates and suite-mates, and it’s just been a great experience.

“I want people to know it’s not scary. It isn’t. And it’s a great way to branch out.”

To learn more about the Olin Fleischer Scholars program, please contact Paige LaRose.  All photos © by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

About the Author


Molly Cruitt

Molly Cruitt

Molly Cruitt was WashU Olin's digital content specialist for nearly three years until late 2020. She is passionate about telling great stories and showing the lesser-known side of things. Molly holds a master of arts in communication from Saint Louis University and loves dogs, food, and crafting.

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