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MREACH Program Provides Insight to Business School

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A degree in business can open up a world of opportunities.

Michigan Ross Enriching Academics in Collaboration with High Schools introduces high school students from diverse backgrounds to business and prepares them to thrive in a challenging academic environment. Through a series of action-based learning experiences, students build a foundation of business knowledge and gain insight into the college application and financial aid process — all with the goal of ensuring their success in business school and beyond. 

Below, hear from two Michigan Ross BBA students on their experience with MREACH.

Erik Nielsen, BBA '27

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How did you hear about MREACH?

I heard about MREACH through the University of Michigan’s Youth Hub. It sounded like an awesome opportunity to get to know students from all around U-M while expressing my interest in the university.

What do you feel are the biggest benefits of participating in MREACH?

Before I joined MREACH, I had a somewhat negative view of the business world. At MREACH, I was shown what business could be. I saw a group of people who were using business to inspire and enact change in an ever-changing world filled with problems, which is ultimately what inspired me to take a deeper dive into business and apply to Ross.

How do you think MREACH will help you in your time at Michigan Ross and beyond?

MREACH helped me build a foundation of knowledge to bring to Ross. I learned how to pitch a stock, analyze current headlines, and understand basic accounting documents. Due to this preparation, I feel prepared for the rigorous education at Ross and the challenging years I have ahead. 

Group of students sitting around a table talking and interacting with each other

What advice would you give to high school students who are considering applying to MREACH?

Apply! Even if you’re skeptical about a business education, the program can transform the way you think about business and how you see yourself fitting into the large array of jobs in the field.

I strongly believe that MREACH can give high school students a great taste of what a business education will look like without any of the risks. I would highly recommend it to those who may be interested in business but haven’t gotten the opportunity to experience it for themselves. That being said, MREACH is also incredibly fun. You’ll make connections that you will carry with you into the future, and the Academic Success Center staff and student staff is wonderful and wants to see you succeed. 

How did your participation in MREACH impact your high school experience?

For my entire high school experience, I was in an intensive STEM program, so I had never been exposed to business or even considered the possibility of pursuing a business education. Participating in MREACH showed me how I could fit into Ross, and it got me thinking about how I could combine my interests in STEM with a business degree. 

Alysa Zhu, BBA '27

Woman with long dark hair smiling and wearing a dark suit

How did you hear about MREACH? 

I heard about MREACH through a family friend that had been in the program. She talked about how it really helped her recognize that she wanted to pursue business in college. 

What do you feel are the biggest benefits to participating in MREACH?

 Just to list a few, you meet some amazing staff, faculty, and mentors that really help throughout the college application and SAT preparation process. For sophomores and juniors, MREACH is really good exposure to the business world and some of its topics. Even if you might not want to study business in college, you get to learn about some really important subjects and skills that will benefit you in any field. Also, the friendships you make with other students and the teachers are really valuable.

How do you think MREACH will help you in your time at Michigan Ross and beyond? 

If I hadn’t participated in MREACH, I definitely wouldn’t be as sure about pursuing business as I am now. I think having been around mentors who were or are at Ross right now gave me valuable insight into what Ross is like as a student and really solidified my desire to come to the school. I also think it helps because I’ve made some meaningful connections with staff and older students who can give me advice and guidance. Not only do you get to network and create those bonds with them, but you get to hear about their experiences and ask whatever questions you want. Of course, they are super helpful then, but if (and when) you come to Michigan Ross, they’re super valuable resources. I still keep in touch with my mentors and they’ve definitely eased the transition immensely just by being familiar faces and offering their advice.

What was your favorite experience while in MREACH? 

My favorite times in MREACH were when we had “real talks” with the rest of the seniors and our teacher, Sujay. I think bonding with people that were going through the same process as me and with someone who had gone through it and had advice to give was really comforting and it often left me feeling better about the whole thing. I distinctly remember the first “real talk” we had pretty early on. Sujay showed us a meme about “drowning” in college applications and the room instantly burst out into conversation and agreement. From that moment on, I think we were all bonded and became much more comfortable with each other.

How did your participation in MREACH impact your high school experience? 

I actually met my roommate this year in MREACH. We met on the first day of the program and immediately clicked. So when we were in the middle of application season, we decided that if we both got in, we would be roommates! And now, we’re best friends and I wouldn’t have met her if it wasn’t for MREACH. But more generally speaking, MREACH was one of my first exposures to business and I think because I liked what I was learning in the program, I decided to participate in DECA and eventually, study it in college. MREACH is a really great opportunity to get your feet wet in the business world. I think that because I made so many meaningful connections with the people in the program, I really looked forward to Saturdays with MREACH because not only did I get to see my friends, but I got to experience really cool things usually only college students might. 

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