Shriya Penmetsa is a senior at William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio. She was a 2019 participant in the Fleischer Scholars Program and wants to study business or economics after graduating from high school. She wrote this for the Olin Blog.
From the moment I entered high school, I was constantly reminded by my older peers to enjoy my time as an underclassman. I was told that once the wave of junior year and college applications came around, I was bound to drown in my own workload.
But seemingly before I could even blink, I was a junior trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life while simultaneously navigating the labyrinthine process of applying to college. I felt an overwhelming amount of pressure to make myself stand out as an applicant.
While I browsed through college websites in the winter of my junior year, I came across numerous enticing summer sessions and or experiences at various university campuses. Despite wanting to jump at every one of those opportunities, none seemed to cost a dime less than $1,000.
My search for impactful and affordable summer experiences came to a disappointing standstill. That was until I came across a page on Olin Business School’s website that offered up a weeklong summer program at no cost at all.
The Olin Fleischer Scholars Program allowed attendees to work with renowned business faculty, to learn about different careers and companies in the world of business as well as experience life on one the most beautiful campuses in the country. I was instantly hooked, so when I saw that I could apply, I quickly worked to complete the different application components.
At the time, I assumed my chances of getting accepted were little to none, but I figured it was definitely worth a shot. However, I was very pleasantly surprised in early May, when I received an email that I had been accepted into the program.
Fast-forward to friendships
Fast-forwarding to July, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the program. I was nervous about whether I would connect well with my peers or not or if I would even like the university, but I found myself instantly marveled by the campus and all the friendships I was building.
Throughout the week, I found that I was also able to connect with the student mentors, the WashU faculty, and even the company officials. I found myself fascinated by their life stories, and felt comfortable enough to share my own.
Beyond the lasting relationships I built, I also had unique opportunities that truly aided me in planning for my future. I was able to work with admissions officers and business professionals to delve deeper into the applications process for college and work beyond it.
The hands-on approach of the program for learning about business also helped me grow even more fond of the field and gain insight into the impact I could make through a career in business.
In all honesty, my week at Washington University in St. Louis was one of the most rewarding experiences in my summer. I definitely don’t feel like the lost and overwhelmed junior, and I’m so grateful for the Olin Fleischers Scholars Program and everyone that I got to meet through it. With everything I’ve learned and all the experience I’ve gained, I can’t wait to take on my senior year!