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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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July 16, 2012

DREAM BIG Academy Brings Business to Life for Nebraska High School Students

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration hosted the inaugural DREAM BIG Academy, July 8-11, which brought soon-to-be high school seniors from across the state to Lincoln to explore college life and business concepts first hand. The academy emphasized diversity by showing students how their unique qualities benefit them in a positive way. DREAM BIG is an acronym for many of those strengths: Develop, Risk, Empower, Achieve, Maximize, Build, Innovate and Grow.

The 38 students who attended the academy lived in the residence halls and completed hands-on assignments by visiting businesses,  working on group projects, listening to CBA alumni relate their career experiences and learning from UNL professors.

Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration, had been working to create the DREAM BIG Academy since she took her position of dean over two years ago.

Jocelyn Eusery

Jocelyn Eusery at group presentation

“We have been planning and dreaming this for a long time, and it’s totally exceeded any of our expectations for what we thought could happen this first time out,” Plowman said.

For one assignment, students interviewed owners and staff of stores to get new insights into how businesses are run.
“We’re supposed to go to different stores and look at what their mission is, what they are selling, what they need to improve and what they had done well,” said Jessica Stednitz from Bellevue West High School.

In addition to the team projects, students also attended college preview courses taught by CBA faculty instruct in the disciplines of accountancy, finance, economics, marketing and management. The new supply chain management option being offered at CBA was particularly intriguing to many of the students. 

Jocelyn Jacora Eusery from Millard West High School said after learning about supply chain management she would likely pursue it as her major in college. Stednitz said she is destined to be a certified public accountant.

Current UNL students served as mentors for the academy participants. Mark Moulton, Jr., from Omaha Creighton Prep said that the DREAM BIG Academy opened his eyes to the support system available to students at CBA.

“I enjoyed talking to the academic counselors and how they treat us and interact with us,” Moulton said. “The relationships that we’re building with fellow students and the faculty members at UNL are great.”

2012 DREAM BIG Academy students

2012 DREAM BIG Academy students