For finance major Upasana Todi, the most memorable educational experience at UC required her to step outside the classroom and into the real world. As part of the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS program in the College of Business, she collaborated with University of Cincinnati engineering students on a hypothetical product launch.
"We had to handle every aspect of production, from developing a prototype and addressing design problems to executing market research and preparing to bring the product to market," says Upasana, due to graduate in 2011. "It was very challenging to work alongside biomedical engineering students to create our product. We all learned so much about what it takes to make things happen in the real world."
The transformative education Upasana describes is a hallmark of the Lindner Honors-PLUS program. Established in 1997 with a leadership investment from Carl H. Lindner, Jr., HonDoc '85, chairman of Cincinnati-based American Financial Group, the program combines cooperative-education assignments at well-known regional companies, opportunities to study the global marketplace abroad and mentoring by Greater Cincinnati's successful business leaders.
Upasana says that being a part of the program makes an impression on potential employers, co-workers and clients. "In my previous internship, when my boss would introduce me to someone, he'd mention that I was a Lindner Honors-PLUS scholar. I could tell it made a lasting impression on people because they would ask questions about my experience or what it was like to be in the program."
In winter 2010, Upasana completed a co-op with CincyTech, a nonprofit venture capital company that provides investment funds to startup companies. When she graduates, she will have nearly 18 months of paid experience, giving her an advantage over the competition and the confidence to take on bigger challenges.