High school students get a taste of college life at Lindner Summer Institute
Participants share life, business lessons from unique experience
The Lindner Summer Institute (LSI) recently gave 30 high school students from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana a sample of what attending the University of Cincinnati and the Carl H. Lindner College of Business would be like.
During the multi-day, overnight program facilitated by Lindner Undergraduate Admissions, participants were fully immersed in the on-campus experience — eating in dining halls, residing in Marian Spencer Hall, touring campus, reveling in a competitive scavenger hunt and making friends in a new environment.
“We had a wonderful group of LSI participants this year,” said Kendra Byrd, who serves as assistant director of undergraduate student recruitment. “We watched these students, who mostly did not know each other at all, come to campus for possibly the first time, meet new people, make connections and become more confident as they started to understand the opportunities available to them.”
Instructional sessions were focused on preparing for the college admissions process, such as how to approach the Common App, navigating scholarship and financial aid, asking for letters of recommendation and understanding the array of support systems and involvement opportunities available at UC that can help them succeed once on campus.
“I was impressed by how thoughtful the students were with their questions and their level of reflection,” said Byrd. “While they were prepared for a lot of what we discussed, they still took a few minutes with some topics to really understand. I’m confident that whether they end up here at UC or somewhere else, they’ll use what they learned.”
A standout activity — and a favorite among students — was creating a tabletop lamp with minimal supplies. Facilitated by Urban Impact Studio Executive Director and adjunct instructor of operations, business analytics, and information systems Chanda Monroe-Williams, this activity simulated a real-world group project that called for teamwork, communication, division of roles and meeting a common goal under a tight deadline.
“This exercise is about understanding how you work with your team,” Monroe-Williams told students. She shared that there will be many times in their career where they might be bonded with a team but can’t always work with them.
“When you can't be with your team, that’s sometimes a good thing, because you build your network by not being with your team. You get to shine independently.”
Another notable session was led by PNC Corporate and Institutional Banking Associate Jackie Bain and Senior Associate Taylor Latona, who shared their own college search process and what they did in their college years to make the most of their college years.
As the executive partner for Lindner's Office of Inclusive Excellence, PNC frequently participates in student development events such as Business Fellows Talent Preview, Lindner Women in Business Empowerment Day and career fairs. LSI participants appreciated hearing from young professionals who were just a few years removed from what they were experiencing themselves.
Finally, over the course of the three-day program, students drafted, revised and practiced a 30-second elevator pitch to use in networking or to land an internship, co-op or summer job.
“Through coaching, practice and re-work, they gained understanding and confidence about how to market themselves for different situations,” said Ashley McFarland, associate director, undergraduate admissions, who provided examples and one-on-one coaching during the program.
In the last instructional session before the closing ceremony, every student shared the final version of their pitch.
“Presenting in public and hearing real-time feedback can be intimidating, but it was amazing to see how much they improved in such a short time,” said McFarland. “I can’t wait to hear how they go on to use these new skills.”
LSI participant takeaways
- Hometown: Cincinnati (previously India)
- High School: Withrow University High School, class of 2024
- What team and problem-solving skills did you learn from the lamp-building activity? It's all about the team. If you have good communication with them, even though you don't know them, that helps a lot in helping everyone understand and share great ideas. We had 15 minutes, but we were all like ‘Yeah, we know what we have to do in this short time.’
- Hometown: Cincinnati (previously California)
- High School: St. Ursula Academy, class of 2025
- What team and problem-solving skills did you learn from the lamp-building activity? It surprised me how all our brains worked together. We thought it was going to be chaotic — we had limited time — but it wasn't the case. We split it up. We knew what some had a strength in or what others had a weakness in, and there was a job for everyone. So just coming together and people realizing their strengths and weaknesses made it much easier for us to get the job done in enough time, even early.
- Hometown: Cincinnati
- High School: Turpin High School, class of 2024
- What was your favorite part about LSI and why? Meeting all of my friends. We instantly connected, and we feel like we've known each other for years. I can honestly say that they're some of the best people I've ever met.
- Hometown: Cincinnati
- High School: Moeller High School, class of 2025
- What was your favorite part about LSI and why? Learning how to build meaningful relationships with other people, not only with those my age, but with adults in the real world. They taught me about networking and how to do that through college applications and teacher recommendations. The relationships I create now will have a huge impact on my future.
- Hometown: Cincinnati
- High School: Clark Montessori High School, class of 2025
- What was your favorite part about LSI and why? Talking about the different opportunities we could achieve like scholarships and even co-ops. I already knew what co-ops were, but learning more about them gave me more detail on how I can apply for them when I’m ready.
- Hometown: Milford
- High School: Milford High School, class of 2024
- What was your favorite part about LSI and why? All the advice, especially around time management. All the questions that were asked dug deeper and got me focused on what I really wanted, keeping my options open and doing what makes me happy instead of just doing something that makes the most money.
Featured image at top: 2023 Lindner Summer Institute participants outside Lindner Hall after a campus tour. Photo by Suzanne Buzek. All photos by Gavin Vargas unless otherwise noted.
Plan your Lindner visit
Regardless of your stage in the college search or application process, there are ample opportunities to visit UC’s campus and learn about everything Lindner has to offer. Schedule your visit today.