Scholarship Weekend is More than Earning Increased Scholarship Support!

By: Jonathan Markowicz

Scholarship weekend at Simon goes by very quickly. A lot is packed into a short amount of time. However, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The opportunity to earn a full scholarship meant the difference between launching my own company while at Simon and not. Therefore, I came to scholarship weekend with a strategy, which was to make an impression.

For me this meant more than just schmoozing with classmates and alumni. My professional background was directing a community rowing program and serving in the United States Air Force- far from Wall Street. I never did a case study before, let alone participate in a competition. When I was handed our case on Ikea, I read it through and thought, “Now what do I do?” Furthermore, I was nervous that people would converse using business jargon and I would have no idea what they were talking about. I couldn’t fake what I didn’t know. Therefore, I needed to highlight my strengths: my communication skills, my creativity, and my energy.

That weekend, we turned my hotel room into base ops where we worked diligently on our Ikea presentation. I worry that I don’t take things seriously sometimes because we framed our presentation as a travel itinerary, in fact my role in the presentation was the travel agent/emcee, and handed out little soaps and shampoos to the judges as a gimmick. In hindsight, it worked; however, on the day we presented, we had no idea how it would go over and just committed to doing something that no other group would. Not only was this the impression I wanted to leave with Simon, it was my way of giving Simon an idea of what I could bring to the class environment.

I’m reading this over and wondering if it comes across as kind of contrived. Let me conclude, then, by sharing a recent experience. I was down in Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy helping with the relief efforts. My military unit was stationed at the distribution site at Floyd Bennett Field loading and unloading truckloads of food and supplies. Two men from the Coast Guard pull up to load their vehicle with some water. And, wouldn’t you believe, one of the reservists was a teammate of mine from scholarship weekend. Although he didn’t end up going to Simon, for he resolved to pursue other career opportunities, we quickly reminisced over our over-the-top Ikea presentation, late-night work in the hotel, and the evening reception (which is a story for another time). So, there you have it, an example of making an impression at Simon’s Scholarship Weekend and seeing how far the Simon network can reach when you least expect it. It’s real.

Congratulations to everyone invited and I look forward to meeting you this weekend.

Comments (1)

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  1. Bonnie Liu says:

    Nice post Jonathan! Looking forward to more stories from you.

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