From Oct. 27–30, Detroit hosted the Forbes Under 30 Summit, branded as “the world’s greatest event for young leaders, founders, inventors and creators.” Panel discussions at the summit included industry leaders and celebrities such as Serena Williams, a world-famous athlete; Steve Case, co-founder of AOL; Jay Farner, a Broad College alumnus and CEO of Quicken Loans; and many more. The summit also offered networking opportunities, career workshops and even a private music festival. For the past six years, Forbes has offered scholarship opportunities for promising young students to attend the summit and access all that it offers by sponsoring their cost of entry. Without sponsorship, the Under 30 Summit costs several hundred dollars to attend.
Among the 1,000 students accepted into the 2019 program, six Broad Spartans were chosen to attend: Elizabeth Ahl, Olivia Cook, Sasha Coleman, Caroline Eberhard, Jamil Rehemtulla and Abhishek Tekumulla.
“A lot of people on this list go to great schools and have done amazing things in the past, so to be in a group of those high-caliber students is unbelievable,” Tekumulla, a junior in finance, said.
Rehemtulla, a senior in supply chain management, explained how a scholarship like this helps to underline the work he’s already put and encourages him to push further. “When you receive this type of honor, it shows you you’re doing something right; it shows me that I have succeeded,” he said.
Ahl, a junior in supply chain management, described the selection as simply life-changing. “I always strive to do my best and make my family proud,” she said. “This accomplishment brought them to tears.”
With students, celebrities and the many industry leaders from highly regarded companies in attendance, the Under 30 Summit presented an unparalleled opportunity for networking and career advancement.
“Sometimes I can be kind of shy in groups, so I think this event has forced me to connect with people who can help with post-grad life,” Coleman, a senior in supply chain management, said.
Eberhard, a junior in supply chain management, echoed this appreciation for networking: “Within business, who you know is almost as important as what you know, so to be able to connect with other young people is an exciting opportunity as we’re all getting into the industry at the same time.”
The scholars reflected on their Broad education and how their time at MSU has helped bring them to this point.
“Any challenge that I have faced throughout my college career, I have been able to turn to my peers and professors for guidance and advice,” Cook, a senior in marketing, said. “They have helped me advance my professional and academic self.”
“A lot of other schools focus on the technical side of things, but that relationship management and soft skills aspect that we get [at MSU] is important too,” said Tekumulla, who currently serves as president of Spectrum Consulting Group, a student-run consulting firm. He explained how the industry of management consulting can be a delicate subject, but the softer skills he’s learned have helped him navigate this new role.
Similarly, Rehemtulla said that Broad has provided a solid foundation of business. Rather than learning only one aspect of supply chain management, at Broad, he has learned each part of the process as well as base knowledge in other business fundamentals. This has contributed to the creation and success of his company, Aloo, a socially conscious clothing line.
Although these Broad Spartans come from different backgrounds, there was one common thread among their responses. When asked if they were surprised that the Broad College was so well represented on Forbes’ list, the resounding answer was “absolutely not.”
“The typical Broad student is a go-getter and will work hard to get what they want,” Ahl said.