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Sapphire Program Hosts Prospective Student Visitation Days

Prospective Penn State students invited to apply to the Smeal College of Business Sapphire Leadership Program, along with their families, attended a visitation day last week to learn more about the college and the leadership program’s opportunities.
March 22, 2013

Prospective Penn State students invited to apply to the Smeal College of Business Sapphire Leadership Program, along with their families, attended a visitation day last week to learn more about the college and the leadership program’s opportunities.

The families heard from faculty and administrators such as Jeff Sharp, associate dean of undergraduate education, and Bob Novack, Sapphire faculty adviser, as well as students on Sapphire’s executive board. They also heard presentations on Smeal’s career services, study abroad opportunities, and the Nittany Lion Fund—a student-managed investment fund with $5 million in investor assets.

While on campus, the students and their families toured the Business Building as well as the Business and Society House (BASH), a special living option for students interested in business.

According to Greg Merrick, vice president of marketing for Sapphire and a sophomore Finance major, nine families attended the visitation day. Another visitation day is scheduled for next month.

The Sapphire Leadership Program is designed for high-achieving students in Smeal who want to enhance their experience through networking events, community service initiatives, and leadership development opportunities.

“Sapphire is a co-curricular business program that focuses on building business and leadership skills,” explained Merrick.

Sapphire students take exclusive courses taught by Sapphire faculty and staff advisers, have special access to professional development and recruitment opportunities, and complete a self-directed, multi-semester leadership project.

“This is a unique program that stands out on resumes,” said Merrick on why students find the program appealing. “Recruiters recognize it as a badge of excellence.”

Merrick said his own Sapphire visitation day experience inspired him to apply to the program.

“When I came to my own visitation day, I knew Sapphire was something I really wanted to be a part of,” Merrick said. “And the program has grown even more since then.”

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