Motivational Monday: Taking the Plunge


“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby 


Fear can stop us in our tracks. When the going gets tough and the task seems overwhelming, fear may convince us to give up. Even worse, fear can stop us from starting at all; it has a way of turning us into six-year-olds trying to jump into the deep end of a swimming pool. We may make our way to the end of the diving board, and we might even curl our toes around the edge, but somehow we never get around to jumping.

That’s why your desire needs to be stronger than your fear. Find something you want to succeed at badly enough and go after it; you’ll find that you have the courage to jump off the diving board. You’ll have to keep swimming once you hit the water, but you won’t even get that far unless you take the plunge.

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Fast Five With Taylor Hamilton


Taylor Hamilton (SBI 2012), Graduated Villanova University in 2013 with a major in History and minors in Business and Japanese. 

What have you been up to since graduating SBI? 

Since graduating from SBI and Villanova, I was accepted into the Teach For America program and am now a Secondary Mathematics Teacher and Football Coach back in Hawaii.

How has your SBI experience helped you since graduating? 

SBI has really helped me to step up my professional game in the real world now. It was so valuable for me to hone these foundational business and professional skills. Out of all the classes I took at Villanova, my SBI classes are truly the most memorable and applicable classes I have taken.

What was the most helpful thing you learned in Professional Success? 

This might sound ridiculous but the most helpful tool I learned from Professional Success was dress code and attire. Being from Hawaii, our culture does not stress proper attire in the business world as in the Northeast, and it was a valuable trait for me to understand the attire and how you need to present yourself physically when stepping into an interview or day by day at work.

What was your favorite class in SBI? 

My favorite course was definitely Competitive Effectiveness. Dr. Arvanites and Dr. Kees gave me so much insight into management and marketing and I especially been able to apply the management skills I learned into my current job as a Secondary Mathematics Teacher.

Taylor Hamilton

How do you plan to use your business education in the future?

I plan to use my business education in the current field I am in, which is secondary education. My vision is the be an effective administrator someday, and the skills I honed from SBI are helping me to be organized, efficient, and to become a leader in the field and to one day achieve that dream.

Professor Ward Utter Brings Marketing, Management Experience to SBI


Before he began teaching, Professor Ward Utter spent years doing marketing work for the food industry, where he worked for firms such as Chef America (the maker of Hot Pockets) and Mrs. Field’s Cookies. The industry was a good fit for him, as he enjoyed addressing product choices that consumers make on a daily basis; “It’s more relatable for me,” Professor Utter says, “I’m very food motivated.” After working at Mrs. Field’s cookies, Professor Utter became a Senior Vice President at,  a service intended to streamline the process of changing addresses with utilities and other services when a customer moves. The transition across industries was difficult to make, but Professor Utter enjoyed the challenge of making decisions that impacted the entire organization. He credits the position for giving him the most valuable management experience of his career.


Professor Utter relies upon his background in marketing and management when teaching Competitive Effectiveness (CE) to Summer Business Institute students. He believes that students benefit from the mix of academic and corporate experience that he and the rest of the SBI faculty offers.  While Competitive Effectiveness combines marketing and management into one course, Professor Utter notes that the management lessons students learn are applicable to any field, “everybody uses management principles along the way–everyone does.”

One of the key lessons that Professor Utter hopes to confer through CE is the importance of teamwork, a lesson that is part and parcel of management. He notes that working in a team can help a student better understand their individual abilities, and that the ability to work as a part of a team is a critical skill for those entering the modern workforce. As such, he advises SBI students not to be shy about getting to know their CE teammates, their classmates, and their professors. He also suggests that students have fun and think creatively when tackling the problems presented to them.

Professor Utter sees SBI as an environment that is particularly conducive to multidisciplinary thinking. To Professor Utter, the “magic of SBI” is how students from different backgrounds and with different career goals combine their diverse ways of thinking to attack a problem. He enjoys seeing what students from the different schools and majors can accomplish when they are placed on the same team for their CE capstone project. All in all, Professor Utter enjoys teaching SBI enough for him to return for what will be his fourth season, “It’s a unique opportunity and I’m glad it’s available.”

Ambassador Profile: Jiyoung Chun


Hi, I’m Jiyoung Chun and I am currently a Junior Biochemistry major with a Business and Art History Minor.  Here, I’ll be sharing some friendly insight about SBI.

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What is the first reaction when my peers hear “I did SBI over the summer!”? The reaction usually goes a little something like this… “Wow, 10 weeks? How did you do that? Wasn’t it difficult? I give you a lot of credit.” Although SBI was very challenging because I had never taken a business course in my life before, there have been many benefits that have come from finishing the program.

I wouldn’t fret too much about whether or not you are going to pass the courses. SBI does a great job to give students a well-rounded idea about business during the first course called “Business Fundamentals.” Throughout the ten weeks, I developed great friendships with both my classmates and professors, as we worked together to thoroughly understand the material introduced in all of the courses. In the end, not only did I come out of the program with a complete understanding of business fundamentals, but I was also able to further pursue my interest in Business by applying to become one of the Marketing Interns for the Summer Business Institute. I enjoy working for SBI and would love to talk to anyone who has any personal questions about the program.

Interested in contacting Jiyoung?  Email:

Motivational Monday: Try Something New for 30 Days


TED fellow, Matt Cutts has a common sense approach to personal development; try something new for 30 days. A month isn’t necessarily enough time to become proficient at a skill, let alone master it, but it’s enough time to start establishing a new habit and to decide if the skill is really worth pursuing. Start jogging, study a new language, or take up the tuba; just find something that you want to do and do it. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you step outside of your comfort zone

Fast Five with Dan Suskevich


Dan Suskevich (SBI 2013, Villanova 2015) is a Computer Science major pursuing minors in Criminology and Honors.

What was your favorite course in SBI and why? 

Professional Success helped me a lot with how to shape up my resume, and surviving networking situations and interviews but I think CE was my favorite course. It challenged me to solve a problem without a necessarily correct answer, but a really good one. Working with a team with very diverse academic backgrounds helped us approach the final project from all angles, and in interviews companies have loved hearing about our project and how we worked in a group setting.  

What’s the most helpful thing you learned in Professional Success? 

It was probably the advice I gained from the interview assignment. I interviewed a software engineer at Google who gave me very valuable advice for shaping up my technical resume and landing a great internship in the technology industry! 

What was the most challenging part of SBI for you, and how did you overcome that challenge? 

The most challenging part of SBI was probably CE. It required a lot of work and made my team think in ways we never had to before and be innovative, but I think that it also brought us together to come up with a great final proposal.


As part of his CE project, Dan visited the Philadelphia showroom of Knoll, Inc., a furniture manufacturer that emphasizes modern design. For the summer 2013 CE project, students prepared a plan to help Knoll penetrate the higher education market.

How do you plan to use your business education in the future?

I plan to use my business education to help me find an internship where I can use my Computer Science background while working for a major company. Though I may not be directly doing accounting or finance, SBI helped me look at situations with a new paradigm, which has been very useful in my career so far, and will continue to be a major asset in the future. 

How would you sum up your SBI experience in one sentence? 

SBI is a large commitment, and is challenging at times; if you put in the effort, the potential rewards are amazing.