For someone who has spent her whole Villanova career in White, Mendel, and CEER, walking into the Bartley Exchange for the first time can only be described one way: life-changing. So spending an entire summer within a 50-foot radius of Villanova’s finest watering hole was amazing, to say the least. As a new SBI ambassador, it’s my job to give you a real-world look into the life of an SBI-er, because it’s honestly one of the greatest things that I’ve ever done. Ever. SBI is akin to entering a little Villanova fantasy world with incredible professors, passionate students, and unique academic experiences. But instead of the fantasy bubble popping the moment August 25th rolls around, you’re thrown out back into the real world with so much knowledge. And true, I’ve only been back to Bartley twice since the summer, but that’s exactly the point. I’ve gained all this business knowledge that I can use outside of the business world.
SBI has not only influenced my career plans, but has put them within reach. Pre-SBI, I thought LinkedIn was awkward and asking for favors from my parents’ friends was unprofessional. SBI taught me that power of building a professional online presence and the importance of networking. Additionally, it uncovered all the hidden gems of Villanova’s Career Center like GoNovaJobs and CareerShift. When I interview with engineering firms, they’re more excited to hear about my Competitive Effectiveness project than my engineering research. A lot of engineers have lab experience, but how many can say that they’re competent in creating a promotional strategy and can talk about fiscal policy? Well, not a lot. When it comes down to it, yes, SBI is predominantly academic, but the life skills you will learn are, in my opinion, essential to being professionally successful.
Hands down, my favorite part of SBI was the people that I met. Section 2 (the best section), my CE group (go Time Value Wizards!) and the unmatched VSB professors are what shaped this entire summer for me. From people I barely know helping me grasp concepts to professors holding Saturday night office hours, I’ve honestly made some of the best friends through this incredible program.
If you’re on the fence about SBI, here are my two cents for you: Just do it. If you’re not sure what career you want to go into, you want to spend the summer at Nova, you can’t find an internship, or really anything else, you need SBI. You’ll probably never have a more invigorating and enriching experience. Plus, don’t forget that Bartley’s not the worst place you could be stuck inside.