Samford University’s elite Brock Scholars program, housed in Brock School of Business, empowers high-achieving business students to enhance and customize their education. Launched in 2009, the program allows students to create their own unique curriculum.
Working closely with Brock School of Business faculty and in line with the student's academic goals and career aspirations, Brock Scholars complete a core of business courses combined with courses from across the university to craft a personalized curricular experience.
The 2018-2019 Brock Scholars are hard at work to complete impressive academic internships while still undergoing a full student workload.
Sophomore Brock Scholars include Sara Bartlett, Hannah Alexander, Cooper Christian, Sam Katulich, Julia Sisk and Tanner Thompson. Bartlett is interning for Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and Christian is interning with Syntropy Group. Alexander is interning at Momentum, Alabama’s premier women’s leadership program which empowers women to develop leadership skills to impact business, culture and politics in our state.
Katulich is working at Vintage Sports, an ecommerce company that sells vintage sports apparel and memorabilia. “Brock scholars has truly provided an environment where I am challenged on a daily level,” he said.
Sisk is working with the United Way of Central Alabama. As a tax intern, she produces tax returns for Birmingham citizens who make $40,000 or less. “There is no other program that allows students to explore their interests as deeply as Brock Scholars,” she said.
Thompson is interning at Christian Service Mission where he works on things such as cost tracking and employee procedure documentation. “I have had the opportunity to see how the organization functions behind the scenes,” he said. “Brock Scholars has given me the opportunity to truly diversify my major and study multiple disciplines in order to prepare me for my future career.”
As a junior, Abbey Robertson is interning with EGS Commercial Real Estate helping with market research and other projects. Robertson plans to work in community development, whether that be a commercial real estate firm, or a company that does nonprofit community-oriented work with a self-sustaining for-profit model. She is also participating in an Oxbridge Tutorial to prepare for her senior research that she anticipates being on a topic surrounding the urban economics and economic development, particularly in Birmingham. “Brock Scholars has provided me with a platform from which I gained confidence to really jump into learning about areas that I am interested in and the curriculum flexibility to discover my unique talents and passions by trial and error,” Robertson shared.
Junior Jacob Evans plans to pursue a career in investments after graduating from Samford and earning his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. This semester, Evans is interning at Highland Associates Inc., an institutional investment firm, in Birmingham. During his internship hours, Evans spends time working on projects in capital market forecasts as well as alternative investment data analysis. Last semester, Evans had the opportunity to complete an internship at Lloyd’s of London. “Brock Scholars has provided me with the connections and resources to help build on my education outside of the classroom. It has also provided me flexibility in curriculum to focus on the classes that interest me,” he said.
Seniors Kayleigh Hudson, Olivia Jarvis, Peyton Welch and Meagan Kennedy are working on their senior honors theses in addition to their spring semester internships.
Following a summer 2018 internship with Compassion International in Colorado Springs, Colorado, senior Kayleigh Hudson continues to work for the organization on a part-time basis. She works as a research analyst on the experience design and innovations team, which bridges a variety of disciplines into creating a consistent experience for each of the company’s stakeholders. Hudson’s senior thesis focuses on experience design and its implications for the nonprofit sector. Following graduations, Hudson will apply for a full-time position with the Compassion innovations team as an experience design strategic specialist.
Hudson commented, “In all honesty, the Brock Scholars program transformed my professional trajectory. It incentivized my innate curiosity by giving me access to faculty, resources, funding and travel opportunities to help me better understand the world. It has also provided an incredible network of fellow students, alumni and faculty that I believe will benefit me for the rest of my life. I would not be at the place I am today without the program.”
Peyton Welch is currently participating in two internships which are both registered for class credit. He works at Wildsparq, an online platform that provides user-friendly and gamified leadership training to employees at all levels of an organization, and for Vintage Sports. There, Welch works directly with the general manager, Brock Fogle, who is a 2018 graduate of the program. Additionally, Welch is working on his senior thesis about prison systems. He is using data from the Census of Adult Correctional Facilities to determine if programs like educational classes, counseling, or other initiatives have any effects on facility outcomes such as suicides, homicides, attempted escapes and assaults.
Welch added, “The program has changed my life in every sense of the phrase. It has offered me funding to pursue incredible opportunities, the flexibility to take intriguing classes, and the connection to faculty and other influencers that can speak wisdom and direction into my life. It truly has been the most enriching part of my collegiate experience.”
Kennedy is concentrating on her senior thesis focusing on church leadership transitions. She commented, “The Brock Scholars program has been one of the most defining elements of my Samford career. This program helped me accomplish all of my goals here at Samford. The ability to study a variety of different fields, and then watch them overlap in the workplace throughout my time in the program has been invaluable. I can confidently say this program has impacted me for the best!”