Undergraduate Programs
Honors Cohort

About The Program

The Business Administration Honors Cohort program is the Fisher College of Business’s preeminent leadership program that is offered to 70 select students with varying business majors.  This diverse group of students participate in a MBA-like experience during their junior and senior year where they are pushed to develop their critical thinking skills, grit, perseverance, resourcefulness, confidence, and the ability to collaborate and innovate.

Honors Cohort Graduation Requirements

Honors Cohort vision:

The Honors Cohort Program will be a program of national prominence with global reach offering an unparalleled undergraduate academic experience. This vision will be achieved by leveraging the scale of The Ohio State University, the depth and breadth of the Fisher College of Business, the vast network of Cohort alumni throughout the world and the active participation of the program’s highly engaged and motivated students, faculty, staff, and partner organizations. No other undergraduate program in the world will offer a more intimate, tailored and holistic approach to developing tomorrow’s leaders.

The Honors Cohort Program focuses on four pillars of success:

  • Open/Close Action-Based Learning

    It is not enough to teach our students through the use of a text book and the age old lecture.   Students in the Cohort Program are active participants in the class room and peer-to-peer learning is of paramount importance.  A variety of approaches are deployed to create a dynamic learning environment.

    • Active company involvement in Cohort courses provides real world experiences by allowing students to consult on current challenges that organizations are facing in today’s competitive environment
    • Two domestic trips during the junior year for all students and one domestic trip during senior year for women.  All trips are fully funded by our generous alumni and friends:
    • Guest speakers who are leaders from around the world consistently attend classes
    • A personal coach/mentor who is a successful alumni from the Cohort Program is assigned to each student
  • Open/Close Service

    Giving back is a core value in the Honors Cohort Program. We fundamentally believe that business can be a force for positive change in the world.  Cohort students will be involved in a signature service project during the program that they will be responsible for developing and executing where the impact will be measured on a local and global level.  See below for a few summary videos of past student projects:

    • The creation of RESUME, a program to help formerly incarcerated citizens successfully return to society
    • The creation of Buckeyes Building Connections, a program to connect Ohio State students to the elderly community
    • The coordination of Fisher Impact Day, a day of service where 500+ students go out in the community to make a positive impact
  • Open/Close Global Business Acumen

    The world is getting smaller and tomorrow’s leaders must have a strong understanding of the macro business environment that we operate in.  With globalization in mind, students in the Cohort Program are exposed to global business models, strategies, and cultures.  While the study of global business is critical, it is not enough to learn about it in the classroom, which is why the signature business trip of the Program during senior year takes students abroad.  The 2022 trip took Cohort seniors to Brazil to become familiar with the impact of politics, culture, and history have had on the business and economic climate in this major emerging market.  They had the opportunity to work on a global consulting project with Movida in partnership with students from several different Brazilian universities.  View the itinerary.

  • Open/Close Leadership & Teamwork

    Students will be involved in a thorough and holistic evaluation of their current leadership skills and will develop an action plan to further leverage strengths while improving weaknesses.  Students are regularly given opportunities to lead in various team projects.  One example of this is through the annual immersive negotiation challenge where students are put through an extensive simulation and forced to make strategic decisions with limited and ambiguous information.

The Cohort Program relies on several key stakeholders to successfully execute the two-year experience:

  • Faculty

    Mi Kyong Newsom

    Mi Kyong Newsom

    Professor Newsom teaches the core operations management course within the Cohort Program during spring semester junior year.  She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Operations & Data Analytics. She rejoined Fisher in 2016 and leads the coordination and implementation of research-based best practices for the undergraduate core operation management courses. Dr. Newsom is the Lean Six Sigma Academic Director in the Executive Education Program where she designs and delivers Lean Six Sigma Hybrid training that successfully prepares executives and managers for the Black Belt Certification.  She also teaches Lean Six Sigma in Fisher’s MBA program that prepares MBA students successfully for the Green Belt Certification. She received Fisher College of Business Teaching Awards, the Student Athlete Advising Board Faculty Recognition and multiple letters of commendation from the Dean for outstanding teaching performance.

    Steffanie Wilk

    Image result for steffanie wilk

    Professor Wilk teaches the core organizational behavior course within the Cohort Program during autumn semester junior year.  Wilk received her PhD from the University of Minnesota and was formerly at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research focuses on worker mobility and workplace boundaries.  Wilk was the recipient of a 2008 and 2014 MBA Teaching Award and a 2010 Undergraduate Teaching Award.  She also received a Pacesetter Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2009.

    Bruce Bellner

    Bruce Bellner

    Professor Bellner teaches the core strategic management course within the Cohort Program during autumn semester senior year.  Prior to teaching, Dr. Bellner enjoyed a career in financial services and commercial banking. Bellner earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Toledo; a Master of Business Administration from Ashland University; and a Master of Science and Doctor of Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.  Bellner was the recipient of the Pacesetter Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2017.

    Ty Shepfer

    Ty Shepfer

    Professor Shepfer teaches the two-year long seminar course that is the cornerstone of the Honors Cohort Program.   He completed a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master's degree in Labor and Human Resources at Ohio State. Prior to returning to Ohio State, Ty worked at Royal Dutch Shell holding various positions in Houston, Texas, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and most recently in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Ty is an alumni of the Honors Cohort Program and was the recipient of the Pacesetter Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2017.
  • Alumni & Friends

    Without the support from alumni and friends of the Cohort Program, we would not be able to offer our students incredible action-based learning experiences.  The Honors Cohort Alumni Advisory Council (HCAAC) was developed in 2016 to help drive the strategic initiatives of the Program.  The Council is comprised of alumni who are spread throughout the country and each member focuses their efforts on one of the following committees:

    • Selection Process: the Cohort Program is only as good as the students who we select.  This committee manages the rigorous selection process for entry into the Program
    • Alumni Engagement and Events: with over 600 alumni spread throughout the world, this committee focuses on keeping our alumni engaged through newsletters, events and much more
    • Onboarding: the Cohort Program takes students offsite for two days prior to the beginning of the academic year.  This committee curates the immersive onboarding experience
    • Mentorship: the Cohort Program leverages their growing alumni base by pairing current students with alumnus who is working in the same industry where the student has aspirations to work. 
    • Student Development: it is critical to keep up with industry trends and developments.  This committee support the curriculum of course courses and provide a lens to industry trends through personal experiences.
    • Fundraising: the Cohort Program relies on personal and company support to offer incredible experiences to our students.  This committee assists with the annual campaign and other fundraising efforts. 
  • Hiring Companies

    Cohort students enjoy a 100% placement rate, earn entry level salaries that are significantly higher than the average Fisher graduate entry level salary and go work for some of the most prestigious firms in the world.  Below are some of the organizations that Cohort students have gone to work at over the past three years:

    • Bain
    • Google
    • Microsoft
    • Goldman Sachs
    • Citi Bank
    • Credit Suisse
    • Deloitte 
    • Ernst & Young
    • Rev1 Ventures
    • UBS
    • PWC
    • PNC
    • JPMorgan Chase
    • KeyBank
    • Vista Equity Partners
    • Evercore
    • Sopris Capital
    • The Urban Institute
    • KPMG
    • Wells Fargo
    • Nationwide
    • Cardinal Health
    • Accenture
    • General Mills
    • Cambridge Associates
    • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
    • Restaurant Brands International
    • Barclays
    • The Ohio State University
    • Western Digital
    • Rockbridge
    • Silicon Valley Bank
    • Huron
    • ITW
    • PolyOne
    • Sutphen
    • Americorps Vista
    • AMEND
    • Kalypso
    • Crowe Health
    • Dimensional
    • McKinsey & Company
    • South Carolina
    • Mustard Seed School