2018 Best & Brightest: Sabiyah Turner, University of Michigan (Ross)

Sabiyah Turner

University of Michigan (Ross)

I am a fun, friendly girl, who lives through her spirit animal, Beyonce!”

Fun fact about yourself: I was a paid actor and worked with a theater company the summer after my freshman year.

Hometown: Detroit, MI

High School: Detroit Edison Public School Academy

Major: Business Administration

Minor: Community, Action, and Social Change

Favorite Business Course: Technology & Operations 411 (Course on Excel) because I really liked my professor and I learned some really useful skills

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • VP of Operations, Black Business Undergraduate Society (BBUS), Jan. 2016 – Jan. 2017
  • President, BBUS, Jan. 2017 – Jan. 2018
  • Founder & Mentor, Next Generation Gems Mentoring Program, Sept. 2015 – Current
  • Volunteer, Prison Creative Arts Project, Sept. 2017 – Current

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Morgan Stanley, NYC, Human Resources Summer Analyst
  • Citigroup, NYC, Markets Summer Analyst

Where will you be working after graduation?

  • Citigroup, NYC, Markets Analyst

Who is your favorite professor? It’s a tie between Mary Hinesly and Amy Angell. Professor Hinesly really pushed me and helped me to enhance my presentation skills in ways that I could not imagine. Professor Angell always made being in class really enjoyable, and is always easy to talk to.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? It was the opportunities that I had to work on consulting projects with real companies.  (i.e. MAP Capstone, Marketing 313 Consumer Behavior, etc.)

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? It is okay to not immediately know what you want to do or to not fully understand what the different areas of business entail, but do not use that as a crutch.  Use your freshman and sophomore year to talk to as many people as possible, participate in any short corporate programs that are available, and really take advantage of that time so you are as prepared as possible when you get to junior year.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Education. I almost committed to Teach For America (TFA) after graduation, but decided against it. I came from a struggling school district, yet still had the opportunity to come to the University of Michigan, so education is very important to me.  I would love to give back to inner-city youth and help them to understand the value and power in education.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The different areas within business.  Had you asked me what business was four years ago, my answer would have probably been something along the lines of entrepreneurship.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? It’s actually a very weird story. I applied to the university thinking I would be a communications major. On the day of my move in, I met a girl who was a junior in the business school. We instantly connected and she reminded me so much of myself. After talking for a while, she told me a bit about her time at Ross, and I realized I wanted to be just like her. From that moment, I was committed to doing everything I could to get into the business school and after continuing to learn more and more about business, I knew that it was the right path for me.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my time as the President of the Black Business Undergraduate Society (BBUS).  During my time as President, my Executive Board and I hosted the largest Diversity Conference Career Fair (an annual BBUS event) in BBUS history, with more students and companies than ever before.  We also increased membership by 40% y/y, the largest one-year increase in history.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? I would make the school more diverse and create more initiatives to foster a more inclusive environment.

Which classmate do you most admire? Kenny Johnson. I’ve always thought that he was so smart and knew more about finance than anyone I knew. He played a big role in my choosing to go into finance and supported me a lot during my recruiting process.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents. Though neither of them graduated from college, they have always pushed and supported me through my college journey. When I was struggling, they were always there to listen and help in the best way they knew how, even when they didn’t understand or couldn’t relate to what I was going through.

What would your theme song be? Beyonce – Run the World (Girls), Flawless and Formation. I can’t just choose one. I am a HUGE Beyonce fan and these songs in particular just always make me feel good about myself. They make me feel like I can do anything. Whenever I’m down or lacking motivation, these are my go-to’s.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Travel to all seven continents. (I have three crossed off so far, including North America)
  • Go sky-diving (Though I think I would chicken out while I’m up there)

Favorite book: Writing my Wrongs – Shaka Senghor

Favorite movie: Gone Girl (Not really, I just can’t think of anything else)

Favorite vacation spot:Cape Town, South Africa

What are your hobbies? Singing & Acting

What made Sabiyah such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

Sabiyah is a professional, confident, determined and successful student. She is a product of Detroit Public Schools who faithfully strives for excellence in all that she does. She was the first student to receive acceptance into a pipeline program, Preparation Initiative (PI), during the Winter term. She made history because she felt the program was exactly what she needed and she worked until she obtained acceptance. From that point, she has not looked back. After being accepted into Ross, she became involved in the Black Business Undergraduate Student (BBUS) Club as a participant, and will now graduate Ross as the president. She led her BBUS e-board team to provide one of the best diversity career fairs attended, DivCo. Sabiyah is also a seminar assistant and mentor in the PI of which many students seek her advice and guidance. Her dedication to diversity, mentoring and leadership is commendable. As she heads to Citi in New York City after graduation, we know that she will continue her path of success with confidence, knowledge, skills and of course perseverance.”

Rhonda Todd
Director of Academic Success, Office of Undergraduate Programs
Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan