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Local

DeKalb graduate to participate in Fulbright summer program

U of I student hopes opportunity will improve his leadership skills

Michael Mitchell, a DeKalb High School graduate who starts his second year at the University of Illinois in the fall, has been selected as one of 60 American students accepted into the Fulbright UK Summer Institutes.
Michael Mitchell, a DeKalb High School graduate who starts his second year at the University of Illinois in the fall, has been selected as one of 60 American students accepted into the Fulbright UK Summer Institutes.

DeKALB – Michael Mitchell, a freshman at the University of Illinois and 2017 DeKalb High School graduate, said technology in business is on the rise, and the need to communicate across different cultures is a critical asset.

Because of this, Mitchell said he’s grateful to have been accepted into a three-week summer program in the United Kingdom through the US-UK Fulbright Commission. He’s one of 60 American students to have received this unique opportunity to live and learn in an international context.

“It’s now more important than ever to know how businesses operate outside of the U.S.,” Mitchell said. “Understanding how it all fits together is definitely something I want to get exposed to in this program.”

The program will include courses, seminars, lectures and study tours around London, including at the University of Westminster.

Mitchell said the application process was rigorous and included several essay components focusing on how he exemplified leadership in high school and college, how he is committed to academic excellence and which socials issues he cares about.

Mitchell said what he thought made him stand out was his heavy involvement in local youth engagement organizations, such as the DeKalb County Community Foundation’s Youth Engaged in Philanthropy and the Youth Advisory Council for the 70th Illinois Legislative District. He thanked the support of his parents, who have always stressed a commitment to academic excellence and being a good person throughout life.

Mitchell recently returned from a trip to South America through one of his honors programs to improve his intercultural communication skills.

“This was one of the largest steps I ever took to improve my intercultural communication,” Mitchell said. “It’s not something you get the opportunity to do every day.”

Mitchell is pursuing a business degree in the Gies College of Business as a member of the Business Honors Program and James Scholar Honors Program. After graduation, Mitchell hopes to work for one of the Big Three management consultancies: McKinsey and Co., Boston Consulting Group or Bain and Co. He then would like to work for an expanding company before going back to school for his MBA.

For the latter part of his career, Mitchell said he hopes to work on a sustainability initiative, such as access to clean water.

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