Student Testimonials

Read testimonials from current Penn State Sapphire students

Portrait of Brandon Huey.

Brandon Huey – Class of 2021, Finance 

“At Penn State, I’m involved in various professional organizations such as the Sapphire Leadership Academic Program, Wall Street Boot Camp, and Leveraged Lion Capital. Aside from that, I was on the Varsity Fencing Team and a member of Phi Beta Lambda. Sapphire gave me the opportunity to get involved with the Smeal community, develop a strong network, and learn useful business skills outside of my major. This program not only puts a strong emphasis on being a leader, but it provides you with the skillset to do so through dedicated-Sapphire specific courses offered in small class sizes. I was on the 2019 Sapphire Leadership Team as the Communications Captain and it gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in the classroom and further develop my leadership style. There is no other program like Sapphire that prepares you for your career, combined with in-class and application-based learning of being a professional leader in the business world.”


Portrait of Lexi Lauser.

Lexi Lauser – Class of 2021, Finance 

“Through Sapphire’s ability to provide smaller class sizes, I was able to create meaningful relationships with both my peers and my professors. While connecting with your Sapphire professors, you can create a network of people for things you may be interested in, in order to begin to develop your career while at Penn State. Dr. Gus Colangelo was one of those Sapphire professors and with him, I was able to join a group of fellow Sapphires as well as other students to consult for companies. Through this opportunity, I have re-designed Raytheon’s on-boarding process for their computer software branches, analyzed the culture of First Citizen’s Community Bank, and created many other recommendations for various companies. I was able to leverage these opportunities (from Sapphire) and my skills, to join Deloitte as a Consulting Strategy & Operations Intern, and now, as an incoming Analyst.”


Portrait of Ana Sparages.

Ana Sparages – Class of 2023, Supply Chain and Information Systems 

 Sapphire has greatly affected my Penn State experience and allowed me to grow overall as a student. The bi-weekly and general body meetings were beneficial in providing me with knowledge on various business topics and introduced me to being a business student. Through these, I learned how to do everything from maneuvering around career fairs and talking to recruiters, to perfecting my resume. Being able to communicate with upperclassmen Sapphires was extremely valuable in my professional development. I know they are always there to help when needed. Getting to know my cohort created friendships and is full of peers I know I can look to for help. Sapphire has overall allowed me a special and rewarding first year at Penn State!”


Portrait of Michael Mitole.

Michael Mitole – Class of 2023, Finance 

 “I am grateful for this program because it has given me friends and mentors that challenge me in every domain: professional development, academic excellence, community service, and personal growth. During my freshman year I won 4 case competitions (PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, Happy Valley Capital) on a team with my Sapphire friends. Our success was a consequence of being championed by older Sapphires (who knew the ropes of case competitions) that wanted to impart their knowledge to us. 

Here’s my biggest advice to all incoming/prospective Sapphire students: It’s hard to fathom how much of you is a product of the people you’re around & the people who invest in you. To the degree that you can, get around the right people & position yourself to be mentored by people you look up to and want to be.  Sapphire is an environment that contained all of that for me: the right people to challenge me & the best mentors to mold me.” 


Portrait of Adam Mrozowski.

Adam Mrozowski – Class of 2022, Masters of Accounting Program (MAcc) 

“Sapphire has given me countless opportunities to enhance my professionalism and taught me how to properly interact with recruiters, as I begin my search for jobs/internships. Throughout this process I have met many driven students and friends in Sapphire who have similar career aspirations as me. In addition to Sapphire, I am involved with the OPPerations committee in THON. I am a Recruiting Intern for the Penn State Football team and am a Lion Ambassador.”


Portrait of Caitlin Ramage.

Caitlin Ramage – Class of 2023, Marketing with a minor in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management 

“Smeal’s Sapphire program has had such a positive effect on my Penn State experience. Not only has Sapphire provided me with a close-knit cohort of 50 other business students, it has also provided me the tools to succeed across campus and outside of school with professional companies. Penn State is a large school, but Sapphire made Penn State, and even Smeal, a little smaller and more personal. Along with Sapphire, I️ am involved with the Penn State Sports Business Club, Smeal Student Mentors, Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society, and I️ will be interning with Penn State Athletics Marketing department for the fall semester.” 


Portrait of Nate Brodsky.

Nate Brodsky – Class of 2021, Finance 

“Sapphire has played a big role in my success as a leader at Penn State and in general. The specialized courses I’ve taken as a Sapphire have helped me apply leadership skills learned in the classroom to everyday life. The lessons I have learned allowed me to think outside the box and it has truly changed the way I perceive life and leadership. It is through Sapphire that I honed strong leadership capabilities such as change management, servant leadership, and building meaningful relationships. I have served previously as the President of my fraternity chapter, Acacia, and plan to finish my term as Penn State IFC President at the end of this upcoming semester.”


Portrait of Abigail Hammell.

Abigail Hammell – Class of 2022, Supply Chain and Information Systems 

 “On campus, aside from being a member of Sapphire, I am a Saxbys Brand Ambassador and work part-time in the Dining Commons. Saxbys is the student-run café chain that is located in the Business Building. Being able to do brand work for them gives me an opportunity to utilize my interest in photography and be creative, while also building a relationship with their company. I am also a part of the Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals, a professional development club. Lastly, I have been interning for Kimberly Clark over the last 7 months and can confidently say that Sapphire was a contributor to having this amazing opportunity. Having Sapphire Leadership Academic Program on my resume stands out, and Sapphire professional development and leadership events throughout the year prepared me for the career fair and interview settings very well.”