This past weekend, the Forbes Under 30 Summit was held at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. A few students from UM-Dearborn were invited to attend, both as Forbes Scholars and keynote speakers. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

Marta Szkiladz

Senior majoring in Digital Marketing and ISM

On-campus involvement: Alpha Kappa Psi, head of AKPsi IT Committee

“I came into [Forbes] with an open mind. The event was so much greater than I imagined! I couldn’t believe the number of CEO’s, founders, executives and artists that were there. The event was planned so well.”

Marta also said that the summit was a “great networking opportunity,” and her favorite part of the summit was the Startup Hub. She said that she gained knowledge on different industries and now feels more motivated to work harder. Marta was surprised at the number of people that attended that weren’t from Michigan, and she plans on attending again next year.

Devon Callaghan

Senior majoring in Finance

On-campus involvement: Played lacrosse for three years and soccer for two. Alpha Kappa Psi.

Devon said that he wasn’t exactly sure going into the event.

“I was hoping to expand my network and learn about innovations in a variety of industries. I would say that my expectations were definitely met as I was able to meet many impressive professionals at the event. I was also able to learn about startup culture and innovations in key areas that I am interested in. Specifically, I loved hearing from John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, Google’s autonomous car company. Growing up in the Detroit area, I have always had a strong interest in the future of mobility and the technology that is changing the automotive industry. I was extremely excited to meet business professionals and was very happy to learn a lot about new innovations. I was surprised about how many famous executives attended the event. For a business student to be able to learn about their journeys to the top is priceless. I also felt like it was very inspiring to learn about startup companies and how they have grown into sustainable businesses. I am always interested in attending events to expand and grow my knowledge so I will consider attending again next year. I was extremely happy that I was able to attend.”

 Kristina Lee

Senior majoring in Marketing

On-campus involvement: President of the American Marketing Association. Former Director of Advertising for AMA. Alpha Kappa Psi. Administrative Assistant for College of Business Student Services Office. Peer Advisor at START.

“I had very high expectations going into the Forbes Event. The Forbes name holds such a prestigious reputation for business and the list of speakers blew me away. It was an unforgettable experience. I have never been surrounded by so many motivated and inspirational people. The energy at Masonic Temple was incredible. The speakers that specialized in my major allowed me to gain insight into the industry and learn from those who have had such a large impact in the world of marketing. I loved getting the opportunity to be in one place where you can learn, network and have fun with their social events at the end of each night.I think it was really cool that Forbes was able to bring together so many people from all different backgrounds. I came out of the Summit with even more drive to pursue my passions and inspired me to never hold back and create the future that I want. I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to attend with my fellow student and  to have represented the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business. I can’t wait to take what I have learned and implement that into my future.”

Adrian Maloy

Senior majoring in Accounting and Finance and minoring in Economics, Entrepreneurship and Psychology.

On-campus involvement: Alpha Kappa Psi.

“The experience was really fun. I had a chance to connect with all these people that I met during my time in college and it was kind of surreal that we were all in one spot. My favorite part of the summit was the networking. I find it refreshing to have the opportunity to meet new people and to pick their brains on what drives them and the summit gave me that chance. I gained a lot of valuable connects and
I also strengthen some relationships I had made previously. I plan on going again because I am sure they will improve on what was done this year.”

Adrian also thought it was interesting to see an event filled with like-minded professionals singing along to 21 Savage’s explicit lyrics. “It was kind of funny to me,” he said.

Deyala Shammout

Junior majoring in Accounting and Finance

On-campus involvement: Alpha Kappa Psi and Benevolence Project

“I would say my experience… was different than anything I’ve ever done. Just the power of networking and the power of speaking with people really was something that I loved and resonated with. I think Forbes did a great job with bringing people in and making everyone feel comfortable. I really loved how they brought Olivia Munn and Sophia Bush. People, whenever they hear her name, they think, ‘oh, she’s just an actress.’ The fact that they brought people out there like that just to change the narrative and show them that stereotyping like that is not a good thing and that these are actual powerful, independent woman was something that I really love. It’s going to help me push myself to go out there and speak to people and to advocate for myself and be able to do anything that I want to do. I just would like to say that whether you were a scholar or general attendee, Forbes really… made an impact for you to feel comfortable.”

Stephen Zeng

Senior Majoring in Accounting and Finance and minoring in Economics and Psychology.

On-campus involvement: Alpha Kappa Psi

Stephen said he enjoyed meeting and making connections with people from all over the country that he now considers friends.

“I love really connecting with other people because I really believe in the fact that the people that you surround yourself with really shape who you are as a person. And I think I’m super lucky to have met a lot of great people there. They might refer you to a job opening at their company or… whenever you’re visiting their state and you need someone to sort of guide you, they can also do that. So I think there’s a lot of cool benefits of making strong friendships at these conventions.”

Stephen also said that you may not hit it off with every person you meet, and that’s okay. It’s the point that you made the connection in the first place that matters.

Rosa Gonzalez

Senior majoring in Accounting and Finance and minoring in Hispanic Studies

On-campus involvement: President of La Mezcla, Talent Gateway

Rosa said that Forbes put together an “over-the-top” summit in Detroit, and liked that there were lots of different workshops and sessions people could attend. She said that learned a lot about things she had never really thought about before.

“I met a ton of really cool people. That’s got to be one of the biggest things. It was a really great way to meet new people.I learned a lot about the different sessions that they had. There was like a debate that wasn’t something that I personally would have ever gone to, but it was a really great experience thinking about what Serina Williams was saying about the financial abuse, how many women go through financial abuse. I… would’ve never through about it.”


Brianna Bryant

Freshman majoring in Mechanical Engineering

On-campus involvement: National Society of Black Engineers, LEAD Scholars, Society of Women Engineers

Brianna was invited to the summit to speak about her experience on an all-girls robotics team.

Brianna joined Mercy Midnight Storm (an all-girls FIRST Robotics team) as a freshman in high school after her mentor Keysha Camps visited her summer enrichment program looking for girls to form a robotics team. Her best friend encouraged her to join to see what it was about.

“We never knew this was going to lead us to winning so many engineering awards, front page news articles, and a lifetime of friendship. After four years on the team, I have finally graduated and am planning on becoming a mentor just like Keysha Camps. “

After being invited to speak at the Forbes Summit, Brianna is even more motivated to help inspire other girls.

“I honestly did not know what to expect going into this event. I only knew that this was another opportunity to share my story and to inspire more girls to join the STEM field. After my panel discussion, I had so many people come up to me asking questions and telling me how inspired they were.

Being in the presence of Serena Williams, Normani, Quavo and so many more prominent people in our society is truly a blessing. Where I come from, you would only expect to see these people on TV or in magazines, but I got to be recognized at the same event as them.

I was surprised to not see even more young people like me being a guest speaker. There are so many youth changing the world on a big scale. That deserves to be recognized.

I have gained more motivation from this experience to keep working on my nonprofit.

I plan on waiting to attend this event again. I want to build on myself and nonprofit, so I will have even more to bring to the table.  I want to keep pushing the boundaries and expectations of becoming a 30 Under 30 nominee.”