Circle of Excellence

Group photo of Circle of Excellence students outside Lindner Hall

A selective distinction based on IMPACT

The University of Cincinnati’s Circle of Excellence program was founded in 2014 and provides an inimitable university honors experience centered on impact. Our unique service-oriented leadership development program promises to cultivate well-rounded business professionals who are positioned to make a positive impact on the world. This will be accomplished by providing students with opportunities for character development, grounding in ethical principles, appreciation of diversity and inclusion, understanding of corporate social responsibility, development of an expansive global viewpoint, and cultivating a desire to improve their communities.



Student testimonials

Natalie Kokoska

Natalie Kokoska and five other CoE students pose with a Bearcat C-Paw flag on a beach near Nantes, France

“This past semester, I studied abroad in Nantes, France, with five of my best friends, all of whom I met through the Circle of Excellence program. I had an amazing time exploring the city of Nantes, learning about European business practices, meeting new students from around the world, and traveling to six total countries on weekends and holidays. Thanks to CoE and Lindner International, I was supplied with scholarships and information for the trip, so I felt comfortable and ready to handle a semester abroad by myself. I had the experience of a lifetime, and hope I'm able to travel abroad again someday! ”

Paige Marshall

Paige Marshall standing aside a GE logo with "GE Appliances, a Haier company" tagline

"Circle of Excellence helped me find a group of like-minded individuals with similar career goals, where we constantly inspire and encourage one another to apply for the long-shot internship, go on the study abroad trip, or take on that new leadership role. CoE scholars give each other a place of comfort, reassurance, and opportunities through networking or just chatting in between classes. There is no right or wrong way to be a Circle of Excellence scholar; you just have to be yourself and COE will help you learn, define, and succeed at your goals.

"Through CoE, I have been able to participate in a number of Lindner Professional Experiences (LPE), most recently with a co-op at GE Appliances in Louisville, Kentucky. Without COE and the resources at the college of business, I would have never had the confidence or opportunity to work for such a household name. At GEA, I was a Global Technology IT Intern, and immediately was given my own project to execute completely and totally on my own. I was responsible for relocating twenty license server applications from on-premises servers to virtual AWS machines. This was my first experience as a project manager in a real corporate environment, and it involved many internal and external communications, as well as learning new technological skills on the fly. It was a challenge, but one that I was happy to take on. Since leaving, I was motivated to continue my drive for project management and add on a Management minor to my IS degree, and focus on finding more IT analyst, consulting, and management jobs in my future LPEs.”

Abby Stephens

Abby Stephens headshot

“The Circle of Excellence business honors program has completely transformed my academic career and encouraged me to become not just a better student, but a better overall person. With service as a goal of our program, I have seen the benefits of understanding the world of business from both a for-profit and non-profit perspective. My eyes have been opened to a plethora of opportunities including studying abroad, joining the Circle of Excellence executive team, and networking with business professionals from all over. Overall, I have grown as a student, volunteer, and person in an incredibly positive way, and I owe it to the Circle of Excellence honors program.”

Andrew Syx

Andrew Syx headshot

“I love the flexibility that the Circle of Excellence program allows when it comes to my academic and professional experience at UC. I have been able to pick and choose when to do my internships as well as choose my course load for both of my majors. CoE also has shown me how important it is to make an impact both inside and outside the classroom. CoE makes it easy to help students find their own individual area where they can make an impact, and creates opportunities for all of us to become better business professionals.”

John Trygier

John Trygier at TEDxUCincinnati

“The Circle of Excellence business honors program is the most important aspect of my resume, and participation in the program has allowed me to develop myself holistically. I consider myself very lucky to have found myself in the CoE community, and what has always struck me about my experience is the hunger that I see and feel from the program, especially when it comes to our members bettering ourselves. Circle of Excellence has introduced me to a community that has allowed me to develop my dedication and humility, and I truly believe that I have learned more about myself and the world from my CoE experience than from any class. I find myself now a more curious person, driven by a desire to know more, and always searching for a deeper answer than the one given to me. I can't thank CoE enough for helping me become the person I am today.”

Olivia White

Olivia White stands in front of a sign reading "Fidelity Investments: Helping people achieve greater financial success"

“During my senior year of high school, I was so conflicted on where to attend college due to all the wonderful programs each university offered. When I was offered admission to the Circle of Excellence program at the Lindner College of Business, I immediately knew I wanted to attend the University of Cincinnati. The individuals I spoke to during events prior to my decision were nothing but inspiring. I wanted to surround myself with people who had the qualities I wanted to strengthen, because the people you surround yourself with, you become. The CoE community pushed me to become more involved in the community from the start of my collegiate career. This push helped me to become a leader in various ways at the University of Cincinnati. The support I received from the community has led me to make some of my best friends, develop my professional career and build my personal brand.”

Contact us

Headshot of Melissa Newman

Melissa Newman

Director, Circle of Excellence