As the world of business becomes increasingly global, we recognize it is also becoming increasingly diverse.
Through our values at the School of Management, we strive to provide a vibrant and diverse community that is inclusive and compassionate. We believe all students should have access to a quality education, regardless of means.
The school’s Diversity and Inclusion Fund addresses the unique barriers and challenges facing our minority students. Gifts to the fund provide critical support in a variety of ways.
Scholarships can remove the largest barrier blocking the path of a well-qualified student aspiring to a career in management. We can successfully achieve our diversity and inclusion mission by providing tuition assistance to financially challenged students, many of whom are underrepresented. Increasing the pool of funds available to these students will open doors of opportunity that may have otherwise remained closed.
While some students have the luxury of repeating courses over the summer for better academic standing, many cannot afford to do so. This disadvantage often leads financially stressed students to suspend studies or leave the school or program altogether. Access to scholarship funds for the summer semester would be a welcome relief for these students and would help us retain them at the School of Management.
School of Management students are expected to dress professionally for class presentations, interviews, competitions and events with executive alumni. This can present a financial hurdle for some students. Providing financial support to purchase proper attire will help students make a favorable impression and prepare them to compete for internships and, ultimately, professional positions.
Participation in educational competitions provides an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their skills and be challenged in their program. Regional and national minority and diversity conferences often include case competitions in their activities. But competitions are an additional expense, with registration, travel costs and other fees that students may not be able to afford. Creating a minority component to the existing WOW Fund in the Career Resource Center would provide funding to make participation more affordable.
In 2019, with the help of student clubs and employers, School of Management students created the Linking Leaders conference to connect students of color with alumni and professionals to discuss career preparation and opportunities to enhance representation in the workplace. Professional development and career-focused programs such as this need resources and dedicated support to ensure sustainability year after year.
Though the School of Management actively recruits from national underrepresented minority organizations, our student participation in them is low, due to costly membership fees or dues. Monetary support would give students access to such esteemed organizations as National Black MBA Association, Prospanica, Forté and Reaching Out MBA.
Membership in school-based and national professional clubs and organizations is an essential piece of the School of Management experience, and an expectation of many employers and industries. Additionally, student organizations and clubs foster engagement in our school and provide underrepresented minorities with a sense of community and belonging.
Partnering with local nonprofits focused on diversity and inclusion issues is highly beneficial for our student clubs. But as our students graduate and our partners’ staff changes, such alliances can be difficult to sustain. Your gift would provide the dedicated resources necessary to strengthen this important initiative.
Regardless of their indisputable benefit, participating in extracurricular programs is out of reach for many students due to finances. Increased support for our Global Programs Fund would give these students the opportunity to travel globally to gain an international business and cultural perspective or travel within the U.S. through the Experience the 50 program.