Consortium Membership, Springworks Scholars Expand MBA Diversity

An even more diverse group of Berkeley MBA students will hone their leadership skills at Haas this year, thanks to the school rejoining the Graduate Consortium for Study in Management and three Springworks Scholars in the entering class.

This year’s entering full-time MBA class was the first to apply to Berkeley-Haas since the school re-entered The Consortium in March 2010. Applications from under-represented minorities for the class of 2013 jumped 44 percent and the percentage of under-represented minorities enrolled nearly doubled to 9.6 percent of the class—the highest percentage in recent years.

 The entering Berkeley-Haas Consortium class, pictured with Haas staff at the program’s summer orientation.
The entering Berkeley Haas Consortium class, pictured with Haas staff at the program’s summer orientation.

The Consortium is an alliance of top U.S. business schools and corporations aimed at fostering diversity among graduate business students and corporate leaders.

Berkeley-Haas withdrew from The Consortium in 2003 after 10 years of membership because of California Proposition 209, which prohibits public institutions from participating in programs that give preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.

The school rejoined after The Consortium expanded its mission to include awarding fellowships to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who demonstrate a commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in U.S. business schools and companies.

Stephanie Fujii, executive director of full-time MBA admissions says the school has seen “tremendous results” in the first admissions cycle since renewed membership.

“Being part of this organization reinforces how important diversity is to Berkeley-Haas,” she says. “We develop leaders who redefine business; and so we must have students who reflect the diversity in the business world today, and we must create an environment that fosters diversity of thought.”

The entering Berkeley-Haas Consortium class (pictured at bottom with Haas staff at the program’s summer orientation) includes three members serving as liaisons to The Consortium: Amara Aigbedion, Samir Das, and Benny Du, all MBA 13.

Aigbedion (left) was attracted by The Consortium’s fellowship opportunities, the summer career conference prior to the first year of study, and a common application that allows prospective students to apply to up to six top business programs. “The opportunity to be a part of this network of talented, like-minded, and genuinely warm-hearted people has value beyond measure,” adds Aigbedion. Aigbedion and the other liaisons will represent the Berkeley MBA Program to prospective students.

Du (right) learned of The Consortium while mentoring underprivileged high school students in Los Angeles as a Riordan Fellow, teaching them the importance of financial literacy and business leadership. Du says he appreciates that he got to know his Consortium classmates very well before they all set foot on campus. As a liaison, he looks forward to “ensuring that the entire Haas community plays a key role in advancing The Consortium’s mission.”

Berkeley-Haas also welcomed three Springworks Scholars this year, tying with Kellogg for the most Scholars at any graduate business school: Alia Al Kasmi, Christina Chang, and Sherry Chen, all MBA 13. They join Scholar Jesse Tejeda, MBA 12.

San Francisco-based Springworks focuses on creating pathways for under-targeted groups to have a greater role in the innovation community. Springworks honors exceptional business school students as Scholars and provides them with additional support in the form of a speaker series, coaching on how to make the most of business school, and guidance on a thesis or capstone project.

Read about the Haas School’s Diversity Plan