Nov 02, 2022 By Garrett Stolz | Business
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Business welcomed 31 first-year students — including computer science major Arjun Ramesh — into the Inclusive Business Leaders Program this fall.
The program strives to make business more inclusive for all by developing leaders focused on inclusion. The newest cohort takes a course together and receives formal mentoring, hands-on learning opportunities and student support services.
In the Inclusive Business Leaders course (BSAD 191), students learn about diversity, equity and inclusion through theory, group projects and discussions. In the spring, students will research an inequitable business practice and present their findings and potential solution for their capstone project.
“The IBL program is both curricular and co-curricular,” said Kasey Linde, associate director of the Teaching and Learning Center and program coordinator for Inclusive Business Leaders. “The IBL-specific course is uniquely designed to weave theoretical frameworks on diversity and inclusion with application-based activities to prepare students to implement DEI best practices in their personal and professional lives. Additionally, students benefit from participating in team-building activities, social events, networking events and peer mentoring.”
Inclusive Business Leaders receive a $2,000 scholarship in their first year and customized learning opportunities. The program also provides academic and career support to ensure student success.
“Students benefit from the opportunities and resources available in the program because it provides them with a support system that is crucial to their success as they transition from high school into college,” said Edgar Montoya, Inclusive Business Leaders and diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator. “The program’s curriculum helps prepare them to be more inclusive business leaders, not only at the College of Business, but in life beyond graduation.”
The students can also participate in case competitions, visit various local businesses and work on community service projects. For students like Corey Nguyen, a sophomore marketing major from Carol Stream, Illinois, the program helped teach him more about himself and how he can help make the university a more inclusive environment.
“The IBL program pushed me to be the most inclusive I can be,” said Nguyen, who now serves as a student mentor to the new cohort. “It offered ways for me to interact with my community while also learning about groups on campus that I might have had no clue about.”
Inclusive Business Leaders students can stay involved as paid peer mentors during their second year. Mentors serve a key role in the program, helping integrate new students into the college and onto campus through peer-to-peer relationships.
“Mentors have expanded responsibilities within the classroom, such as leading discussions, providing feedback to students and deciding how to present topics in class,” Linde said. “Outside of class, they are meeting with their mentees, planning social and professional development opportunities and connecting students to campus resources.”
This year, the program expanded to include a new student organization called Leaders in Equity and Diversity (LEAD). Open to all students, the organization will provide the chance for students to learn about inclusivity in the workplace and benefit from some of the information Inclusive Business Leaders students receive as part of their program.
“Being inclusive could seem frightening at first, but this program has given us the opportunities and tools for us to succeed,” Nguyen said. “I love seeing this program grow, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.”
Students apply to the program when applying to the university. To be considered for the fall 2023 cohort, apply by the program’s priority deadline of Feb. 1. The final deadline is March 1. To learn more about the Inclusive Business Leaders Program and its application requirements, click here.
View the full list of selected students in Nebraska Today.