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School Hosts UC Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders
MBA Prep Program Stresses Business Skills and Giving Back

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Amber Quinney’s first visit to California was a whirlwind, an intensive two-week summer immersion in business and leadership at the Graduate School of Management, coupled with a community service project in Sacramento and treks to San Francisco and the high-tech hub of Silicon Valley.

Quinney, a freshman at Howard University, joined 53 fellow undergraduates from historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions from across the country at the Graduate School of Management in August. They honed their skills at The University of California Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders (SIEML).

Networking with business professionals and my peers and making those lasting connections and finding out what those minority groups are doing at their schools has been invaluable,” said Quinney on the last day of the institute as students awaited the results of a culminating team case study competition sponsored by Deloitte.

SIEML is a collaboration of UC’s six business schools, offering undergraduates the chance to learn the principles of business development, entrepreneurship, and other key management skills. For two consecutive summers, students learn from internationally renowned faculty, take part in hands-on workshops, and develop valuable connections with high-profile industry leaders and their peers.

Other sponsors of the program included Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente, and the students has the opportunity to hear from Kaiser Permanente President and CEO Bernard Tyson.

Diversity is a source of strength and entrepreneurial growth. Embracing diverse backgrounds, thoughts, and perspectives is critical to succeed in today’s global economy,” said Steven Currall, dean of the Graduate School of Management.  “The institute for undergraduate students will help develop the next generation of leaders who can help use their talents to drive innovation.”

The program, which is in its third year, rotates through the UC business schools. Students are provided an all-expense-paid fellowship for the institute. The program is open to first-year undergraduate students from historically black colleges and institutes (HBCUs) and from Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) who are interested in business.

Douglas Bowen, a freshman from Morehouse College, speaks eloquently and intelligently about the stock market and finance. He said his plan was to go straight to Wall Street when he graduates, but after attending the institute he now sees the advantages of earning an MBA to accelerate his career.

This has exposed me to the value of an MBA and opening up more options for me in the future,” Bowen said.

This year’s institute at UC Davis ran from August 3 to August 16, with 24 returning and 30 new students. The institute focused on innovation and how it impacts every area of business. UC Davis held sessions on marketing, etiquette, and ethics along with visits to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and a community service project at the Sacramento Gleaners, a non-profit that provides food for needy individuals and families.

In business, too often you get too focused on product and profits, and you forget the need to give back and for community service,” said Quinney. “It was a humbling experience to package a box of food for a family who doesn’t have enough. I loved that I had a hand in helping a family.”

The business schools’ investment in the institute illustrates their commitment to build a diverse student pipeline, said Alex Garner, a Hampton University junior majoring in business management who was a returning institute participant.

“It’s paramount that top MBA programs have a class that is diverse because it allows for a dynamic learning environment to prepare students to excel in the real world,” he said.

Another returning participant was Cornell University junior Edgar Akuffo-Addo. He took the lessons, networks, and advice that he developed at the institute to found Global Success Fellowship, a nonprofit geared towards educational reform and social change in Ghana, where he was born and raised.

Akuffo-Addo, who is majoring in human biology health and society, received a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant to set up a poultry farm that can provide a subsidized source of protein to pregnant women and children in the Gushegu District of the Northern Region of Ghana.

For more information, which will be held at UC San Diego next summer, visit the SIEML web site.

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