Berkeley MBA students working to increase minority representation and leadership at Haas and beyond have brought home the highest honor from the country’s largest and oldest business diversity organization.
The group also won $10,000 to build on their work for the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.
Nikita Mitchell, Kory Vargas Caro, and Dan Wong, all MBA 15, accepted the T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More) trophy earlier this month on behalf of Haas Consortium students. The three students served as liaisons to the organization this year.
“We were determined. For us, it was the way to prove to the Consortium that Haas is very serious about this work,” Mitchell says.
Established in 1966, the Consortium is an alliance of schools and corporate partners committed to reducing the under-representation of African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in the ranks of upper management. It provides merit-based, full MBA-program fellowships to top candidates who have proven records of promoting inclusion in their schools, jobs, or personal lives.
Haas has been a longstanding member of the Consortium. There were 43 Consortium fellows in the Haas MBA program last year. Twenty-eight more will arrive this fall, bringing the total to 52.
The Haas group competed against 16 other b-schools for the hefty gold trophy.
To win, the group had to demonstrate their success in fundraising, community building, and fulfilling their duties as Consortium liaisons. They did much more: starting with a strategy meeting at the beginning of the school year to determine their goals and priorities as a group. Their activities included organizing school-wide social events; building a new leadership model for the group; organizing treks with other member schools; and taking an active role in the admissions process to increase the number of fellows who chose Haas.
In addition, the last two Consortium cohorts have stepped into more Haas leadership roles than ever—including Mitchell, who is the first African-American woman to serve as president of the MBA Association.
Mitchell said the race for the T.E.A.M. trophy is a different kind of competition.
“Everyone is happy for whoever wins, since we’re all working for a cause that we all believe in,” Mitchell says. “But at the end of the day, you want to prove that you are the school that is working the most passionately toward the Consortium’s mission.”