MBA graduates fill a large portion of the pipeline leading to senior executive positions, board seats, and C-Suite status. However, despite Hispanics making up 19 percent of the population, they make up only ten percent of MBA students and less than one percent of people taking the GMAT.
Many of these students are first-generation Americans and first-generation college graduates navigating a job market and post-baccalaureate process riddled with shadow expectations (the unsaid rules and requirements of legacy institutions) all on their own. Their priorities might be financial security first and foremost, and the idea of taking time off to study can seem unrealistic even if it might benefit them the most in the future.
Luckily, most business schools now have programs to support Hispanic and other underrepresented students interested in joining their ranks including scholarships, minority student associations, mentoring, career and job search support, and robust alumni networks to utilize after completing their prestigious degree.
Here is a list of five top programs that are contributing to the growth of a new, more diverse pipeline for the MBA.
- MLT MBA Prep Program provides Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals with personalized guidance and effective tools to successfully navigate the business school application process and optimize their MBA experience.
- Forté Foundation MBALaunch is an eight-month personal and professional development program for women that provides a structured road map for applying to business school, including step-by-step application guidance, supportive peer groups, and a network of hundreds of others also going through the process.
- Prospanica Foundation scholarships serve US citizens of Hispanic heritage with a high GPA and relevant professional experience. Applicants must be members of Prospanica to qualify for awards of up to $5,000.
- The Toigo Fellow program is for minority US citizen MBA candidates wishing to pursue a career in finance. Grants up to $10,000 include opportunities for internships and two years of guaranteed employment at a financial partner after completing the MBA.
- The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management program has full-tuition merit scholarships for Hispanics. Awardees must show a commitment to CGSM’s mission, participate in relevant campus events, and other experience that demonstrates their commitment. CGSM has more than eighty corporate partners.
BONUS: SEO Alternative Investments, while not an MBA-specific training program, is dedicated to burgeoning or experienced professionals from a background that’s been historically excluded from the alternative investments sector. SEO Alternative Investments provides the education, mentorship, career development, and access that minority students need to succeed in the financial industry.
Share this list with aspiring and current MBA students, business professors, advisors, and employers seeking top Hispanic talent.
Marcela Berland is the president of New York City-based market and opinion research firm Latin Insights. She is a 2022 Forbes 1,000 awardee. Frank Gómez, a veteran Hispanic activist and former corporate and nonprofit executive, is her longtime partner. He completed Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business Advanced Executive Program.