On March 22-26, the Broad College of Business Full-Time MBA program made diversity, equity and inclusion the centerpiece of the MBA experience by hosting the inaugural Broad Inc. DE&I Week. For five consecutive days, each of the DE&I-focused student organizations held events to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion in a variety of social, professional and academic ways for current students, future students, faculty and staff.
From a spirited game of “Gay Jeopardy!” led by Spartan Pride to a socially distanced Holi celebration care package pickup with the Multicultural MBA Association, opportunities abounded for attendees to celebrate, support and learn more about positive impacts of DE&I on student life at Broad and beyond.
The week kicked off Monday evening with a keynote address on the state of diversity within the program by second-year MBA student and outgoing MBA Association president Danielle Chatman-Moore. She shared key metrics including how nearly 75% of students in the MBA program are members of a DE&I-focused student organization. Equally encouraging was the year-over-year growth in attendance at DE&I events; attendance increased by 4% last year and is on track to be even higher for the current academic year. Chatman-Moore also reflected on her time at MSU and her hopes and outlook for the future of the program.
Rounding out the evening, the Black MBA Association hosted a panel discussing the Black experience in corporate America that centered on a group viewing and panel discussion of “The Look,” an engaging video ad produced by Procter & Gamble starring Broad alumnus Michael Jones (B.A. Accounting ’13). Members of the organization’s executive board led an open discussion touching on implicit bias and how corporations have shifted their stance on equity over the past few years.
Tuesday evening featured Spartan Pride’s general meeting, open to all students, followed by a competitive game of “Gay Jeopardy!” which featured trivia questions on LGBTQ+ history, pop culture, organizations, terminology and more. Two winners were treated to gift cards to the establishment of their choice.
On Wednesday, the admissions and Full-Time MBA program graduate assistants co-moderated an open roundtable discussion for current and prospective students to attend. The panel included representation from all five DE&I-focused student organizations, with representatives sharing their experiences with diversity within the program and answering questions ranging from how to get more involved in DE&I as a student to panelists’ favorite events hosted by each organization. This event was an informative look for both current and future Spartans at the importance that is placed on DE&I topics within Broad.
This amazing week was rounded out on Thursday and Friday with a special virtual cocktail hour, presented by the Broad Veterans Association, on Thursday evening and a doubleheader on Friday, featuring the Broad Women’s Association and Multicultural MBA Association.
The Women’s Association hosted an engaging discussion with Broad faculty member Jennifer Dunn, who discussed best practices for salary negotiation within the workplace. This event focused primarily on research and recommendations with regards to women and workplace negotiations and was attended by organization members, male allies and prospective students. Immediately following the presentation, the week concluded with an amazing Holi celebration brought about by the Multicultural MBA Association. The festival of colors and unity included specially made care packages and food to celebrate the event, which were carefully distributed through socially distant practices. The reviews from multiple students found the food to be light, sweet, savory and, above all, delicious.
Broad Inc. DE&I Week was a first-of-its-kind idea for the Full-Time MBA program. Although the DE&I organizations that contributed to this program are constantly active in engaging the community, this was an opportunity to put them in the spotlight for all to see.
“The Full-Time MBA Program learns from our students, campus community and corporate partners to highlight the stories and lived experiences that everyone brings into the classroom and program community,” said William Horton-Anderson, assistant director of the Full-Time MBA Program. “By continuing to grow our focus on DEI initiatives, it gives our students the platform to talk with each other and strengthen support for all identities.”
After all, this program is strengthened when the community not only supports but celebrates the differences that makes it so great, and that is exactly what this week was all about.
If you are interested in participating in this event next year as a corporate partner or alumni speaker, please contact William Horton-Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ashley Tice (email@example.com).