When the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management was born 50 years ago, it was with the goal of increasing the representation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in business schools and corporate management. That remains the goal today – and I’m so proud to work for a company that has been with them every step of the way.
The Consortium connects people, companies and institutions to foster a network of the country’s best students, leading MBA programs and corporate partners, including Fortune 500 companies. Only two companies, 3M and General Mills, have been with the Consortium steadily since 1966.
This year, we got to celebrate that milestone.
Among all the career fairs, the mock interviews, the receptions and more – valuable in their own right – the moment that stood out most to me came during the 50th anniversary gala. Fred Harris, 3M’s first Consortium graduate and first African American VP, was met with a standing ovation from all 700 attendees.
Part of Fred’s role was to spend time this anniversary year looking ahead at what the next 50 years will bring. 3M and General Mills are supporting a new multidisciplinary undergraduate program designed to boost the number of underrepresented college undergraduates, which will mean more qualified applicants for graduate school.
It ties in with one of 3M’s 2025 sustainability goals: doubling the pipeline of diverse talent in management. Meeting so many students benefiting from the Consortium – just as I did – brought home for me that the goal is entirely worth the effort.