Although minorities have long been involved in the corporate sector, challenges remain for minority MBAs entering the workforce. Thankfully, organizations like the National Black MBA Association (NMBMAA) seek to address these challenges, provide resources, and create a community for minorities in business.
NBMBAA: An Origin Story
The Nbmbaa began more than 45 years ago as an opportunity for Blacks in the corporate sector to share their experiences and help each other during this often difficult journey. The organization began as a two-day conference organized by MBA students at the University of Chicago in 1970. The conference focused on issues related to Black MBA graduate students.
Two years later, the NBMBAA was incorporated in New York, establishing a virtual national headquarters in that city and appointing Carl A. Fields as the first president.
Throughout the years, the NBMBAA grew in members and chapters, launching various scholarship programs, high school intensives and online professional development programs.
Today, the organization boasts more than 9,000 members and 45 professional chapters throughout the United States. The NBMBAA is dedicated to developing partnerships which “create intellectual and economic wealth in the Black community”, which includes corporate partnerships with over 300 companies. In addition to their members and five channels of engagement (career, education, leadership, entrepreneurship and lifestyle), the NBMBAA has provided more than $5 million dollars in scholarships to minority students.
The NBMBAA offers a number of programs available for members, particularly for students as they enter the workforce. Through online services like Ntential and the Career Success Network, the NBMBAA allows jobseekers and employers alike to find their perfect match. Additional programs serve both undergraduate and high school students in preparing for their future careers.
NBMBAA Scholarships provide financial support for students pursuing careers in business or academia, helping to “increase the pool of Black talent for business, public, private, and non-profit sectors”.
Leaders of Tomorrow Program
The Leaders of Tomorrow Program pairs high school students with mentors who provide coaching in skills such as leadership, networking and public speaking. To date, the program has mentored more than 8,000 minority students, with 95% of these students enrolling in college after graduation from the program. Not strictly within the U.S., the LOT program functions in more than 30 cities in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and has provided more $3.5 million in scholarship and programming support.
Annual NBMBAA Conference
Each year, the National Black MBA Association conference boasts attendance of more than 9,000 business professionals and students, making it one of the largest professional development and job recruitment events in the country.
In its 38th year, the NBMBAA Conference will take place this year in New Orleans, LA, from October 11-15th. This years’ conference will take on the topic of “The Q Factor”, discussing the importance of quality in creating contagious leadership.
Become a NBMBAA Member
Members of the NBMBAA have access to a number of benefits, and have the opportunity to choose from a variety of membership options, ranging from student to business professional. Benefits of membership include access to career development resources like the Career Success Network, discounted pricing for the annual conference, special access to local chapter events, among others. Membership also includes access to the CertifiNOW program for professionals needing to pass the PMP or CAPM exams. This project management learning program can cut down preparation time from more than nine months to three days of classroom instruction.
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