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What’s the Value of an MBA for Latinx Business Leaders?

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Business schools are currently working to improve MBA classroom diversity among all underrepresented minorities. But creating a diverse leadership pipeline isn’t straightforward—in recent years, fewer than 1 in 10 GMAT test takers were from the Latinx community. 

However, an MBA degree can fast track the careers of Latinx business school candidates and help to drive both professional and personal growth.

Here’s how:

1. Increasing representation in executive or senior roles

As it stands in the US, the Latinx community hold fewer than 5 percent of executive or senior-level positions as officials or managers in the private sector.

The value of an MBA though is that it can provide you with the opportunity to accelerate your professional development and climb the career ladder.

“Like their peers, Latinx alumni from Kelley graduate and move into managerial or specialist roles in several fields upon graduation,” says Regina Funk, director of diversity and inclusion at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Schools are there to support your career aspirations. Business school career centers like the University of Rochester Simon Business School’s Benet Career Management Center work together with student coaches from the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management to prepare Latinx students for the recruitment process, for example.

The Consortium is an organization dedicated to improving representation of students from minority backgrounds. It runs an annual Orientation Program, where Consortium students can network with recruiters from over 80 companies the organization is partnered with.

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“Each year, we make sure the incoming class is fully prepared for Orientation Program and ready to put their best foot forward in front of recruiters,” says Jennifer Crandall, senior associate director of admissions at Simon Business School.

That helps nurture the leadership pipeline. Having unique and powerful new voices in the highest levels of leadership is vitally important. Something businesses and educational institutions have learned, says Roger Bailey, academic director of Fisher College of Business’ Full-Time MBA Program.

“This long-overdue movement provides opportunities for Latinx business professionals to make their voices heard around the globe, and an MBA is an excellent way to build the necessary qualifications for these roles.”

2. High ROI and increased salary

Many Latinx students may be missing out on opportunities due to the financial barriers associated with test preparation and other forms of application coaching, thinks Regina.

Schools are trying to combat this inaccessibility with increased scholarship opportunities and other forms of application evaluation.

“In the past, there were limited scholarship dollars available to attract underrepresented minority (URM) candidates that came from disadvantaged backgrounds,” says Paul North, executive director of Fisher College of Business’ Graduate Programs Office.

“Now, however, there has been a rush to fund scholarships, not just from individual donors but also from corporate donors.”

As a result, students receive a high ROI alongside the increase in salary that often accompanies an MBA. Take Latinx graduate Kate Morales, who landed a job at Big Three consulting giant McKinsey & Company after her MBA at Fisher School of Business.

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Before enrolling at Fisher, Kate was working as a program manager for a non-profit organization that awarded grants and scholarships.

“For me, the Fisher MBA has been invaluable,” she says. “Without it, I would not be where I am today! The resources, relationships, knowledge, and support I received throughout my two years in the program gave me the confidence and ability to pursue my goals.”

Kate hopes that through her role at McKinsey, she can actively mentor more women starting their professional journey.

Fisher’s senior director of graduate recruitment, Jamie Mathews-Mead, says that 100 percent of their Latinx MBAs secure employment three months after graduating.

He highlights how the average salary for Latinx graduates securing positions is more than US$95,000, leading to an average increase of around US$40,000 on pre-MBA salaries.

3. Networking with other Latinx students to make a social impact

“The MBA experience creates community leaders who are willing to give their own talents to help others around them,” explains Regina.

“It creates mentors and role models for future generations within those same communities.”

At Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, program coordinator of off-campus events, Sarah Hay, explains how each year Latinx alumni return to campus to support admissions in their diversity recruitment efforts, and host support sessions with current students.

Giving back also goes beyond campus.

At Simon Business School, MBAs worked with 60 fifth and sixth graders at the Rochester City School District (RCSD) on a weekly basis through an education equity program they called PIECES.

“The program provides students from minority backgrounds with contexts for meaningful learning and focuses on three main lessons: growth mindset, finance, and entrepreneurship,” explains Jennifer Crandall, senior associate director of admissions at Simon Business School. 

Business schools are increasingly aware of the need to create a more diverse leadership pipeline filled with underrepresented minorities. As that increases further, the value of an MBA will grow for members of the Latinx community.

The degree can drive your personal and professional growth long term. It could also be your ticket to an enhanced career, better salary prospects, and a chance to give back to your local community.

Which type of MBA is right for you?

You may be wondering: how do I determine which type of MBA is right for me?

In our short quiz, answer just a few quick questions and we’ll point you in the right direction based on your experience level, personal preferences, and professional goals.