Multicultural Business Success Academy (MBSA) is a program designed for students who are a part of the Summer Business Institute (SBI) and extends the experience into the freshman year by providing additional resources and support toward students’ on their road to success.
MBSA offers a 3 credit course called BUS 291.This course is a hybrid course which includes on-line and in class participation. The course begins completely on-line the last week of July until the last week of August. Students are expected to devote two hours per week on-line during this introductory period. Beginning in the fall semester the course will meet for approximately 2 hours on Thursdays with approximately one hour of additional on-line activities.. This hybrid class focuses not only on business skills but also transitioning successfully to MSU. The class concludes at the end of October allowing students to focus the rest of their efforts toward other classes. In addition, the MBSA will provide professional development seminars, tutoring for classes needed to gain admission into the Eli Broad College of Business, supplemental instruction, campus colleagues and professional mentors from corporate America.
In 2013, the average fall semester cumulative grade point average for students in MBSA was a 3.49 with 10 students earning a 4.0 cumulative grade point average during their first semester. Fifteen students earned internships with Fortune 500 companies and 31 students were invited to join the MSU Honors College. Over 50 percent of this cohort was admitted to the Broad College of Business by May 2014.
“I could not have asked for more rewarding and successful experiences than BUS 291 and the Multicultural Business Success Academy. Following SBI, I was reunited with my fellow participants and engaged in an environment that prepared me for beginning my academic journey at MSU, obtaining an internship, and ultimately, being accepted into the Broad College of Business. BUS 291 and the Multicultural Business Success Academy made all three of these goals a reality as I was just recently accepted into the Broad College of Business.”
Jonathan Wallace, marketing junior and past participant.
Cultural diversity is also a unique element to this class because students learn how to thrive in a multicultural environment. Activities include participating in research interviews, managing group dynamics, giving planned presentations, and using technology to enhance business communication.
Professional development is a major aspect of BUS 291. Students learn how to behave in a professional setting. They experience the importance of communication skills, networking, and selling themselves. Representatives from Proctor & Gamble, Target, Ernst and Young, and the MSU Internal Auditors present to the class. Corporate representatives explain the importance of academics to the business world and talk about career and internship opportunities that their companies had to offer.
At first many students are apprehensive about talking to recruiters; however early in the semester develop their 30 second elevator pitch. Professionals from Proctor and Gamble critique each student’s digital recording of their elevator speeches and provide professional feedback to the student. This makes the networking process a little easier. “When I first started talking to the recruiters I was very nervous, but I knew I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Myya Jones, an accounting junior and past participant.
Although professional development is a key objective, BUS 291 is also designed to build leaders. Throughout the semester students work in groups for various assignments, including the Target Case Competition. Target Corporation provides an in-class live case competition where students compete in teams to review a case and come up with the best solution, utilizing a step by step process. “The time restrictions on the group activities help students learn and adapt to working in a fast-paced environment,” said Alexis Parker, supply chain management junior, past participant and teaching assistant. Students learn how to work with different perspectives and personalities to achieve a common goal. Target Corporation provided over $2,000 in book scholarships for the students.
BUS 291 is a valuable course for freshmen business majors. The class exposes them to different companies and career opportunities. Students appreciate the family like atmosphere of the course, and it helps relieve some of the anxieties of transitioning into college. SBI and BUS 291 are an excellent foundation that motivates many students to become leaders and step outside of their comfort zones.