Two University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business International MBA students from South Carolina and underrepresented backgrounds will benefit from a recently announced financial commitment from former financier Robert “Bob” Charles Pozen.
Pozen is a former president and vice chairman of Fidelity Investments, a multinational Fortune 500 financial services corporation. Currently, Pozen is a senior lecturer for the MIT Sloan School of Management.
To enhance the Moore School’s diversity and inclusion efforts within the two-year full-time International MBA program, Pozen will sponsor two full-tuition fellowships for minorities. He specifically wants the students to be from South Carolina so they can earn their International MBAs and hopefully stay in the state after they earn their degree to positively contribute to South Carolina’s workforce.
“Pozen’s gift will not only provide the opportunity for two incoming International MBAs to pursue their goals of being business leaders but will add to the full-time MBA programs’ commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Jennifer Ninh, the Moore School’s full-time MBA program managing director. “It’s important to continue building our ranks of minority business leaders and providing these Pozen Scholars with equal opportunities to fully participate in the program without the worry of significant tuition costs.”
Ninh said the Pozen Scholars support is especially impactful for the International MBA program, which requires all students to do an extended international immersion to experience the language, market and culture of their chosen destination more fully in their second year; Pozen’s gift will ease the financial burden of paying for their time abroad.
Pozen has made similar gifts to other SEC schools, including the University of Alabama, University of Florida, University of Mississippi and the University of Georgia.
“I believe that helping in-state minorities obtain their MBA will lead to a more diverse business community in each of these states,” Pozen said.
The Pozen Scholars program aligns well with the Moore School MBA’s commitment to encouraging a more diverse and inclusive culture, said Deborah Hazzard, the Moore School’s associate dean for diversity and inclusion. Currently, the International MBA program has a recruiter who is “laser-focused on trying to ensure we have a really robust representation of different identities” within the program.
“The fact of the matter is that organizations that are more diverse and more inclusive outperform those that are not; it’s important for us to leverage strategic investments in our programs, and those strategic investments should really go toward individuals who have been historically excluded,” Hazzard said.
The Moore School has already made recruiting minority groups a strategic priority and is ensuring strategic investments are made to help them be successful, Hazzard added.
These strategic plans, along with generous financial support like the Pozen Scholars, assist the Moore School in creating a diverse and inclusive environment within the MBA programs.