Tomorrow’s leaders should define and deliver value to all stakeholders. To prepare them for that responsibility, we need to remake business education. We show students the critical role that business plays in addressing the world’s problems by providing hands-on, thought-provoking, and distinctive learning experiences.
Impact Fellows Program
While talent may be equally distributed, opportunity is not. The George Mason School of Business serves many students who are under-represented in business: over 40 percent are the first in their family to attend college, over 30 percent receive Pell Grants, and only 25 percent identify as white Americans. To ensure these students are given every opportunity to thrive, B4BW is taking a bold and pioneering approach to engage those at risk of being left behind.
Designed to equip tomorrow’s business leaders with the skills to make positive change in the world, the Impact Fellows Program delivers an innovative education tailored to first-year students from groups underrepresented in business. This includes members of lower socioeconomic status, first-generation college students, students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and disabled students.
Launched in Fall 2020 with its first cohort of 30 students, over two years these students will learn about social impact anchored in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The program will prepare these students to tackle society’s most pressing challenges.
Impact Fellows will:
- Move as a cohort through the Business and Society curriculum (Business and Society and Global Environment of Business). These courses uniquely blend business and the liberal arts so students can contextualize their knowledge of business thereby preparing them to address complex problems in a diverse and changing world.
- Participate in co-curricular activities like private opportunities to engage with speakers, visit impact organizations, and earn the Global Engagement badge.
- Enjoy the support of peer, faculty, and professional mentors as well as an academic adviser assigned to the cohort.
- Experience complex challenges in context in different regions or cultures through a domestic or international residency at the end of their first year.
- Engage in project-based learning experiences including a student-driven social impact initiative in their second year that will earn the Mason Impact designation.
- Work in a mission-focused organization through the Impact Internship Program at the end of their second year.
Problem Solving Consultancies and Community-Based Learning Practice
We envision interdisciplinary teams of students engaged in experiential learning for one or more semesters. Student teams would work with existing organizations to solve real problems (e.g., food security, sustainability, human trafficking, healthcare) under the guidance of faculty and business mentors. These courses would focus on sustained partnerships with businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government and policy organizations. Thanks to a $60,000 grant award, we will be able to start making progress in this field and will offer a summer 2021 program that addresses the question: How do approaches to social change result in meaningful advancement of community organization goals with people, planet, and prosperity in mind?
Liberal Arts to Business Bootcamp
An internship program that introduces students from small liberal arts colleges to the fundamentals of responsible business, and thereby promotes the mission of the School and B4BW. Launched in 2020 with 11 interns, this is an area ripe for growth.
Led by B4BW, the School of Business is actively engaged in the development of several new courses and minors including a course on social impact and entrepreneurship with a global study abroad component and a Minor in Responsible Business (open to all Mason students). The first offering is BUS 491, launched in Spring 2020, a course focused on stakeholder capitalism.
Global Study Abroad
Challenging yourself, expanding your worldview, learning a new language – these are just a few reasons why study abroad opportunities are an important part of a modern education. Through our own work establishing a trip based on our Honey Bee Initiative, and by collaborating with faculty who develop programming, B4BW supports the Business School’s many study abroad offerings.