Five studentsâ€”Daizia McGhee, Eric Hernandez, Anthony Guzman, Ingrid Miranda and Rayshanda Masseyâ€”were invited to lunch one day to join Annie McGowan, director of the Professional Program at Mays. The lunch discussion focused primarily on whether the students (all first-generation college students from populations that are underrepresented on campus) were happy with their decision to join Mays Business School. The general consensus was that they were all sure they had chosen their educational institution wisely. The opportunities that are available to Mays students greatly surpassed their expectations.
Although they were very happy to be Mays students, the five were also unanimous in their opinion that there was very little at Mays that made it feel like home for them. Texas A&M University, and by extension Mays Business School, are both deeply rooted in a very unique culture. This culture reinforces the notion that people who are alike tend to think alike. While these students were interested in becoming a part of this culture, they would be gratified and even inspired if the institution offered opportunities to embrace more of their own cultures and to interact with successful people from diverse walks of life.
It is clear that once Mays students embark upon the career of their choice, globalization will be staring them square in the face. Learning to respect and respond appropriately to different voices and viewpoints promotes creativity in the work place. “I strongly believe that if Mays earns a reputation for creating an environment that values differences and trains its students to capitalize upon those differences, we are more likely to attract the best and brightest from all groups,” McGowan said.
The firms that recruit our students are firmly onboard. They understand that in an environment of inclusiveness, diversity can be a source of competitive advantage.
The Multicultural Association of Business Students (MABS) was founded as a result of this discussion, with these five students constituting the executive board and McGowan agreeing to serve as their advisor.
MABS was created with the following objectives in mind:
- To encourage an inclusive environment at Mays that reflects the general and cultural diversity of the entire student body.
- To establish a stronger presence of the minority population in Mays Business School through professional development, academic achievement and community involvement.
- To provide corporations direct access to the multicultural population when recruiting for career opportunities and other networking events.
- To increase minority student enrollment in Mays Business School through an outreach program for high school students.
Beginning Fall 2014, MABS welcomes participation from all Mays Business School students and is excited about partnering with companies that also embrace inclusiveness. For more information about the Multicultural Association of Business Students, please contact Dr. Annie McGowan at amcGowan@mays.tamu.edu.