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The Skinny on Corporate MBA Fellowship Programs—Could One Be Right for You?

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Prospective MBA students looking to join a program at a leading business school have a wealth of opportunities available to them in the form of corporate MBA fellowship programs.

These highly competitive fellowships, often geared toward under-represented minorities, are offered by many major corporate recruiters hoping to secure top MBA talent early in their time at business school. Corporate MBA fellowship programs can present a great option for those looking to offset the cost of business school, since many include stipends that cover some or all of awardees’ MBA tuition costs.

Corporate MBA fellowship programs also can be an excellent way to secure employment immediately after graduation, but they may not be the best choice for graduates hoping to maintain flexibility. Although fellowship recipients are not legally bound to accept positions from their awarding firm, many students may feel obligated due to the high level of support they receive during the MBA. That said, for prospective applicants intent on securing post-MBA work at a specific firm, a corporate MBA fellowship can serve not only as an excellent way to cover the high costs of an MBA, but also a great jump start on the competitive MBA recruiting process. Fellowship recipients spend their summer interning at the awarding firm, which frequently leads to a post-MBA full-time job offer.

Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs offers an MBA fellowship for first-year MBA students that includes a summer associate position with a salary of $35,000 and an additional award of $40,000 upon completion of the program. Offering a focus on investment banking or investment management, the program is available in more than a dozen cities in the United States and Canada and is open to African-American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American students as well as women from any cultural or ethnic background.

Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley offers similar programs in each investment management and institutional securities for women, Hispanic, Native/American, and LGBT students currently enrolled in their first year of an MBA program. Those interested in opportunities outside of the United States will be excited to learn that Morgan Stanley offers positions around the world. Summer analyst and associate positions are offered in many international locations, including London, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, as well as several U.S. cities such as New York and San Francisco.

Credit Suisse
Those interested in investment banking may also look into a fellowship with Credit Suisse. This program is also designed to help increase diversity and inclusion at the firm and is open to women, African-American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American students. Awardees agree to a summer internship in their choice of city of Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco. Credit Suisse offers a more flexible $30,000 award, which can be paid out directly to the student’s business school during the second year of their studies or in two installments of $15,000 each, awarded directly to the fellowship recipient to apply toward tuition and living expenses during their first and second years.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch MBA Diversity Fellowship program boasts a $40,000 award for tuition and fees in the first year of an MBA. The program also includes a paid summer internship and opportunities to receive further funding in the second year of study. This merit-based program is open to African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American students as well as women, LGBT students, or those with disabilities.

Though the above examples are all within the finance sector, many top firms across a range of industries offer similar MBA fellowships to students from under-served backgrounds. Prospective applicants interested in these types of opportunities should explore the websites of firms where they are interested in pursuing post-MBA careers and inquire with the career services departments at their future business schools to learn more.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.