Student Mentor Champions Future Inclusive Business Leaders | Nebraska Today

Second-year students Naree Philavanh and Niko Schultz joined as inaugural members of the Inclusive Business Leaders Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Business, which aims to advance diversity and inclusion efforts on campus and in the workplace. Now, as a new group begins their Nebraska experience, the two serve as mentors, helping guide the next group of students through shared experiences and peer-to-peer support.

“Naree and Niko are shaping IBL program,” said Kasey Linde, associate director of the Teaching Center and coordinator of the Inclusive Business Leaders Program, who helped facilitate the program. “They participated in a strategic planning workshop to redesign the curriculum for the second cohort, and their recommendations improved Our current cohort experience. “

Cohort-based program prepares first-year business students through IBL They learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion through theory, group projects, and discussions. The program also provides formal mentoring and hands-on learning opportunities that encourage students to develop a sense of community. In it, Philavanh found a space to express herself in a warm environment where she felt important.

“This project has given me a place to be myself without judgment and to accept my input on how to improve future projects IBL student.our IBL– Specific courses prepared me to be a business student by providing a safe space in the business school where my voice can be heard, and a community that celebrates and supports each other,” Lincoln, Nebraska Philavanh, a management and marketing major, said.

For Schultz, a marketing major from Joliet, Illinois, the peer mentoring portion of the program provided him with a path to success when he struggled during the course.

“I had no hope of passing a course and one of my mentors, Ann Vu, put me in touch with another student in my class,” he said. “We came up with this amazing study strategy and both ended up passing the course with A’s. After this experience, I knew I wanted to help other students have their freshman year experience.”

Both Philavanh and Schultz have made their mark in the program, becoming increasingly involved on campus to make a difference in the community as a whole.Their efforts have attracted attention as they both IBL Spring feast.Filavan won IBL Change Agent Award for her involvement in improving campus inclusion and Schultz, IBL Community Builder Award for how he surpassed others IBL Members feel welcome, valued and respected.

“Naree has a deep desire to inspire and nurture others to be their best self, spending her time where she can make the greatest impact. Niko’s selflessness and genuine concern for others makes everyone feel involved and valued in the program,” Linde Say. “Both of them fully embraced what the college and Nebraska had to offer in just one year.”

Philavanh and Schultz went from trainee to mentor.their positive experiences IBL Academics push them to pay with the next group.

“I want to help incoming first-year students navigate college life and witness their growth throughout the program,” Philavanh said. “As an only child, I never had anyone guide me or point me in the right direction, but with what I know now, I strive to be a useful resource and support system for my trainees and their friends.”

Mentors serve as peer-to-peer connections and resources for first-year students as they integrate into campus. Currently in her first semester in Nebraska, Bree Bell, a marketing major from Lincoln, benefits from the experience mentors bring to the program.

“Naree showed me what my future in Nebraska could look like,” Bell said. “She always encouraged me to try new things and get out of my comfort zone. Seeing her involvement in so many different organizations and activities on campus made me realize I wanted to do the same.”

In addition to serving as a campus resource, mentors play familiar faces for students like Stacey Nguyen who grew up in neighborhoods that lack racial diversity.

“I grew up feeling uncomfortable going to school because I was one of the minority,” she said. “Enter IBL Program, I felt the same way when we talked about diversity, but then found out that what we learned in class was important and started to feel more comfortable opening up. Niko will talk about how he doesn’t have any background in diversity theory and best practices, but enjoys it IBL Because of its inclusivity, it made me feel comfortable participating in this project. “

Philavanh and Schultz look forward to sharing experiences from their team and continuing to support first-year students and IBL program.

“As a student last year IBL The show, there are experiences that I like and don’t like,” Schultz said. “I try to interact with students in class to show that I care about them. I hope I can influence all my trainees to be their best selves and strive to be successful. “

Students apply to be IBL plan when they apply for admission to college. To be considered for the Fall 2023 cohort, please apply by the February 1 priority deadline for the program. The final deadline is March 1.Learn more about IBL and its application requirements.

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