Emerging Business Leaders Hero

Embracing Diversity, Redefining Success

To encourage and support academic success for all students, our Access and Multicultural Engagement (AME) programs were created in Fall 2018 to provide opportunities for mentorship, affinity groups, and community within Gies. Our community groups nurture students and provide safe environments for learning to engage in civil discussions around complex topics, such as diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

As a Gies student, AME will have a place for you. The skills and knowledge that AME will help you acquire will last a lifetime. And more and more companies are looking for employees with knowledge in this area. Through AME, you can help yourself grow as a person and prepare yourself for a career that is purposeful and impactful. 


AME External Engagement

As part of Gies Business' commitment to better support underserved populations, AME develops programs to reach first generation, low income, international, rural, and historically underrepresented students in Illinois. In AME, we seek to understand and address barriers faced by Illinois’ promising and talented students.

The Emerging Business Leaders Program

Our Emerging Business Leaders (EBL) program is a two-week summer program designed for high-achieving underrepresented minority students entering their senior year of high school. Participants live on campus and learn from world-renowned faculty, work on a capstone group project with other students, and connect with corporate executives to expand their knowledge on business-related careers.

Program Activities

  • Interactive discussions featuring Gies Business staff, students, and alumni around career possibilities in business and the Gies student experience
  • Learn about college admissions
  • Have fun and make new friends

Cost & Scholarships

  • There is no program fee for the 2021 summer program.
  • Students who apply, are admitted, and enroll into Gies Business will qualify for a renewable scholarship up to $5000 to help cover their academic costs.

Application Criteria

The Emerging Business Leaders Program is open to underrepresented students entering their senior year of high school. You must have:

  • 3.2/4.0 GPA or higher
  • Demonstrated leadership through extracurricular, volunteer, or work experiences
  • Ability to attend the entire program (July 11-14, 2021)

AME Internal Engagement

Through programming and community building, AME strives to:

  • Develop strategies and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion and support anti-racist programs
  • Foster a campus environment that supports the exploration of varied identities and their intersections
  • Increase knowledge and awareness of different worldviews to strengthen cultural competencies and application in a variety of contexts
  • Create opportunities to engage in challenging conversations to advance a more equitable society

    Early Arrival Program

    Designed to offer an opportunity for incoming students whom might feel their backgrounds are unique to the Gies community to engage in early, safe, and relational interactions with peers and other Gies community members. 

    Affinity Groups

    A safe space for groups to meet and interact with fellow students who share backgrounds and experiences. Affinity Groups allow students with a specific need or who feel a disproportionate impact. Students are welcome to participate in more than one affinity group. We currently offer affinity groups for our transfer students and students of color. 

    Community Program

    Face-to-face, facilitated learning experience that offers meaningful and substantive interaction across differences and represents an opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of societal inequities and their structural causes and nurture an ethos of social responsibility. Gies Community Groups prepare Gies Business students to live, work, and lead in a complex, diverse, and stratified society.

    Student Leadership Program

    Targeted to all undergraduate students who are committed to learning about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and are willing to become culturally competent. Students in the AME Leadership program will increase their knowledge, awareness, and skills in DEI work and understand how this work impacts the business field. 


    Anna Knutson

    We are part of a large, diverse campus filled with individuals who all have their own experiences and stories. Gies Community Groups reminded me to take full advantage of the different experiences and perspectives that each student has to offer. 

    Anna Knutson, Accounting and Information Systems '23


    Meet the Team

    Gies News and Events

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    Bertram helping build a bridge for the next generation

    Jim Bertram joined Gies as an instructor of finance this fall after spending 32 years in investment banking, working for major firms like Salomon Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Banc of America Securities, and William Blair. He will be teaching Investment Banking (FIN 463) this fall and succeeding Rob Metzger as the director of the Investment Banking Academy in January.

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    Torelli: From civil engineer to Gies department head

    Carlos Torelli will apply his engineering mindset and marketing expertise to his new role as head of the Department of Business Administration at Gies. “We have a responsibility to give back in academia at a certain point in our careers. I returned to Gies because I knew they would value my skills and my background and give me the opportunity to make an impact."