Nov. 20, 2018
The UPS Foundation has donated $150,000 to the Folks Center for International Business with the intent of furthering student diversity in international business education.
Most people associate UPS with brown trucks that deliver packages across the United States. While this is true, UPS has grown to be a much more complex global corporation. Over the past 10 years, the organization has made significant strides to increase its international reach. Today, UPS operates in 220 countries and employs over 450,000 people worldwide.
Hildy Teegen, executive director of the Folks Center, said that the company has recognized that its potential growth primarily exists outside of established markets in the U.S. and Europe. Teegen said that, traditionally, the company’s hiring mechanism has stemmed from within. Employees generally start in a lower-level position and can work their way up internally. However, as the company continues to expand its global presence, there has been an increase in demand for employees equipped with a well-rounded education and a transnational mindset.
“They’ve recognized that they’ve got to tap into talent pools that are far more diverse,” Teegen said. “For them, diversity not only means diversity in the way we more popularly think about it in the U.S. – gender diversity, ethnic and racial diversity, etc – but also including things like socioeconomic diversity and international diversity."
The donation aims to support diverse students domestically, as well as further partnerships with international universities that send students to study at the Moore School. Although the details of how the donation will be allocated haven’t been finalized, it will likely include scholarships to recruit and retain diverse students in all areas of international business. It also aims to extend international opportunities to students from diverse populations that might not otherwise avail themselves to study abroad opportunities.
"This is just another way for us to be able to provide strong evidence of our commitment to being a more diverse population," Teegen said. "We know that context matters, and we know that the more diverse your team is, the better your team will be, in terms of developing strategy that’s appropriate for different contexts and being successful in executing it."
Teegen mentioned active discussions with other companies that serve on the Folks Center as potential partners.
"It is our commitment and our responsibility as a school to ensure that the kinds of support we’re requesting is not only consistent with our academic mission but also helps to advance our corporate partners," she said.
A donation of this nature will likely extend far beyond the classroom, as Moore School students experience opportunities to interact and network with diverse students that they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to.
"When you think about how to measure lives touched through a gift like this, it goes well beyond the students who are the awardees – that’s the beautiful thing about a gift of this sort," Teegen said. "It allows for all of our students in all of our programs to have the benefit of having classroom and off-campus experiences that really are mirroring, in a much more compelling and realistic way, the nature of the workforce that they’re going to be engaging with as they go out into the world."
UPS Chief Operating Officer Jim Barber also serves as Folks Center board member.
By Jenna Schiferl