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HBCU Strategic Initiative and Fellowship Program

Milken Institute HBCU Strategic Initiative and Fellowship Program

About the Fellowship Program

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) continue to be overlooked as a resource for quality talent in the investment industry, despite a decades-long history of producing global leaders in financial services. Yet greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the asset management space remain at the forefront of many issues facing the industry. DEI continues to be a pertinent focus of asset owners and managers—particularly the challenge of sourcing top diverse talent.

To help connect resources to talent and as a continued commitment to developing diversity, equity, and inclusion across the business community, the Milken Institute launched the HBCU Fellows Program for sophomore undergraduate students in early 2023. The program offers an eight-week virtual curriculum, in partnership with premier finance education platform ViableEDU, for Fellows to learn more about finance alongside opportunities for professional development, including in-person networking opportunities and exclusive conversations with the Milken Institute's network of leaders in the financial industry.

Students from HBCUs are invited to apply to be one of our 20 Fellows for the 2024 Cohort.
Applications open September 5, 2023.


Apply Now

By the Numbers


Women- and diverse-owned firms control only 1.4% of the over $82 trillion managed by the US asset management industry.


The percentage of assets under management by women- and diverse-owned firms has only increased by 0.1% in the past 10 years.


HBCUs generate 25% of all bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields for African Americans and award 14% of all African American engineering degrees.

The Milken Institute HBCU Fellows Program Is Designed to:

  • RECRUIT and support a pool of academically competitive students from select HBCUs and direct them toward internships and careers at top-tier asset management firms;

  • PROVIDE tailored training to each cohort of students to develop the knowledge and professional skills needed for careers in asset management; and

  • CONNECT each cohort of students with the broader network of program alumni, established asset management professionals, and the Institute's experts to build the next generation of competitive and successful industry leaders.

Senior Director, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute
Blair Smith

"We’ll see clear movement toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in asset management when awareness and active recruitment of diverse, high-performing talent is a seamless piece of talent acquisition for asset management firms. The Milken Institute HBCU Fellows Program puts that talent front and center. The benefit to students will be a higher degree of financial fluency, making them even more competitive candidates.”

Associate Director, Financial Markets, Milken Institute
Troy Duffie

“Beyond a first-class educational opportunity with our curriculum partner, ViableEDU, our students are given access to internship opportunities with elite asset management firms and are integrated into one of the most distinguished financial networks in the world. We are confident their participation in our program will change the trajectory of their careers and boost their lifetime earnings.”

“A focus on African American students does not mean a restricted cultural experience. HBCUs educate students of all races, ethnicities, and cultures from around the world.”—United Negro College Fund

Our Partners

Bethune-Cookman University
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Howard University
Lincoln University
Morgan State University
Viable Edu
Xavier University
For more information on the Milken Institute HBCU Strategic Initiative and Fellowship Program, contact:
[email protected]