May 02, 2011
Diverse Scholars Boost Bottom Line
If you could start a program that would attract top, diverse talent to Carolina, improve the bottom line for businesses, and boost career opportunities for students, you’d do it, right? Wachovia/Wells Fargo and the Darla Moore School of Business had those positive outcomes in mind when they created the Wachovia Scholars Program. Five years later the original Wachovia investment continues to produce dividends.
The program brings high-achieving, underrepresented high school juniors to USC’s
campus for one week each summer to discover opportunities available in business. In
addition to attending business school classes, the students develop a business plan for
a company and experience campus life.
The Wachovia Scholars Program boosted Casey Diké’s self confidence and made
the Moore School of Business her top choice for college: she chose USC over 11 other
business schools, including Davidson, Duke, and Emory.
“I’m from Columbia, and I guess I took USC for granted,” Diké said. “This
program shed a great light on USC—it planted a seed. I explored it more and decided
that for business, the Moore School was better than any other school on my list. I saw
that USC was No. 1 in international business and had
a great finance area.
“Initially I questioned whether I was prepared
enough for college, but being around all of these other
excellent minority students showed me that I was just
as good as anyone else about to enter college.”
Now a senior, she will graduate early with her
Moore School business degree in December.
Wachovia Scholars Program graduates who
attend USC as business majors are eligible to apply
for four-year Wachovia Scholars scholarships. So
far, 25 scholarships to Moore School students have
A Moore School junior and graduate of the
Wachovia Scholars Program, Douglas Brown said
“the work that week with people from all walks of
life was intense. We were encouraged to do things
we’d never done before, and to exceed our own
Creating more diversity in business helps
students, communities, and the bottom line,
said Brown, who is now a mentor for Wachovia
Scholars Program students.
Holt Chetwood, president of Wachovia/Wells
Fargo in the Midlands market, agrees: “We believe
we’re more effective at serving our customers and
communities if our team members reflect the
diversity of our communities,” Chetwood said. “We hope the Wachovia Scholars Program graduates
will choose to continue their education with a focus
on a business major.”