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Pitt Business Holds Diversity Leadership Conference

Monday, March 6, 2017

Students from the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration, together with leaders from Pitt Business Student Organizations, Dean’s Circle Partner Organizations, and Associate Dean Audrey J. Murrell, tackled the important diversity and inclusion topics that businesses face today during the Pitt Business Diversity Leadership Conference. Students from the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration, together with leaders from Pitt Business Student Organizations, Dean’s Circle Partner Organizations, and Associate Dean Audrey J. Murrell, tackled the important diversity and inclusion topics that businesses face today during the Pitt Business Diversity Leadership Conference.

“Research done by colleagues of mine at business schools across the country is very clear: the diversity of the relationships you have in your personal network is critically important, particularly for those who are looking to stepping into leadership roles,” Murrell told a packed room of students, recruiters, and staff at the conference, which was held in February 2017 at the University Club.

Keynote Speaker Moussa Coulibaly, vice president of planning allocations and replenishment at DICK’S Sporting Goods, shared his journey of coming to the United States from Mali and working his way up from a stockroom position, where he earned four dollars per hour, to achieving his career goal of working in a leadership position for a Fortune 500 company. 

“In my experience, your success is determined by three things: luck, hard work, and attitude,” Coulibaly says. “If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, but you have a bad attitude or aren’t willing to work hard, a great opportunity may pass you by.”

Following Coulibaly’s discussion, students participated in three breakout sessions co-hosted by Pitt Business Partner Organizations and leaders of Pitt Business Student Organizations.  

“I’m thrilled that the three different discussions really hit on the themes of the Pitt Year of Diversity,” Murrell says. 

Grant Thornton LLP and Women in Business hosted a discussion titled “Diversity and Inclusion,” which explored specifically what an organization with a very broad footprint does to incorporate diversity in its people and in its business practices and portfolio.

The second session, titled “Networking Your Way to Success,” was facilitated by KPMG, DICK’S Sporting Goods, the Roberto Clemente Minority Business Association and the Human Resources Management Club.

“The breakout session with KPMG and DICK’S was incredibly beneficial because not only were we learning about developing our networking skills but we were getting direct insight from the campus recruiters themselves,” says Madison McLaughlin, a Human Resources Management major also pursuing a Certificate in Leadership and Ethics. McLaughlin is the President of the Pitt Business Human Resources Management Club. 

The third discussion focused on having a global mindset in business, and it was facilitated by partners from EY and the Society for International Business.  

The day concluded with a panel discussion featuring executives from EY, Grant Thornton, PNC, KPMG, and DICK’S Sporting Goods, and members of the Pitt Business student organizations the HR Club, Women in Business, the Roberto Clemente Minority Business Association, and the Society for International Business.   

“The panel discussion was a great opportunity to hear representatives from a variety of companies share their thoughts on diversity and inclusion, and I was able to see the efforts businesses are currently making to embrace and foster their diverse employees,” McLaughlin says. 

“It was truly inspiring,” she says.

The Pitt Business Career Development Office organizes events for Pitt Business students and recruiting organizations to connect throughout the year. For more information, visit www.cba.pitt.edu/careers