Academics and Research

Business students tackle diversity issue for Charles Schwab

Seven student teams presented their ideas on how to recruit diverse tech talent for Charles Schwab as part of the Inclusive Excellence Business Case Competition April 15 at the University of Denver. This is the seventh year the Daniels College of Business has organized the competition.

“This is a signature event for Daniels,” says David Corsun, director of the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the Daniels College. “The case Charles Schwab provided has real-world implications for the company and presented a great learning opportunity around diversity and inclusion for the students. Participating students came from across the units on campus. We want Daniels College students to work with a diversity of team members to solve a real problem, just like they’ll need to do in the workforce.”

Teams were provided the case on March 4, had a site visit and coaching session with representatives from Charles Schwab in early April and presented their cases to a panel of judges April 15. Twenty-eight students participated. The students were from 12 countries, speak eight languages and represent six different schools at DU. There were 18 graduate students and 10 undergraduate students.

Team Antiza was made up of Christine Loftos, a master’s student in international studies; Angel Diaz, a computer engineering major; and MBA students Christina Chen and Kaz Nakamura. Team members say they have become close friends who have come to believe in the power of working in diverse groups.

“This has proven to me how important it is,” Diaz says. “We developed more innovative ideas because our perspectives were so radically different. It produced a better product at the end.”

Team Antiza, which took third place in the competition, suggested Charles Schwab should hold a coding competition called Game of Codes to attract diverse technology talent from community colleges. The winning team, Team Discovery, recommended that the company partner with nonprofit organizations that offer job placement for people with disabilities and join the Association of People Supporting Employment First.

Team Pioneer Consulting suggested hosting hackathons (collaborative computer programming events) at a community college, but the team also recommended that the company look within its own ranks to find talent with “invisible disabilities” such as extreme fatigue, chronic pain or cognitive impairment.

Anne Bergen Taylor, senior manager of diversity and compliance programs at Charles Schwab, was one of the seven judges and authored the case with Corsun. She said some of the ideas the students pitched were “just fabulous.”

“They’re offering us a fresh perspective,” Taylor says. “I’m excited to share these ideas, and we’ll probably implement them.”

The first-place team was awarded $6,000, second place $4,000 and third place $2,000. Resumés of winning teams were presented to the participating companies for internship and job consideration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *