Morgan State University Partners with Lincoln Financial Group on Early Career Development Initiatives
MSU Students Pursuing Finance Careers Excel in Professional Development Competitions Designed to Foster Workforce Diversity and Proficiency
BALTIMORE — Morgan State University (MSU), Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University and one of the nation’s leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), is partnering with Lincoln Financial Group on two unique professional development competition-oriented initiatives designed to cultivate talent and foster an increasingly diverse workforce within the financial services sector.
“An important component of students’ experience at the Graves School of Business and Management is experiential learning. This partnership will reinforce what we do in elevating the proficiencies of our graduates as they endeavor to compete in a highly competitive and evolving financial industry,” said Fikru H. Boghossian, Ph.D., dean of the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University. “We greatly appreciate Lincoln for this worthwhile opportunity to broaden the diversity pipeline for career development and advancement.”
The first initiative—the Professional Development Challenge Fall Pitch Competition—was hosted by Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD), the company’s wholesale distribution network. Six students from MSU’s Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management were paired with Lincoln leaders and mentors, who provided presentation training and helped prepare the students for weekly competitions judged by an internal panel during the five-week program.
Amari Jangha, a junior majoring in Business Administration and a member of the President's Leadership Circle, was one of two finalists and is now slated to participate in Lincoln’s summer 2022 internship program. He, along with fellow student-participants, were tasked to create pitches answering theoretical questions like “If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you did and why?” and “Describe a moment that changed your life forever.” In the end, Jangha won the competition, receiving a $2,500 scholarship to use toward his expenses at Morgan, in addition to summer internship.
“I had an absolute blast!” affirmed Jangha. “I came into this program thinking that it was going to be something totally different from what it was. My mentors were welcoming, encouraging, and honest, and I really appreciated that.”
A secondary component to the Lincoln-Morgan collaboration is a “hackathon” style event, called codeLinc. Run by Lincoln’s Information Technology (IT) organization, this competitive development program allows high school and college students to use their coding skills to earn credit toward tuition and books.
Lincoln will host a codeLinc competition at Morgan this April bringing student-teams together who will work with a Lincoln coach providing mentorship, advice, technical assistance and encouragement on topics from coding to presenting ideas effectively. CodeLinc has been a successful vehicle for recruiting early career talent to Lincoln’s IT organization. More than 400 students have participated across seven events – 29 have accepted internships and full-time positions at Lincoln as a result.
“Deepening our relationships with HBCUs is an important component of our recruiting and talent strategy, enabling us to raise awareness of Lincoln as an employer of choice for an increasingly diverse population of students for our highly competitive internship programs and our entry-level job opportunities,” said Mike Kellar, vice president of Recruiting at Lincoln Financial.
Lincoln looks forward to continuing its partnership with Morgan State and other colleges, universities and high schools to invest in the future of talent and the next generation of leadership at Lincoln and support the communities across America that the company serves.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering nearly 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Allyson Vento, for Lincoln Financial Group