Reflecting its commitment to continuously improve diversity and inclusion in the workforce, last year Great Southern Bank recognized an opportunity to accomplish is mission and support COB’s efforts to recruit and retain diverse business students.
Through a discussion with Dr. Ragan and Dean Meinert, Great Southern leaders learned that while the College of Business is one of the most diverse colleges on campus, there was less diversity in finance and accounting.
“They said that ‘there’s a miscommunication (regarding career opportunities) going on somewhere’,” said Snyder. “And I said, ‘No, this is great news, we have something to work on.’ We continued our talks, and eventually learned that there was an opportunity to work with MSU to develop a scholarship that would encourage individuals from underrepresented groups, such as minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities, to seek out degrees that would prepare them for a career in banking.”
About the scholarship
Through the Missouri State University Foundation, Great Southern Bank developed the Great Southern Bank Future Banker Scholarship.
It is an endowed scholarship so it will live in perpetuity, said Stephanie Matthews, director of corporate and foundation relations.
Students will be able to apply for the scholarship in fall 2021, with the first recipients selected in spring 2022.
One student each year will receive at least $1,000. Recipients from a major Great Southern market area will be given preferential consideration.
“This newly established and unique scholarship will ensure a quality education is accessible for more students. The Missouri State University Foundation is extremely grateful for the generosity of corporate donors like Great Southern Bank,” Matthews said.
The scholarship will provide opportunities for students, and in the long- run will hopefully increase diverse representation in banking and commercial lending.
“Our customer base is diverse, so we want our employee base to be diverse as well,” Snyder said. “We’re hoping to get some quality candidates through the scholarship award. Additionally, we have a great internship program in our commercial lending area that would go hand-in-glove for anybody pursuing a degree in finance and accounting. The internship would provide a great opportunity for them to get hands-on experience in a real world bank. …We want to do what’s right from a corporate citizen standpoint, especially knowing that there’s a deficiency of individuals from these underrepresented groups pursuing degrees in accounting and finance. If we can do a small part to change that, then that’s very important to us.”