How the University of Missouri is producing the nation’s most promising young business leaders

By Tomas H. Lucero

A great education is a valuable asset to business, especially if an organization wants the best young leaders the nation has to offer. This is the kind of education that business students are getting at the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri. However, there is a crop of that group of students that are getting an edge over their peers, locally and nationally. They are the select few, top business students, admitted into the college’s Cornell Leadership Program (CLP)—which according to the Columbia Daily Tribune recently received an additional $6 million gift from Harry Cornell, a university  alumnus and current chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt.

According to Mary Beth Marrs, Ph.D., Director of the CLP and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Strategic Initiatives, these elite students acquire skills that allow them to hit the ground running when they enter the workforce.

“Students develop into business leaders through a high-touch three-dimensional experience that includes focused leadership training, high-profile corporate experiences, and international exposure.  Graduates of the CLP differentiate themselves in their ability to ask tough, insightful questions of top leaders in business.  These students have had in-depth discussions with  CEOs on Wall Street, traveled internationally to learn about businesses in South America, and have studied business leaders. This three-dimensional experience positions them well to understand the larger business landscape and contribute to a company in a meaningful way early on in their careers,” stated Marrs by e-mail.

Graduates of the CLP are working at top Wall Street firms, excelling in professional schools and being recognized by leading US business media.

“Graduates are working on Wall Street at firms such as Goldman Sachs, engaging in entrepreneurial ventures by running their own companies, and graduating first in their law school classes.  Kelsey Meyer, an alumna of the program is the co-founder and President of Influence & Co. In the last three years, Influence & Co. grew from two employees to more than 66 and expanded from its headquarters in Columbia to open additional offices in St. Louis, Kansas City and New York.  It is now considered a leader in expertly crafted online content — recognized as Forbes’ 72nd “Most Promising Company in America,” explained Marrs.

With results like this, you can guarantee that the CLP will make excellent use of Cornell’s recent $6M gift to continue educating the nation’s most promising young leaders.

Related Story: Three Reasons You Should Have a Leadership Program

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