N.C. A&T Student Accepted into Inaugural Milken Institute HBCU Strategic Initiative Cohort

By East L Dockery / 10/09/2023 College of Business and Economics, Marketing, Transportation and Supply Chain

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 9, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University junior Miles Durant has been accepted into the inaugural cohort of the Milken Institute Historically Black Colleges and Universities Strategic Initiative.

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that helps people build meaningful lives in which they can experience health and well-being, pursue effective education and gainful employment, and access the resources required to create ever-expanding opportunities for themselves and their broader communities.

To help connect resources to talent and as a continued commitment to developing diversity, equity, and inclusion across the business community, the Milken Institute launched a strategic initiative that includes a competitive fellows program for students at HBCUs.

Durant, a marketing and supply management double major from Durham, North Carolina, is the first and only student from N.C. A&T to be accepted into the Milken Institute HBCU Fellows program. He learned about the institute from two A&T alumni who were also family friends.

“When someone sends you something you should just apply because you never know how that opportunity will turn out for you,” said Durant. “It was not until I attended the first session that I realized how prestigious this opportunity really was. I realized this would be life-changing for me.”

The goal of Milken’s HBCU Strategic Initiative is to build the next generation of competitive and successful industry leaders to adjust the culture of the financial services industry, as it pertains to roles in asset management. Centered around high-level networking, personal and institutional finance education, and immersive in-person activities, this program is dedicated to bringing exceptional HBCU talent to the forefront of their respective fields. 

Entering the program as they start their sophomore year, the fellows will engage in rigorous academic program coursework and gain exclusive networking tools. The combination of modular training and development of industry acumen will equip them to explore a future in asset management. Upon graduation, they will be equipped with the knowledge, resources and industry intelligence to succeed.

As a Milken Institute HBCU Fellow, Durant expects to network and develop his understanding of the financial sector to help him navigate his professional career goals.

“Understanding institutional and personal finance is important in trying to bridge the wealth gap,” he said. “It is very important especially among the African American community. I am excited to learn more about that and network with students my age and high-level people as well.”

Durant’s interest in finance and banking started at a young age while working at a local bank. He hopes to use his skills within supply chain and marketing to make an impact in meeting consumer demands and operations.

“We’ll see clear movement toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in asset management when awareness and active recruitment of diverse, high-performing talent is a seamless piece of talent acquisition for asset management firms,” said Blair Smith, senior director, Center for Financial markets, Milken Institute. “The Milken Institute HBCU Fellows Program aims to put that talent front and center. The benefit to students will be a higher degree of financial fluency, making them even more competitive candidates.”

Applications are being accepted for the 2024 Milken Institute HBCU Strategic Initiative cohort until Oct. 13.

Media Contact Information: eldockery@ncat.edu

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