11/06/2012 12:37 pm ET Updated Jan 06, 2013

MLT Is Powered by Pro Bono

Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) is the number one source of minority students at the top ten U.S. business schools. Founded and led by John Rice, MLT is a national nonprofit that focuses on ensuring that high-potential African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans -- who account for more than 30 percent of the U.S. population but only 3 percent of senior leadership positions in the corporate and social sectors -- realize their career potential.

Specifically, MLT equips talented underrepresented minorities with the necessary skills, coaching, mentoring and exposure to door-opening relationships and organizations to ensure they are on a path toward senior leadership roles. With 2500 alumni to date, MLT serve 500 Fellows annually at the college, MBA and mid-career levels. Ninety-eight percent of their MBA Prep Fellows were admitted to a top 25 business school upon completion of the MLT program, which rivals most national business school placement rates by 2-3X. John reflects on how they've been able to satisfy the professional needs of these individuals in such great capacity. "Essentially, we're responding to a need for more senior leaders who have the skills, relationships, capital and commitment to go back into their communities and really tackle some of our nation's vexing social problems."

John, who possesses a business background, has a penchant for building strong cross-sector partnerships and this has been integral to MLT's success. "It's part of our institutional DNA," John explains. "Even our program strategy, which we have been building now for almost ten years, started as a pro bono project led by the Boston Consulting Group -- and that's kind of been the catalyst for everything that's happened since."

Leveraging Rice's understanding of business interests, MLT is now the leading source of minority talent among acclaimed corporations such as Google, Citi, Goldman Sachs, and PepsiCo, all of which also provide pro bono supporte to MLT. Citi and Goldman run finance boot camps, while Google leads strategy and PepsiCo handles marketing. John says, "It's very much about engaging the people who set the bar for excellence. We bring in the experts who can define what they're looking for in terms of talent." MLT now has over 65 corporate and non-profit partners working alongside them to support their programs at several critical career transition points: securing a fast-track entry level job out of college, applying to and succeeding at top MBA programs, and transitioning to a leadership role in one's organization.

MLT's long-term goal is to develop 1000 senior business leaders over the next 15-20 years. The team leading MLT has deep experience in the corporate and social sectors, and John believes that this has been pivotal to helping mold MLT's synchronistic partnership model. "I think we're a pretty good example of a social entrepreneurial organization that has found a way to leverage the business community to build and grow MLT and drive results for our partners."

MLT is a featured organization on our Powered by Pro Bono Nonprofit Leadership Series, highlighting organizations that maximize their impact by leveraging pro bono resources. The series celebrates the launch of Taproot's new book and program, Powered by Pro Bono.