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Giving back

Robert W. Baird & Co. launches a fellowship program for Kellogg students

By Adrienne Murrill

3/16/2011 - International financial services firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has established a new scholarship for incoming Kellogg School students. By providing each recipient with an award during their two years of study, the Robert W. Baird Fellowship Program will support students while bringing diverse perspectives to the school.

Trish Hansen
“We believe (the fellowship program) will inspire a broader cross-section of people to pursue careers in the (financial services) industry,” says Trish Hansen ’00, a director in Baird's investment banking group.
“Our partnership with Kellogg on this fellowship is representative of Baird’s commitment to supporting and enhancing education and financial-services career opportunities,” said Trish Hansen ’00, a director in Baird's investment banking group and a member of the firm’s diversity committee. “We believe it will inspire a broader cross-section of people to pursue careers in the industry, as well as enhance our opportunities to attract the top talent so vital to Baird’s success.”

Baird is an employee-owned wealth management, capital markets, asset management and private equity firm with client assets of nearly $82 billion. Honored for eight consecutive years as one of FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, Baird has a strong commitment to diversity. The company was founded in 1919 and has grown from its Midwestern roots into an international financial services firm, with offices in Europe and Asia. With its second-largest office in Chicago, Baird is invested in the community, as evidenced by the reception the company hosted for admitted students Jan. 31 at Spiaggia, a restaurant in downtown Chicago.

“With a focus on diversity, we’re trying to cast a net as wide as we can to locate, identify and support talented people who are trying to pursue an education in finance,” said Sara Reed, first vice president and talent acquisition manager at Baird.

Beth Flye, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid at Kellogg, said the gift will be a strong recruitment tool for the school. “Baird and Kellogg share core values of diversity in perspective and thought, and both institutions strive to bring people from a variety of backgrounds together,” Flye said. “We hope this will evolve into a partnership that extends to other joint initiatives for students.” Examples include mentorship and internship opportunities for Kellogg students at Baird.

Reed agreed. “This is another step in our effort to attract top talent and increase our recognition on Kellogg’s campus. We look to enhance the partnership by becoming more connected and engaged with one another.”