The Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) Program is committed to promoting a diverse learning community at the Wisconsin School of Business and increasing the diversity of leaders pursuing business careers in the Wisconsin BBA Program.

The best organizations are led by diverse workforces. Business leaders know that in order to compete globally, they must engage with and hire individuals whose perspectives and experiences are different than their own. It is through collaboration and a shared understanding of each other’s experiences and cultures that organizations can excel in today’s economy.

The application for admission to the Summer 2020 BEL Program is available now. Please note other important dates.


Students are selected based on their demonstrated academic success, leadership skills, commitment to diversity, and potential to excel in business at the university.

BEL applicants must:

  • Be a current 10th grade student
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have and maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (unweighted on a 4.0 scale)

BEL applicants must identify as at least one of the following:

  • African American
  • Southeast Asian American (Hmong, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian)
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Native American
  • Low-income student (defined as a student who receives free or reduced lunch benefits at school)

Application Materials

Your application consists of the following parts:

  1. Online application form
  2. Personal Essay: How did you become interested in business? What motivated you to apply to the Business Emerging Leaders (BEL) program? What would you uniquely contribute to the BEL program? (500 word limit)
  3. My Story creative video (see below)
  4. Official High School Transcript(s)
  5. Recommendation from a 9th- or 10th-grade Math teacher

Be sure to complete these required elements of your application in order to be considered for participation in the BEL Program.

Creating a Video for Your Application

Your My Story creative video brings your application to life. Follow these guidelines to create a successful video that shows us who you are and why you are a great fit for the BEL Program.

Tell us about yourself

Help us get to know who you are by responding to the following prompt:

“Research shows that students who have worked to achieve a long-term goal are well positioned for success in college and in life. Tell us about a time you set a goal for yourself, and then worked hard to achieve it. It might be a goal related to academics, athletics, an extracurricular pursuit, or a skill you wanted to learn or to improve. We’re interested to know how and why you selected this goal, what you did to achieve it, and what you learned about yourself in the process.”

Focus on who you are—don’t worry about the technology

Using the video camera on a smartphone is perfectly acceptable. If you do not have access to a smartphone or video camera, please check with one of your high school teachers, counselors, or librarians to make arrangements to borrow equipment.

Submit a video that is 2-3 minutes long

It's not about length—it's about telling your story! Your video must be in .mov, .mp4, or .wmv format and not exceed 500 MB.