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 BEL Program opens November 1, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. CT and closes February 8, 2019. Other important dates can be found here.


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. Essay responding to all of the following questions: Why are you interested in business? What interests you about the BEL Program? Please give specific examples of how you have started or want to start pursuing your interest in business. (700 word limit)
  3. My Story creative video (see below)
  4. High school transcript(s)
  5. Recommendation form, which must be completed by one of your high school teachers or counselors; this online form will be sent to teachers/counselors directly via email, and must be received by February 8, 2019.

Be sure to complete all 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 your personal story

Show us who you are by answering these questions. Be creative and, more importantly, be yourself!

  • What challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?
  • What do you want to achieve in college? After college?

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.