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The Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program (BOP)

Founded in 1968, for nearly five decades, the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program (BOP) has served as the bedrock of the Krannert School of Management’s student diversity efforts and is still our most important catalyst in recruiting and retaining students who contribute to the diversity of Krannert’s student body. Under the leadership of Dr. Cornell Bell and the Director of Diversity Initiatives, BOP has grown into a nationally recognized program that offers scholarships, academic advising, and career networking opportunities to outstanding students, helping ensure that a Krannert business education is within reach of all deserving scholars pursuing management careers. BOP averages between 20-30 undergraduate and 10-15 graduate students per year. To date, more than 1,400 students pursuing bachelors or master’s degrees in the School of Management have directly benefited from the program.

The Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program (BOP) summer session is a bridge program for historically underrepresented students admitted to the Krannert School of Management as freshmen for the fall semester. Instead of beginning their management education in the fall, BOP students start during the summer school session to ease the high school to college transition, get acclimated to college life, and form relationships with like-minded individuals who ultimately serve as a support group over the next four years. Students enroll in four summer courses and gain 11 credit hours upon the completion of the program. BOP participants all live in the same residence hall and participate in community building activities outside of class which aid in preparing them for success in Krannert and beyond.

The Business Opportunity Program summer session is a recruiting and retention tool used to attract incoming students and graduate them in the School of Management with business degrees. Current success metrics are detailed below:

  • The BOP summer session had the largest enrollment of underrepresented minority students in almost 20 years.
  • The current 6-year graduation rate for BOP alumni (student participants from the summer of 2012) is 90%, compared to 81.2% for all of Purdue University (West Lafayette), 69% for all of Purdue University’s underrepresented minority students, and roughly 45% for minority students at all 4-year higher education institutions in the US.
  • For students participating in BOP during the summer or 2014, 94% received a job offer at the time of graduation from companies and firms such as Accenture, Aramark, ArcelorMittal, Crowe, Deloitte, Eli Lilly, Goldman Sachs, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, PwC, and Rockwell Automation.


Date: Summer 2020

Location: Jerry S. Rawls Hall (West Lafayette, Indiana)

Participants: 20-30 incoming, historically underrepresented minority Krannert freshmen

Financial Support: $200,000 - $300,000 ($10,000 per student participant; covers tuition, room & board, and books and materials)

Support Deadline: June 1, 2020

Sponsorship Benefits: With sponsorship of at least one summer session participant ($10,000):

  1. Partner with BOP on customized recruiting strategies and student engagement opportunities for on-campus visibility and brand awareness
  2. Gain exclusive and early access to freshman BOP students before other companies/firms via presentation or interactive workshop during summer session
  3. Provide an information session or classroom presentation to BOP students during the fall semester
  4. Receive the Society of Minority Managers (SMM) resume book in addition to sponsor benefits at SMM Networking Reception
  5. Distribute student internship and full-time job opportunities amongst students, and experienced-hire job postings to alumni
  6. Utilize BOP facilities to conduct on-campus interviews
  7. Logo and name placement on BOP website as program sponsor with link to careers for brand recognition
  8. Directly impact the number of historically underrepresented minority students graduating from the Krannert School of Management