Peace Corps - Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management offers Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows the opportunity to earn the Master of Business Administration for Business, Government and Not-for-Profit Management (MBA). All Willamette MBA students participate in the PACE (Practical Applications for Careers and Enterprises) program where they serve as consultants and support the activities of selected not-for-profit and government enterprises. This service/consulting project provides a valuable opportunity to build real-world experience and contribute to the community through enhancing the operations of client service organization."
Based on eligibility, up to full tuition merit-based scholarships available. Coverdell Fellows who enroll as full-time students in the Early Career MBA or MBA for Career Change programs will be awarded a minimum $5,000 Atkinson School Peace Corps Returnee Scholarship. Consideration for additional scholarship awards or graduate assistantships are also available based on eligibility. The application fee is waived for Coverdell Fellows.
Current Coverdell Fellows Share Their Story...
Four Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) and Coverdell Fellows have joined Willamette's Early Career/Career Change MBA program this fall in the school's first year of hosting the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program. As announced in the September 2010 edition of ATKINSONews, Willamette MBA was welcomed as a Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program (now called the Coverdell Program). The four Coverdell scholars served their Peace Corps experience in Turkmenistan, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador. Coverdell Fellows pictured left (l to r): Anne Fraser, Casey Morgan, Katie Skaar and Collin Thibodeaux reflect on their decision to pursue an MBA post-Peace Corps:
Coverdell Fellow, Collin Thibodeaux said about his choice to pursue an MBA at Willamette: "The comprehensive nature of the MBA Program really interested me. Several of my friends are pursuing more 'traditional' MBAs, and they have a good deal of theoretical work, but little to no experiential knowledge. I feel that the life lessons I took from Peace Corps coupled with the knowledge and experience I will take from Atkinson will give me a unique advantage over other MBAs upon graduation."
Casey Morgan, a Coverdell Fellow who served in Nicaragua, reflected on his decision, "I couldn't decide if I wanted to continue with government work, focus on non-profits, or go in a whole different direction and study business. That is when I found the MBA program at Willamette University. With a Masters in Business Administration that is accredited for both business and public administration, I didn't have to decide, I could study all three."
Additionally, Katie Skaar, a fellow that joined Atkinson from Washington, DC, said "After meeting with a fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who was a Willamette Alumni, I was introduced to a school whose values and curriculum responded nicely to my own desires. It was Atkinson's 'MBA's for the non-MBA' style that I was looking for – a program that put into practice what it preached without excessive proclamations."
Fellow Anne Fraser, who also worked as a recruiter for the Peace Corps after her time of service, said about her graduate school search, "Willamette was a great match because the MBA curriculum is unique and focuses on management not only in the for-profit sector, but also in the public and not-for-profit sector. The program integrates experiential learning into the coursework providing students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by serving local community businesses."