The Owen Board Fellows Program

Owen Board Fellows is a program of 100% Owen, the community service and philanthropy-focused club at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. We aim for students to engage meaningfully with the community and strengthen leadership skills by pairing full time MBA students to serve on the boards of local nonprofits in and around Nashville.

Owen Board Fellows will serve as non-voting board members for their designated nonprofit organization for a calendar year, spanning their first and second years in the MBA program. Fellows will also have the opportunity to apply classroom learnings by supporting their paired nonprofit with a strategic project.

The program was established in 2019 with the purpose of cultivating civic leadership in graduate students of business. We aim to equip MBA students for non-profit board leadership in their careers and support partner nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee to advance mission-driven work.

Owen Board Fellows – Student Overview

Student Timelines & Application information is below. Students are selected based on their application and an interview (interviews will take place during November). Strong candidates will be able to clearly articulate their interest in serving as a nonprofit board member and how participation in the fellowship links to their future and personal and professional goals. Only MBA students can take part in Owen Board Fellows at this time.

Partner Organizations

The Board Fellows program would not be possible without dedicated nonprofit partners who seek to create this learning and leadership opportunity with students. Partnering with a Vanderbilt business student can provide your organization with fresh insight and actionable recommendations, while investing in the next generation of community leaders. Board Fellows will bring:

● MBA Skillset: Fellows will apply the analytical business skills learned in the classroom into the community by helping nonprofit organizations with strategic leadership initiatives.

● Board Training: Fellows will complete a day-long training on nonprofit board governance. Additionally, Owen will be hosting quarterly learning sessions on specific topics, which will be required for Fellows and open to partner organizations.

● Engagement: Fellows are expected to attend all board meetings, including potentially serving on a board committee. Fellows are also asked to support and attend your organization’s special events, similar to other board members (approximately 5-10 hours per month, overall).

● Strategic Project: Fellows will work with you to identify and work on a specific and strategic project at your organization during the term.

Nonprofit partners can share specific skillsets and needs, and will have the opportunity to preference student board fellows after the annual networking session.

Owen Board Fellows – Partner Organization Overview

Owen Board Fellows – Partner Organization Interest Form

Partner Recruitment:
Recruitment and onboarding for new partners for the 2023 cohort will take place in Fall 2022. We are always open to hearing of nonprofit organization interest.  For further information, please contact Kathleen Fuchs Hritz, Turner Family Center for Social Ventures Assistant Director at

We are thankful for our 2022 Board Fellows Nonprofit Partners:



Community Resource Center

End Slavery Tennessee


The F.I.N.D. Design

Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

Harpeth Conservancy

The Heimerdinger Foundation

HopeKids Middle Tennessee

Interfaith Dental

Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Tennessee & Alabama

Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee

Martha O’Bryan Center

Nashville Ballet

Nashville Symphony

Nurture the Next

Operation Stand Down Tennessee


Retrieving Independence

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

Sexual Assault Center

Special Olympics Tennessee

Springboard Landings

Tennessee Youth Symphony

Vanderbilt Credit Union

Women In Technology Tennessee (WiTT)

YWCA of Middle Tennessee

Our Timeline & Process

Fellows and nonprofits will be paired in December, and fellowships span from January – January (13 months, understanding that students may not be in Nashville at times for remote school or summer internships). While the commitment is for one year, ultimately, the program encourages Fellows to continue their involvement with nonprofits in the communities in which they will live as Owen alumni.

Student applications for the Owen Board Fellows Program are closed at this time.

Student Selection Timeline for Board Fellows

Each fall, first year MBA students apply in October.

Fellows selected: November

Fellows connect with partner organizations: December

Fellow-Partner Preferences & Match: December

Pre-Fellowship Orientation: January

Fellowship (Board Placement & Membership): January 2022 – January 2023

Ongoing Workshops: Quarterly

Questions about Board Fellows? Contact Kathleen Fuchs Hritz, Turner Family Center for Social Ventures Assistant Director at