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

Owen Board Fellows – Student Application (due 10/24)

Student Timelines & Application information is below. Students are selected based on their application and a short 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 2022 Interest Form

Partner Recruitment: We are currently seeking partners organizations for the 2022 Cohort through November 2021. For further information, please contact Kathleen Fuchs Hritz, Turner Family Center for Social Ventures Assistant Director at

We are thankful for our 2020-2022 Board Fellows Nonprofit Partners:


Alive Hospice

Book Em

Community Resource Center

Day 7

End Slavery Tennessee

The F.I.N.D. Design

Hands On Nashville

Harpeth Conservancy

The Heimerdinger Foundation

Interfaith Dental

Junior Achievement

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Tennessee

Make A Wish Middle Tennessee

Martha O’Bryan Center


Nashville Ballet

Nashville in Harmony

Nurture the Next

Operation Stand Down


Retrieving Independence

Second Harvest Food Bank

Special Olympics


Springboard Landings

Vanderbilt University Credit Union

Women In Technology Tennessee (WiTT)

Youth Villages

YWCA of Middle Tennessee

Our Timeline & Process

Fellows and nonprofits will be paired in December 2021, and fellowships will span from January 2022 – December 2022 (understanding that students may not be in Nashville at times for remote school or summer internships). Fellows and nonprofits will be paired in December 2021. 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 Selection Timeline for Class of 2023 Fellows

The 2021 Board Fellows Application is not yet open.

Fellows selected: November 2021

Fellows connect with partner organizations: December 2021

Pre-Fellowship Orientation: January 2022

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

Ongoing Workshops: Quarterly

Post-Fellowship Session: February 2023

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