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Information for Students

Information for Students about Rice Business Board Fellows

We're so glad you're interested in Rice Business Board Fellows. The benefits will go way beyond the time you serve on the nonprofit board. Not only will you be helping your community and spreading the good reputation of the business school, but you will be making connections with other like-minded people.

Informational Videos:

Benefits for you:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the role of business leaders on nonprofit boards
  • Develop professional knowledge and skills in board governance
  • Offer a high-impact way for you to serve your community using your business knowledge
  • Develop the skills for effective and thoughtful community leadership


Download the Student Brochure

Application Process

Student applications for 2021 Fellows will be open in late August/September.

  • Hi everyone, my name is London Hayes, and I’m the CFO of the 2020 cohort of Rice Business Board Fellows. I am also a PMBA weekend student. If you’re interested in becoming a Board Fellow, the first step you should complete to be considered for the 2021 Board Fellow class is the application. The application will be open in August, and qualified candidates will undergo interviews in September. Once interviews are completed, accepted 2021 Board Fellows will be notified and matched with their non-profits in October.

    The application process to become a Board Fellow is a highly competitive process, so here’s a few tips on submitting your application. Be thoughtful in your answers, and set aside a chunk of focused time to complete the application. There is no one perfect candidate we are searching for, and most importantly, we aim to create a diverse class that can meet the needs of our boards. Be sure to highlight your unique experiences and passions, along with any past philanthropic experience. The application will have a handful of short answer questions, and we recommend reading those as a whole before answering them individually. This will help to avoid any redundancy in your answers and ensure your full story is shared with the executive team.

    The last tip we have is to apply early. We are reviewing the applications on a rolling basis, so please apply early! We look forward to reviewing your applications and getting to know y’all further in the interview process. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out using the contact information on our website.

    Thank you, and we hope to see y’all in the Fall!

Expectations of a Rice Business Board Fellow

  • Participate in board meetings and on board committees
  • Support the work of the organization for which you are a board fellow
  • Maintain ongoing and regular communications with the board of your organization, mentor, and Rice staff liaison to ensure a positive experience with the organization  
  • Attend Board Fellows orientation, trainings and complete relevant surveys
  • Communicate with mentor, board chair or organizational contact regarding inability to attend meetings

What you can expect from your organization:

  • Integrate board fellows into their board
  • Communicate board and committee meeting dates and times within three weeks of being matched

What we expect from your organization:

  • Create a supportive and stimulating learning experience for the board fellows 
  • Help board fellows develop an understanding of the organization’s goals and challenges
  • Respond to emails and other communications in a timely manner
  • Secure board and organizational support for hosting a board fellow
  • Identify the board fellows mentor (a member of the board who will serve as the fellow’s primary contact and guide)
  • Provide a formal introduction to organization which includes but is not limited to sharing financials, minutes, committees, board meeting dates and times, and any pertinent information of the board and organization
  • Mentor or organization contact person must attend the Board Fellows Orientation and Closing ceremonies
  • Invite board fellows to meetings and introduce them to board members
  • Set outcomes that can be completed and respect students’ academic commitments  
  • Conduct a final meeting with the board fellows and, if applicable, transition to new board fellow
  • Provide feedback to the board fellow as needed and submit two feedback surveys to the board fellows staff liaison Michelle Kaltenbach throughout the duration of the fellowship


You will be assigned a mentor from the board of the organization you are paired with. You should take a proactive role in maintaining ongoing communication with your mentor. The mentor will:

  • Guide you through his or her participation on the board
  • Act as a resource for questions about the organization
  • Educate you about board service and governance

Time Commitment

You should anticipate spending 2-5 hours per month attending board and committee meetings, and working on committee projects for you assigned organization, as appropriate.

Financial Commitment

All board fellows must pay dues of $35. Additionally, we encourage you to make a financial commitment within your means to your organization, though it is not required as a non-voting board fellow. There may be opportunities for additional board training that will require (subsidized) payment.

Fellows are selected based on the following:

  • Submission of a thoughtful and thorough application
  • Successful completion of an interview with business school staff
  • Interest in nonprofit and board service work
  • Professional and relevant skills
  • Good academic standing
  • Commitment to the time required (2-5 hours per month, varies by organization)

Nonprofits are selected based on the following:

  • Submission of a thoughtful and thorough application
  • Commitment to developing new leaders
  • Organizational stability
  • Identification of mentor who is available two hours per month
  • Clarity of the board fellow role and secured organizational buy-in
  • Clear articulation of board fellow’s committee, project scope and deliverables
  • Good communication skills