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California Leadership Institute (CaLI)

A Collaboration Between the UC Business Schools to Increase Access for Underrepresented Californians

The California Leadership Institute (CaLI) is a new initiative working to deepen the connection of the six UC business schools with their local communities. Working together, the institute demonstrates the value proposition of a career in business to all Californians. 

CaLI is an all-expenses-paid business and career leader­ship experience for undergraduate students interested in developing their leadership and professional skills, and in attending a graduate business program. Students from all majors are welcomed and we especially encourage women, LGBTQ+, First Generation, Latinx/Hispanic, African American/Black, Indigenous and Native American students to apply.

As a participant in the program, you will learn from world-class educators from the six University of California graduate schools of busi­ness, meet current students and alumni to hear first hand experiences, and partic­ipate in workshops that will build your skills and give insight to pursuing a graduate degree in business.

Elements of the weekend include:

  • Skill building workshops
  • Management faculty research presentations
  • Career panels by UC alumni
  • Degree comparisons by current students
  • Networking opportunities

Our objective as a systemwide initiative is for the UC business schools to reflect the diversity of California and increase the enrollment of historically underrepresented groups. Students who complete the weekend will be eligible to receive graduate application fee waivers and fellowship funding (a minimum of $5,000/year) upon admittance to one of the six UC business schools.

Program dates

March 22 - 24, 2024

Program costs

Hotel and meals will be covered by the program.  Up to $200 for travel expenses will be reimbursed upon request and receipt of expense. 

Eligibility criteria

  • Students currently enrolled at a four-year California school/university with sophomore or junior standing receiving preference.
  • Transfer-ready California community college students.
  • Applicants must be California residents or undocumented students with AB540 or DACA status.
  • We accept applications from all majors—you just need to be interested in attending a graduate business program.
  • While we do not have a minimum GPA requirement, we encourage applications from students with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Application deadline:  February 29, 2024


A Look Back at our 2023 Program Schedule:

Friday, April 14, 2023

  • Welcome Reception with Rady School of Management Dean Lisa Ordóñez
  • CliftonStrengths workshop by Rady School’s Careers team (Amanda Lowery, Kathy Self, Patricia Hasson)

 Saturday, April 15, 2023

  • Value of a Business School Degree, the alumni perspective.  A panel session moderated by Bob Schmidt, Executive Director, Brandes Center and featuring alumni from Rady School of Management (San Diego) and the Merage School of Business (Irvine)
  • Social Impact: Where does your passion lie? Workshop led by Audra Buck-Coleman, Director, UC San Diego Changemaker Institute
  • Storytelling. Workshop by Roy Quinto, Head of Pre-Admission Initiatives, UCLA Anderson School of Management

 Sunday, April 16, 2023

  • What's it like at a B-school? The student perspective. A panel session moderated by Silvia McCallister-Castillo, Executive Director, Rady MBA programs and featuring students from Rady School of Management (San Diego) and Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management (Riverside)
  • Roadmap to Graduate School workshop by Rady School’s Admissions team (Emily Dayton, Matt Alex)
  • Innovation 101 workshop by Kimberly Davis King, Lecturer, Co-Director StartR Incubator Programs - Rady, Impact and Inclusion.