When BlackRock announced plans to build the company’s newest Innovation Hub in Atlanta almost two years ago, the organization made a commitment to create meaningful partnerships with the state’s business community and universities, in addition to providing hundreds of career opportunities over the next several years in the state of Georgia. True to its word, the company has started to grow where it planted.
BlackRock representatives made their first visit to Athens to learn more about the University of Georgia and to meet with schools, colleges, and student organizations across campus in spring 2019. Since then, the company’s partnership with UGA has blossomed.
In August 2019, Peter Williams, BlackRock’s Director and Head of Community Strategy & Operations of Atlanta, was named to the UGA Board of Visitors, a group committed to fostering ties between the state’s land and sea grant university and its elected officials, businesses, and community leaders. As part of this selected board, Williams has engaged with the UGA community and has helped educate others on initiatives at the university.
As the university and BlackRock worked together to develop a strong partnership during the 2019-2020 academic year, the asset management and financial technology company invested in the university’s students, diverse academic programs, and innovative faculty, and the university provided exposure to a talented recruitment pool and academic consultants.
Williams believes building relationships across campus is foundational to a long-lasting, strategic partnership. “There are many aspects of our collaboration with UGA, but what excites us the most is how we are providing faculty and students with real world business and industry exposure while also advancing BlackRock’s client service efforts,” said Williams.
BlackRock has demonstrated its commitment to Georgia by creating a workforce that is as diverse as the state through various programs including the BlackRock Founders Scholarship and the Find Your Future Forum, as well as its investments in universities’ career centers across the state. These events and opportunities not only open the door for UGA students, they also provide a platform for students to connect, network, and collaborate across universities and colleges. This has been a key part of BlackRock’s mission since moving to Atlanta.
“The ability to hire a skilled, diverse workforce was the driving force behind BlackRock’s decision to launch an iHub in Atlanta. The university system in Georgia—including UGA—is a big part of that and we are excited to continue deepening our relationship with our partners in Athens,” stated Claude Wade, BlackRock’s Global Head of Client Experience and Atlanta Innovation Hub Leader.
One year after their first trip to Athens, BlackRock made a significant impact on the state of Georgia by establishing the BlackRock Georgia Commitment Scholarship at UGA. This scholarship, which will last in perpetuity, will forever create a positive impact in the life of students in Georgia by removing financial barriers to education and creating opportunity.
BlackRock and UGA have cultivated the start of a great, long-lasting partnership. Trevor Neumann, Director and Leader of BlackRock’s Atlanta Innovation Hub Build, remarked, “We love the work that UGA is doing to open doors for all Georgians, especially those that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. We look forward to working more closely with UGA and the broader university system to keep Georgia students in Georgia.”