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Identity and Diversity in Organizations (IDO)


Identity and Diversity in Organizations (IDO)

BBA Milestone Degree Requirement 

"One of our strengths is that students come to Michigan Ross with a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives.  Our IDO milestone helps students develop the skills needed to get the most out of a rigorous business education, to participate in our welcoming campus climate, and to be highly effective professionals throughout their careers."

--Norman Bishara, Associate Dean for Undergraduate & Early Career Programs


IDO Requirement Description

Milestone Information

Identity  -  Diversity  -  Organizations


Session Engagement - Reflection Papers 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to sign up for IDO on Sessions@Michigan


IDO Requirement Description:

The Identity and Diversity in Organizations (IDO) milestone graduation requirement must be completed by all BBA students. The purpose of the IDO program is to prepare students to interact with people from different backgrounds who have had different experiences from their own--  in terms of race, geography, personality type, income level, talent, gender identity, belief system, disability status, and other identities. In business, our students will interact with clients, coworkers, leaders, employees, shareholders, and others who are different from themselves. The IDO requirement, unique to Michigan Ross, helps students make these connections by taking a close, personal look at its three elements: identity, diversity, and organizations.

To fulfill this requirement, each student must attend and reflect upon three IDO sessions. The first session is focused on identity and must be completed during a student's sophomore year in the BBA program. The second session is focused on diversity and must be completed during student's junior year in the BBA program. Juniors may also use study abroad experiences through Ross Global Initiatives to complete the attendance portion of the requirement. The final session is focused on organizations and must be completed by March 1 of a student's final year in the BBA program. Students must complete the identity milestone before the diversity milestone, and the diversity milestone before the organizations milestone. For more information about each milestone, refer to the corresponding section on this page. 

The reflection papers students write must address the points presented in the IDO Reflection Paper Guidelines and will be due no later than two weeks after the start date and time of the IDO session the student attended. Reflection papers will be reviewed by an IDO Graduate Assistant using a standard rubric to determine whether the paper submitted meets the requirements for the milestone to be considered complete. Once a student has attended an IDO session and the reflection paper is approved, the corresponding IDO milestone will be marked as complete on the student's transcript. Students must have each milestone complete in order to receive the BBA degree. More specific information about the requirements for IDO is available in the BBA Bulletin. 

If you have questions about IDO, please email  


Identity Milestone Information:

Identity is a multifaceted concept that includes your conception and expression of who you are personally and professionally. While there are many ways to think about identity, IDO focuses specifically on learning about social identities, which is the part of your self-concept derived from belonging to certain groups or social categories. Examples of these groups and categories are race, gender identity, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, and nationality and more. As you can see from the examples provided, we all have multiple, intersecting identities that impact how we perceive ourselves and others in society.

Being aware of your own identities as well as others' identities is important for connecting and collaborating with others in diverse educational, social, and professional settings. In your Identity session, you will learn important concepts related to social identity, reflect on your own experiences, and begin to consider how being aware of identities is a skill set that will help you develop as a business leader.

Identity learning outcomes

After attending an identity session, you will be able to:

  • Define social identity as a concept and explain how it is distinct from other ways that identity may be discussed

  • Identify how you would describe your own social identities and discuss the ways in which your various identities intersect

  • Connect your social identities to other important aspects of who you are, such as your values, life experiences, perspectives, leadership style, and professional goals

  • Reflect on how identities can influence your experience in various contexts, such as educational, social, and professional settings

Important Information for sophomores

The identity "I" milestone will be introduced in BA200. During the fall semester, you do not need to sign up for an Identity session outside of class. In the winter semester of sophomore year, you will receive an invitation to sign up for an Identity session during that term. Both the session attendance and written reflection will take place during the second semester of sophomore year. 

The sign up tool now being used for IDO is Sessions@Michigan. Register for ONE identity session here. You have been added to a Canvas Site called IDO 19-20, which is where you will submit your IDO papers and receive feedback from graduate assistants. 


Diversity Milestone Information:

In business, creating inclusive environments and diverse teams allows organizations to better serve their clients/customers, employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. Diversity is a compilation of various identities that, together, contribute to the unique makeup of groups. While the representation of diverse identities and perspectives in groups is important, for groups and teams to be successful, individuals need to feel a sense of belonging and that their voices are valued.

In your Diversity session, you will learn important concepts related to diversity and inclusion, reflect on your own experiences, and begin to think about your role in creating inclusive environments.

Diversity learning outcomes

After attending a diversity session or Ross Global Experience, you will be able to:

  • Define diversity in your own words and identify the experiences and perspectives that have shaped this concept

  • Describe how you view the relationship between diversity and inclusion

  • Identify ways that a group can be more inclusive and explain how you view your role in this process

  • Reflect on how engaging in diverse groups can influence your experience in various contexts, such as educational, social, and professional settings

Important information for juniors

The majority of Diversity sessions will be offered winter semester. As a reminder, study abroad experiences through Ross Global Initiatives (with the exception of August immersions taken the summer between Junior and Senior year), will fulfill the attendance portion of your Diversity milestone; writing the reflection paper is still required. If you will not be on campus in the winter semester but will not be on semester exchange through Ross, you should plan to attend a session in the fall. Reach out to IDO program staff as early as possible to make accommodations. A special session will be offered in December specifically geared towards students who need to complete the diversity milestone during fall semester.

The sign up tool now being used for IDO is Sessions@Michigan. Register for ONE diversity session here. You are still on the Canvas Site called IDO 18-19, which is where you will continue to submit your IDO papers and receive feedback from graduate assistants. 


Organizations Milestone Information

Organizations are groups of people who share common goals and work together to meet them. Diversity and inclusion can affect individual and organizational performance because our identities can influence how we experience and perceive organizations in our roles as clients/customers, employees, shareholders.

Organizations sessions bring corporate partners, alumni, and faculty members to share their perspectives on how identity and diversity play a key role in driving success in business and positively impacting society. You have the opportunity to select from a list of various presenters who will share their firsthand experience, discuss crucial current topics related to identity and inclusion in business, and/or present research related to diversity in the field of business. Whichever session you choose, you will also have the opportunity to reflect on your own experiences and examine how your understanding of identity, diversity, and inclusion in business organizations may have shifted since you began your education at Ross

Organizations learning outcomes

After attending an Organizations session, you will be able to:

  • Explain why identity, diversity, and inclusion are important in the context of business

  • Describe how identity, diversity, and inclusion influence strategy and decision making in organizations

  • Reflect on your own experiences related to identity, diversity, and inclusion within organizations

Important information for Seniors

Organizations sessions will only be offered in the fall semester to allow adequate time for the milestone completions to process before the March 1 deadline outlined in the BBA Bulletin. 

The sign up tool now being used for IDO is Sessions@Michigan. You can access the list of options for "O" sessions here. You are still on the Canvas Site called IDO 17-18, which is where you will continue to submit your IDO papers and receive feedback from graduate assistants. 


IDO Session Engagement Guidelines:

  • In order to receive credit for attending an IDO session, you must arrive on time and stay for the entire session

  • Have your MCard with you in order to be scanned in for attendance purposes

  • Laptops and cellphones will not be needed in most IDO sessions

  • Many IDO sessions are discussion-based-- come prepared to engage thoughtfully and respectfully with your peers and the presenters

  • Only sign up for one IDO session for each milestone; if you can no longer attend the session you have signed up for, drop from the registration on Sessions so that students on the waitlist will be able to attend 


Reflection Paper Guidelines:

This section contains general information regarding the expectations for IDO papers. Prompts specific to each milestone will be available on Canvas when the assignment is released to you after attending a session. If you need assistance with writing your reflection paper or would like to further discuss the topics presented in your IDO session, graduate assistants are available by appointment to meet with you one-on-one. Please fill out this form if you would like to meet with an IDO grader.

The contents of your reflection paper will be kept private.  Your paper will not be shared with students, professors or recruiters unless you consent to the content of your paper being shared.  The only people who will have access to your paper are you and Ross staff members affiliated with the IDO program.

Helpful tips for IDO papers:

  • While the content of IDO papers is of a personal, reflective nature, you are expected to follow conventions of formal, academic writing  

  • Make sure your reflection paper is clear, concrete, and free of spelling and grammatical errors 

  • Be sure to answer all portions of the prompt and refer to the rubric included with your assignment, which is how you will be assessed

  • Vague generalities should be avoided

  • Be sure to turn in your paper by the due date, which will be two weeks after the session you attended at 5:00 pm 

  • You are able to see the rubric being used to evaluate your paper; utilize this as a tool when writing your paper