Graduate Management News
Effective Practices

TeamMBA Shines with “The Business of Giving Back”

In late August, first-year students in the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business joined TeamMBA by taking a day during their orientation to help clean up Fort Washington, a historic park near Washington, D.C.

Last month, TeamMBA bicyclists ranked sixth in fundraising out of 315 teams at the Livestrong Challenge in Austin, Texas. The event raised $3.7 million for cancer research, including more than $60,000 by TeamMBA. GMAC participants included J. Markham (Mark) Collins, associate dean of the University of Tulsa College of Business Administration; students, faculty and alumni from Southern Methodist University, including Marci Armstrong, associate dean of the SMU Cox School of Business; and Dave Wilson, GMAC President and CEO.

At Maryland, “the TeamMBA idea has generated a buzz,” says Christine La Cola, the school’s executive director of career management and recruitment. “Before the students launched into their studies head on this fall, they rejuvenated a Washington, D.C., public space and gave back to their new community. They forged new relationships while recognizing and engaging with an organization in need.”

“To be relevant in business today, one must employ socially responsible business practices,” La Cola says. “TeamMBA promotes this concept.”

TeamMBA’s coordinator, Melissa Knueven, was an invited speaker at this year’s annual conference of the Graduate Business Student Services Association. Her session, “The Business of Giving Back: Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility through TeamMBA,” was designed to share information about the TeamMBA initiative and solicit ideas for how GMAC can better support community service activities at graduate management schools.

Meanwhile, GMAC invites graduate managements schools worldwide to take part in TeamMBA week, coming up April 21–25, 2008. “TeamMBA is an opportunity for MBA students around the world to prove that they have a passion for helping others,” Knueven says, “and a great opportunity for business schools and students around the world to show the world that they are committed to social responsibility—and to making a difference.”

More information about TeamMBA can be found at


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