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Schools Pitch in to Make TeamMBA Month a Success

Giving back to their communities, a record number of business schools helped make TeamMBA Month 2009 a resounding success.

This year, 47 schools signed on to perform community outreach and service as part of TeamMBA Month, up from 28 last year. Overall, more than 3,600 students took part. TeamMBA Month 2009 projects raised more than US$87,000 for charities. Since TeamMBA started in 2005, nearly 7,000 students have donated over 25,000 hours and raised more than $500,000 for charities and causes around the world.

Proving their commitment to social responsibility, students and staff made significant contributions of time and energy for the greater good:

Among many demonstrations of service, students volunteered at food banks, raised money for cancer research, and built homes through Habitat for Humanity.

Several students noted how important the community connection is to their own education. "I think this is really important and helps you realize Columbia is this huge community, and they actually have a lot of different needs, and we as students can help out with these needs,” says Sara Coe, vice president of philanthropy for the MBA Association at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business. The students cooked dinner for families of hospitalized children staying at the Ronald McDonald House near campus. (Check out our podcast to hear more.)

 “Without the Atlanta general community, there would be no business community. And so to ensure the business community continues to thrive, we need to make sure it is a safe place for individuals, where they feel they have the support of the business commuity,” adds Brigid Scarborough, who worked on a multi-campus food drive at the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. “And also, we depend on them for our success, so we, in my mind, owe it to them, to make sure they’re taken care of as well.”

Jacqueline Simpson says that although she thought her classes at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University were diverse, working with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program brought the concept to an entirely different level. Helping lowering the recidivism rate for prisoners by teaching them business skills exposed her to vastly different backgrounds. “It helped develop my relationship skills, and basically I’ve been able to apply all the knowledge, or a lot of the knowledge I’ve learned in the classroom.”

Following TeamMBA Month, attention turns to the 2009 TeamMBA Awards. Highlighting the unique way that business students combine management savvy and social responsibility, the TeamMBA Service Award recognizes a specific community service project. The TeamMBA Institution Award recognizes school leadership in promoting a culture of giving back and social responsibility. Award recipients will be announced at a special presentation during the GMAC Annual Industry Conference in June in Baltimore.

“In addition to providing much-needed help in local communities, TeamMBA activities give students practical experience in applying in the field what they are learning about business concepts, leadership, and organization skills,” said Melissa Knueven, associate director of global citizenship initiatives at GMAC, the organizer of TeamMBA. “It’s the ultimate win-win for students, schools, and communities.”

For more information—including details about how your school can join TeamMBA and take part in TeamMBA Month 2010—visit TeamMBA on gmac.com.

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