Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Net Impact Chapter at Kelley

One of the things I chose to focus on while going through the MBA admission process was the Net Impact program at each of the top ranked business graduate schools. I did not know which route I wanted to take and was considering doing either a social entrepreneurship MBA or an MBA in corporate finance. I did know however that even if I chose to go the corporate finance route, I wanted to be at a school that took corporate social responsibility seriously. It was Kelley's openness to student ideas that caused me to take a second look. While GLOBASE was a clear example of this, the introduction of Net Impact's Board Fellows program was another.


The Board Fellows program is one that provides students in MBA programs the opportunity to sit on the boards of local non-profit organizations and help those organizations with different types of projects. It does not matter if you are looking to get an MBA in entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, or supply chain management, the Board Fellows program has something for you.

Last year I worked with Wonderlab, a children's science museum in Bloomington, and was amazed at how many different aspects of business my project touched on. What started out as a pretty clear cut retail store profitability analysis soon exploded into much more. It became about marketing and ensuring we were selling the right products to the right customers. It became about supply chain and ensuring we were ordering the right amount of product from the right vendors. It became about the accounting system and ensuring that the information being given to the board was accurate. What started out small, grew and helped me to understand how a nationally ranked MBA could really help me to attack a problem from all possible angles to reach the best solution.



In addition to wanting to participate in board fellows, I had clear goals coming into the program of additional changes I wanted to enact. The first thing I wanted was to change the MBA course curriculum to include more material related to sustainability and CSR. After becoming a member of the Net Impact chapter and a part of the leadership team, I decided to take the idea of curriculum change to the MBA administration and faculty. My request was willingly received, and I am thrilled to say that a case has been added to the MBA core curriculum this year. All of the first year MBAs are going to be learning about Hindustan Lever (Unilever) and their marketing of Anapurna salt to Base of the Pyramid consumers in India. This willing change in the curriculum came in response to one student's approach of the administration, and this is why I believe I am in the best MBA program in the USA!

While I have PLENTY more to say on Net Impact, I will save it for another post. Take care and come back soon!

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