Friday, February 3, 2012

Kelley MBAs bring global perspective to local classroom

By Christine Robinson
Second-Year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

In our first GLOBASE Ghana class we kicked off the session by having each of the three student leaders reiterate to the participants why we decided to be a part of the GLOBASE Ghana student leadership team.  For me the answer was simple, to serve.  I knew that I wanted to participate in a GLOBASE program for the opportunity to serve small businesses in developing countries and Ghana had a need for a leader, so in taking on this role I was also serving the Kelley School of Business by helping to ensure the school's continued footprint in Ghana.  However, the more I thought about it the more self-centered this service seemed to be.  Afterall, in serving small businesses, am I also not gaining valuable consulting experience myself?  And, in serving the Kelley School of Business in solidifying their footprint in Ghana am I not serving to increase the value of my own brand?  With this realization I began to ask myself how can we more directly serve Ghanaians?  It was this question that led me to the issue of child slavery in Ghana and an organization called Challenging Heights.  And with this, a new partnership was formed.  A partnership that will allow us to help Challenging Heights create a sustainable business model, help raise funds for the organization, and last but not least help raise awareness of the issue of child slavery in Ghana.

James Kofi Annan Speaking at Brown County Jr. High School


This week we have the priviledge of being able to host several of our GLOBASE Ghana partners here at the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, IN.  One of these partners is James Kofi Annan, a former child slave and founder of our partner organization Challenging Heights. Having James in Indiana has provided us with an excellent opportunty to help raise awareness of the issue of child slavery in Ghana here in our own state, and not just within the walls of the Kelley School of Business but within the broader community as well.  One such opportunity took place at Brown County Junior High School, where James had the opportunity to speak with three separate groups of 7th and 8th grade students.  Personally, I was hearing James' message for the first time along side these children and his message couldn't have been more poignant.  Everything Challenging Heights does centers around the importance of education and sitting listening to James tell his story and hearing how he struggled to gain the education he has, one couldn't help but feel priveledged that we as Americans have access to what should be a universal human right, the access to education. 

Challenging Heights' motto is "To whom much is given, much is expected".  Having heard James' story I can't help but ask myself what am I going to do with what I have been given, and in turn I ask you, what are you going to do with what you have been given?       

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