By Emily Josephson, Second-year MBA, Marketing
A couple of months ago, Glenn Close sat across from me in the Kelley School of Business’s Dean’s Office. Although she’s well known for her compelling acting and many accolades, we weren’t there to discuss her acting career. She looked around the table, and simply asked - “has mental illness touched your life?”.
It was a unanimous yes from myself and my fellow Kelley MBA students and teammates, Kirsten Olson and Sarah Nagelvoort. The reality is mental illness is highly prevalent, although it is a subject that is taboo, hidden, and even shameful to acknowledge, as there a related stigma surrounding it in our culture. In that honest and important moment, the three of us took on the opportunity, and even the responsibility, to engage with Glenn Close and her nonprofit, Bring Change 2 Mind. The mission: fight the stigma of mental illness. The deliverables: develop and recommend optimizations for the organization’s social media strategy and donor communications strategy. The tools: our Kelley MBA education, professors, marketing expertise, nonprofit expertise, project management expertise, and drive.
Marketing experience and a strong business acumen were important skills I brought to the social media aspect of the project, however it was the drive that was the most important ingredient. As a member of the Kelley Consumer Marketing Academy, a former advertising agency executive, and future brand manager, I am passionate about building brands and have done so for 6+ years. I am perhaps most passionate, however, when I have the opportunity to use my skills to “do good”, and that is why I decided to participate in this consulting project to help Bring Change 2 Mind message and live its mission to fight the sigma of mental illness and make positive change through the power of social media.
While this experience did help me learn more about social media, teamwork, working with a nonprofit, and the ever-changing Facebook and Twitter analytics, the most important lesson was a bit more personal. Giving has always played a role in my life, and earning my MBA has empowered me with another way to give - by bringing my expertise to nonprofit organizations I believe in to make a difference.
Through this project, we were able to do just that by delivering powerful insights and recommendations to strengthen the reach and impact of Bring Change 2 Mind’s mission to fight the stigma of mental illness. I feel it is my personal responsibility to leverage my skills and expertise to create positive change in the world, and I am thankful Kelley shares these same values to make opportunities like these possible.