MBAs Doing Good

Last month Wharton’s blog discussed the Wharton Societal Wealth Program, which was also recently featured in the Financial Times. The Societal Wealth Generation Program uses entrepreneurship as a weapon to combat social problems in a for-profit model. Yesterday, the Wharton blog highlighted another organization with social impact: the 2007 Wharton Social Impact Conference, complete with the Wharton Charity Fashion Show, which will feature designers that utilize sustainable business practices.

Wharton is not the only school working to teach that economic growth can benefit society as a whole, rather than merely being concentrated in the shrinking upper class. The Haas School at Bekeley has a number of programs and organizations with a similar focus. The McDonald’s Research Fellows in Corporate Responsibility Program provides a team of second year students with the opportunity to conduct a study on McDonalds CSR activities. The Gap Scholars CSR Program provides two-year scholarships of $5,000 each year to three full-time incoming Haas MBAs who demonstrate a commitment to the field of corporate social responsibility. The Haas Center for Responsible Business is the umbrella organization for these programs and much more.

As you think through your short and long term goals, which become an important element in your overall MBA strategy, think big! Go beyond a job description and think about how what you do can impact more than just your small (or big) role, your company, your employees. Your reach can extend much further, and for the purpose of the MBA applications, your impact needs to be bigger that a positive job review. Check out how Rainierisms is thinking big in his recent blog entry!

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