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Jasmine was a second year investment banking analyst ready to take the next step and return to school for her MBA. When we met and discussed her profile I noticed that like many of her professional cohort, she had no activities outside of work. She told me that she barely had time to go to the gym and catch up with friends in her limited time off.
While she had a weakness in her recent volunteerism, Jasmine had been somewhat active in college. She had a leadership position in her sorority and volunteered in the local homeless shelter occasionally. These were great attributes, but ultimately I knew it would be hard to show that Jasmine was truly engaged in her community and that she cared about others without something more substantial.
Luckily Jasmine met with us almost a year before she planned to submit her application. That gave us time to create a game plan for her activities outside of work. Looking at all of Jasmine’s passions and interests since childhood it was clear that sports had been a big part of her life until college. She was an avid lacrosse player and had played competitively through high school. Though she didn’t make the college team, she continued to play for fun. I asked Jasmine to look into community service opportunities that might involve lacrosse.
When we met again Jasmine had discovered an organization that worked with an inner city community center to bring city kids to the country for sports camp. As part of the program they taught lacrosse. Jasmine started volunteering to teach the kids once a month ”“ a commitment of only 2 hours on a Saturday. She was able to take the time, and after several lessons become invested in the kids. As part of her involvement she decided to plan a fundraiser for the program and called on her extensive network of philanthropic young professionals.
Jasmine worked with a virtual team of organizers and pulled together a party to raise money for the non-profit in about six weeks. With only a few hours a week (mostly over email) she was able to put together an event that raised $27K for the organization. This event had a real impact on the non-profit and they were extremely grateful.
While Jasmine became involved in teaching lacrosse to inner city kids mostly to benefit her MBA application, she found the experience incredibly personally rewarding. After she began the MBA program at Columbia she continued to volunteer on the weekends and even planned another fundraiser for the camp, tapping into her new Columbia network. Most impressively, Jasmine is now interested in pursuing board work for non-profits as she continues her banking career. For someone who didn’t have time to give back to the community, Jasmine has already made a huge impact.