MBA students linking local companies and nonprofit groups

Author: Dennis K. Brown and Mary Hamann

While more and more colleges and universities now include a service project as part of their orientation experience, Notre Dame is taking the concept to a new level with the innovative MBA Community Partners program, an ongoing initiative that utilizes the business skills of MBA students to connect corporations and nonprofit organizations.

During orientation week this past summer, Notre Dame MBA students met with local corporate executives and not-for-profit directors to examine the ways in which businesses engage in community outreach and the needs of participating agencies. In the succeeding weeks, the students built on their preliminary research to develop a network of information and knowledge in a comprehensive database designed to encourage fruitful partnerships between local nonprofit groups and area companies.

The initial findings of this resource and partnership initiative were presented to participating organizations Oct. 27 in an event at Notre Dames new DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts. The students shared early successes, including several student appointments to local nonprofit boards, and described the partnership links they have established.

All 200-plus members of the entering MBA class participated in the MBA Community Partners orientation, and many students are involved in the project as it continues throughout the academic year. Nineteen local companies and 17 local nonprofit organizations are involved in the project.

In addition to proposing and arranging matches between participating organizations, the students also learn from their interactions with business executives and nonprofit leaders, while sharing their own skills and expertise.

The participating corporations are: AM General, Barnes&Thornburg, CB Richard Ellis, South Bend Community Wide Federal Credit Union, Crowe Chizek, 1st Source Bank, Gurley Leep Automotive, Holladay Properties, Key Bank, Memorial Health Systems, Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, Press Ganey Associates, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend Tribune, Teachers Credit Union, The Schurz Foundation, Transpo, WSBT, and Ziolkowski Construction.

Nonprofit organizations include: B.A.B.E. (Beds and Britches, Etc.), Boys and Girls Club, Broadway Theatre League, Catholic Charities, Dismas House, El Campito, Fernwood Botanical Garens, Goodwill Industries, Hannahs House, Home Management Resources, Life Treatment Centers, Logan Center, Oasis House, Robinson Community Learning Center, St. Margarets House, Urban League, and the YWCA.

  • _p. Contact:

_ * Jessica McManus Warnell, program manager, Mendoza College of Business, 574-631-9182; " " p.

TopicID: 8024