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Doing Social Good as an MBA

Apparently, doing good business and just doing good are quite different things.

According to Ivan Bofarull, Esade business school’s director of global insights and strategic initiatives, MBA students, while spending up to two years studying in a particular region, could do something to be useful and solve the city’s problems, like homelessness or unemployment, social problems like bullying and discrimination, or even global problems such as climate change, Poets&Quants reports.

Initiatives To Do Good

MBA students can join a number of initiatives and groups to help improve social and economic life in the cities.

For instance, one such initiative is called MBAs Across America; it helps bring new life to small U.S. towns, uniting for this goal many MBAs and entrepreneurs.

NYU Stern founded a Center for Sustainable Business to teach their students that sustainability should be their guide as entrepreneurs. Business leaders should be ready to implement sustainability principles into their decisions.

How Can Businesses Do Good?

Apart from non-profit organizations and social groups that allow MBAs to change the world for the better, there are similar initiatives at large financial companies, like Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs.

For instance, Morgan Stanley has started The Healthy Futures Fund initiative, investing $200 million into it. This initiative’s objective is to help poor citizens to reach health care and housing, fighting poverty and disease.

McKinsey, a consulting company, started Focusing Capital on the Long Term initiative. This non-profit group focuses on long-term decisions for business and investment to help implement sustainability.

MBAs Can Help Cities Solve Their Problems

According to Ivan Bofarull, efforts to do social good should be made more ‘local’ and headed by cities. Large and innovative businesses, like Google, create special teams focused on such projects. The same can be done for cities with the help of MBA students and graduates.

Bofarull suggests that teams including scientists, designers and MBAs can try to find ways of making scientific discoveries and designer solutions marketable and usable for cities. Such an approach will benefit both MBA students and cities: cities will take advantage of the MBAs’ skills and knowledge, whereas MBAs will practice their skills in business and form networks. Such useful experience will look very well in a resume, and can be used in any post-graduate job.

Meanwhile, more and more business schools are providing their students with opportunities to study corporate social responsibility (Responsible Management Education). Such courses are focused on raising awareness of the importance of sustainability for students everywhere and teaching to make important social changes.

Students are taught that corporate leaders have not only economic responsibilities, but also ethical, legal and social ones. A leader’s personal values can be crucial for effective management. Basically, such courses teach future managers how to make good decisions and not only turn a profit for their company, but also help the world.

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