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MBA Chapter Gets Award for Socially Responsible Work

Georgetown MBA Net Impact

Kate Reid (MBA'12), front left, and Elly Drygas (MBA'12), front right, co-presidents of Georgetown's MBA Net Impact chapter, say achieving Gold Status for the business and social impact organization is in keeping with Georgetown's Jesuit values.

September 20, 2011 – Georgetown’s MBA Net Impact chapter at the McDonough School of Business continues to focus on socially responsible business issues after recently earning the coveted Gold Status for a second year by Net Impact Central, the organization’s national office.

Founded in 1993 with Georgetown as a charter member, the San Francisco-based Net Impact brings together MBAs, students and young professionals to network and use their business skills for social impact.

“It’s a big deal for us,” says chapter co-president Kate Reid (MBA’12) of the distinction. “It was the first time [co-president Elly Drygas (MBA'12) and I] had applied for it and worked really hard to get it.”

Georgetown’s MBA group is one of 280 chapters of the organization. The university also has chapters in the School of Foreign Service and the Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences.

Variety of Fields

Alumni of Georgetown’s MBA chapter have gone on to hold positions in a variety of fields such as corporate responsibility manager at Nike and associate in the corporate responsibility office at JP Morgan Chase & Co's investment bank. Other McDonough School of Business alumni have gone to work at socially responsible companies like Newman’s Own, a food company that donates all profits to charity; and Green Mountain Coffee, which produces sustainably grown coffee.

To achieve Gold Status from Net Impact Central, the Georgetown MBA chapter had to hold at least 12 events, such as its annual Social Impact Week and the annual Net Impact Day conference, and engage in a service project.

Social Impact Week, which took place Aug. 29-Sept. 2 provided a different event each day, including a screening of the documentary Food, Inc., and a discussion on food sustainability.

Sense of Value

“We want to be talking to potential employers who do carry this kind of greater sense of value when they’re assessing their companies’ bottom lines,” says Drygas.

One of the service projects this year is the group’s Service Corps Consulting Program, which allows students to interact with local nonprofits and offer MBA-level expertise.

Another service project is the Board Fellows program, in which students serve on the boards of nonprofit organizations for the academic year, gaining valuable governance and fundraising experience.

Access and Experience

“It gets them access and experience learning how nonprofits are run,” says Reid, who helped form a business plan for an organization. “They also take on a small project while they’re there to help support the board.”

Reid and Drygas agree that gaining Gold Status for the group reflects Georgetown’s commitment to living Jesuit values.

“I love that the mission of Georgetown University itself is men and women in service to others,” says Drygas, who adds that Net Impact was “crucial” to her selecting Georgetown.

A Difference

The group plans on attending the 2011 Net Impact Conference in Portland, Ore., Oct. 27-29. More than 3,000 attendees and 300 speakers are expected to attend the event, where participants will focus on changing the world through business.

“A lot of our events or activities are focused on looking at organizations [that] have as a primary factor a social impact bend,” Reid says. “Those are organizations that really are working to use skills that students or professionals can bring in to make a difference in the world.”

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