International Volunteer Day and Business Schools (Part 2 of 2)

logo_eng_circles2013December 5th was International Volunteer Day, an opportunity for individual volunteers, communities and organisations to promote their contributions to development at the local, national and international level.  It is a unique chance for people and volunteer-involving organisations to work with government agencies, non-profit institutions, community groups, academia and the private sector.

In Part 1, we took a look at a range of examples of how business schools students and staff are volunteering in their communities, in particular through student run organisations that coordinate volunteer activities as well as through pro bono consulting projects in the local community or abroad.

Several schools go beyond just providing student volunteer opportunities to incorporating volunteering into their various academic programmes. The undergraduate business programme at Singapore Management University has, since its inception in 2000, required students to complete twelve weeks of internship, two of which must involve community service with a voluntary welfare organisation. All undergraduate students at Sabanci University’s School of Business in Turkey take a course called “Civic Involvement Project,” where they participate in real life projects that make a difference to peoples’ lives. In Spain, EADA has a Millennium Development Goals Project course, which aims to develop the participant’s leadership and social responsible capabilities through service learning and putting in place social projects.

At Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor in Canada, all students take a course called Managed and Organizational Life, where they are required to complete a project where they design and implement a fundraising event for a local charity. Over the past eight years, they have raised over $400,000 Canadian dollars to support local charities. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany introduced Social Credit Points in 2009. For every 30 hours of extracurricular spare time is counted as one social credit. The Social Credit Point Awarding Committee that decides which activity is worth how many credits is made up of individuals from a Learning Advisory, Relationship Management, Programme Development and Student Council. The Social Credit Points are published in the Transcript of Extracurricular Accomplishments.

In keeping with the theme for this year’s International Volunteer Day, many business schools have volunteer programmemes aimed at engaging and empowering young people. The George Washington University School of Business’s 2+2 programme involves matching mentor teams of two (one GWSB student and one GWSB alumn) with mentee teams comprised of two high school students from Anacostia High School in Washington, DC The teams participate in a series of workshops that provide training on leadership, financial literacy, and social entrepreneurship to prepare them for summer internships and future careers. Invest ‘N Kids is an on-campus tutoring and mentoring programme run by Boston College (BC) MBA students for disadvantaged Brookline middle school students. BC MBA tutors meet one-on-one with their students for 8-10 sessions per semester to work on a variety of academic subjects. Tutors split their session time between homework assistance and a stock market game, where the students learn about investing and about starting a small business through the Biz World programme. At Fundaçao Dom Cabral (FDC) in Brazil, São Judas Tadeu nursery School in Nova Lima, MBA students, along with the local community, build a new wing with six classrooms, which made it possible to host a further 300 children and to create a space destined for teaching trades and crafts. Sogang Business School in Korea provides students with two week long internships in rural villages in Indonesia to teach English and math skills to young school children in the community.

If you would like to take part in the International Volunteer Day, take a look at their website as well as the website for UN Volunteers, a UN agency that advocates for volunteerism, integrates volunteerism into development planning, and mobilises volunteers. UN Volunteers also has an online portal where you can share your skills, knowledge, and ideas from a computer anywhere in the world. You choose a task that matches your skills and interest, a development topic, and a region of the world and the system will give you a selection of volunteer opportunities.

– What are you doing for International Volunteer Day? Post your projects in the comments section below or tweet #PRME #IVD2013 –


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