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Campus News

MBA Students Become Leaders through Community Outreach

by Tavonna Goodman

In addition to meeting the standards of one of the most competitive MBA programs in the SUNY system, many School of Business students are touching the lives of people in the Capital Region community through volunteer work.

Kneeling down front: Tomika Moore. Left to right: Anastasios Ttinlozou, Musa Agamirzoyev, Jason PlumerAs part of their MBA program, students participated in several volunteer events this past fall.

“Being involved helps our MBAs develop leadership skills, and stresses how important it is for business leaders to be connected to and involved with the community,” said Assistant Dean of MBA programs Linda Krzykowski.

Students raised more than $1,650 in the Junior Achievement bowlathon. Junior Achievement supports business-based education in Capital Region schools for grades K-12. More than 25 School of Business faculty made personal pledges. Krzykowski, Interim Dean Paul Leonard, Assistant Dean Albina Grignon, Professor Peter Ross, Assistant Director Lynda Holt, and Professor Paul Miesing attended.

Many professional MBA students have full-time jobs, and with such rigorous schedules during the day, they can only attend classes in the evenings and on weekends. After working with the Southern Saratoga Chamber of Commerce in the Chamber of Angels program, the professional MBA students adopted six children from one family and spent $150 on each child. Assistant Director of the Weekend MBA Program, Lynda Holt, coordinated the students’ efforts.

“I am very proud of our students’ involvement in these and other community service programs. We hope to instill in our students the importance of being good citizens and the vital connection between private sector businesses and community organizations,” said Interim Dean Paul Leonard.

Members of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), a School of Business student group, transported more than five boxes of canned and non-perishable goods to Catholic Charities of Albany and Rensselaer counties. Catholic Charities offers assistance, including basic food, shelter, and clothing, to those in need.

“It does not take a lot of time or resources, just some interest to help out and make a difference,” said Christine Galka, a first-year MBA student. Galka is also secretary of the GSA and co-chair of its Community Relations Committee.

This past November, 15 students and faculty volunteered to help at the annual Equinox Thanksgiving Dinner. Management Science and Information Systems (MSIS) Professor Sanjay Goel worked with the students.

“It served as a great way to bond with one of our favorite professors, as well as be involved in a huge community event,” said GSA President Jason Plumer.

MSIS Professor Peter Ross also worked with Social Services to find a family in need. Twenty students volunteered to pledge and collect money from faculty members and friends and then shopped for the family. In the end the students and staff raised more than $900 for gifts for a family consisting of a mother, three daughters, a son, and a granddaughter.

“Yes we are students, but that’s not all. We are active participants in the community who are dedicated to helping others,” explained Ranjit Singh, a second-year MBA student. This spring semester the GSA’s Community Relations Committee is hoping to participate in a Walk-a-Thon to benefit charity. Also, MBA students are planning to partner with Junior Achievement and actually work in the classrooms of some local schools.

“The members of the MBA program are a unified group that wants to help others. And in helping others, they help themselves to become leaders who will impact their communities for many years to come,” said Singh.