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MBAs Spend Summer Supporting American Red Cross and Area Children’s Museum

June 22, 2009
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The School’s long-running MBA Consultants to Nonprofits Program continues to make a difference this summer with the American Red Cross of Greater Miami & the Keys and the Miami Children’s Museum participating. The summer
   Omar Paredes
 

 Omar Parades at the podium after attending a
 press conference on hurricane safety held by
 the mayor of Miami Dade County 

internship program, which links full-time MBA students with area nonprofits, is sponsored by Adam Carlin, MBA ‘94, principal of Bermont/Carlin Group, a local Citigroup Smith Barney affiliate, and the School’s Business Ethics Program. It provides MBAs with valuable experience solving business problems and building professional networks, promotes a spirit of engagement and community service, and reinforces the idea of businesses and the community working together for mutual benefit.

This summer, three MBA students will spend 10 weeks advising nonprofit organizations on basic business applications ranging from accounting and financial planning to supporting human resource and marketing functions.  The students receive a stipend for their work as well as the satisfaction of seeing their labor have tangible effects almost immediately.

The program is tailored to best meet the needs of the students and organizations. This year, MBA students Jennifer Glasgow and Omar Paredes are working with the Red Cross, while Brett Lovelady is helping the Miami Children’s Museum.

Paredes, working with the South Dade branch of the Red Cross, is focused on redesigning and developing marketing materials that are more appealing to a younger generation as the American Red Cross develops a new marketing initiative in an effort to improve its brand among 18 to 25 year olds.

“The Red Cross, even though it’s a nonprofit, is still a brand.  Most of my projects target college kids.  So I developed certain campaigns that I hope will attract them to volunteer and donate, whether it is with money or their time,” said Paredes.

Glasgow is creating a marketing plan for the North Dade Branch, which opened in March. In addition, she is involved in creating and pitching media materials, a rebranding initiative, creating a Web site in English and Spanish, and attracting support through promotional materials and event planning.

“I have had the chance to express my creativity through graphic design, rebranding, and Web site creation- projects that will help diversify my resume and prepare me for opportunities in the future,” said Glasgow, who is also managing undergraduate interns. “My management classes at the UM School of Business have truly helped me sharpen my management skills and given me insight into expressing my ideas clearly and efficiently.”

Over the course of the summer, Paredes and Glasgow have helped manage radio and television interviews with such media as NBC and Univision. They have also provided support at news conferences on hurricane safety involving the mayor of Miami Dade County and the Emergency Operations Center.

Lovelady is assisting the Miami Children’s Museum with digital and social marketing programs and helping the organization plan its Fall Carnival fundraiser. Lovelady also helped organize the grand opening of the Museum’s Adventures With Clifford The Big Red Dog™ exhibit this month.

“I have been able to get a much better inside view and understanding of how the nonprofit sector is organized,” said Lovelady. It has given me much more respect for this area of business. I have also been able to apply some of my skills in a real world atmosphere.”

“You can walk out the doors each day and feel like you have done something positive for an organization that is really working to make a difference in children’s lives,” added Lovelady. “It is a good feeling to know you are a part of something so positive for the community.”

In early fall, at the conclusion of their internships, students will present their projects to each organization’s directors and a panel of corporate executives.  This formal event offers students another opportunity to build their networks and develop their presentation skills.

If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring a student for this program, please contact Alex Pons, director of the Ziff Graduate Career Services Center at apons@miami.edu or Anita Cava, director of Business Ethics Programs, at acava@miami.edu.
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