I had a very interesting introduction to the Social Action Club, far from what the typical MBA student goes through. Like most students who enter the MBA – overwhelmed by the academics, professional clubs and the focus on developing a career – I was blind to what I could give back to my community.
A few months into the academic year, the Social Action Club was raising awareness for Mary’s Meals – a partner organization that provides nutritious meals for children. The 2nd year student who was managing the table was called away urgently, and she looked around, made eye contact with me and said “I need you to step in for me, But don’t worry I know you can handle this”.
For the next thirty minutes, as I waited for her backup to arrive, I read though the organization’s objectives, and then proceed to help raise funds for a cause that I didn’t know much about.
That’s precisely what the Social Action Club does. It provides a platform for students, where they can step in for a cause they believe in and contribute to the best of their abilities. At that moment, I felt so lucky to have found a place where in the middle of a hectic MBA, I could pause and consider how kindness and thoughtfulness could change the world.
After this, I have fundraised for multiple events and causes at IESE, and every time I am overwhelmed by the commitment and generosity of the students and partners who step in without hesitation.
An important event is Social Action Day, which is the culmination of a week of activities where the IESE community contributes time, effort and funds to multiple causes partnering with various organizations across Barcelona. The activities include:
- Bake sales supported by partners of students
- A Fun(d) Run partnered with Mary’s Meals
- Social Consulting projects with locals NGOs
- A trip to Tibidabo with disadvantaged children from Sonar Despierto
- Volunteering with food delivery at a soup kitchen in Raval
- Volunteering at Hospital Sant Joan de Deu
This year, we were able to support 100+ children via Mary’s Meals, take 60 children to Tibidabo, and assess two local NGOs.
Apart from this annual event, throughout the year the Social Action Club is supported by other professional clubs, who promote us during conferences, or by Happy Hours where the contributions go to a charity of their choosing. We also collaborate with the cultural clubs, who help us organize activities and volunteer along with us.
Ultimately, the Social Action Club is only a platform. The true driver has always been the IESE community, where we are constantly reminded that the way we become better is by lifting everyone else around us.
My favorite memory this year is of a student who came to the table to donate. When he heard how little it cost to feed a child for a year, he declared “Who wouldn’t donate for something like this?”. Two minutes later, he joined me behind the table and started fundraising with me.
All I could think of was, “Welcome to the IESE way of doing things”.
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