On a sunny Saturday morning in February, 60 BU MBA students eagerly made their way up to the 4th floor of SMG for what promised to be a very memorable day. These students ranged from 1st and 2nd year full-time students to part-time and IMBA students – all with a variety of experiences and backgrounds, and all eager to serve 15 non-profit organizations from our community. BU MBA Link Day is an opportunity for small- to medium-sized nonprofit organizations to access cutting edge managerial expertise. Launched in April 2001 by students in the BU MBA Public and Nonprofit Management concentration, this one-day consulting experience brings together nonprofits, MBA students, academics, and local professionals to analyze a specific problem facing an organization and provide practical strategic solutions.
|Rebecca Onie of Health Leads giving the keynote address|
We kicked off the day with Dean Freeman welcoming all of our participants, non-profit organizations and 18 professors – who served as mentors and subject matter experts with teams for the day. He also welcomed our keynote speaker: Rebecca Onie, founder of Health Leads (formerly Project HEALTH). Ms. Onie spoke of her organization and how they worked to get doctors the right tools to be able to help patients with not just medical issues on the surface but the root causes of diseases such as a lack of food on the table or child care at home. The line from her speech that struck me most though was: “vision does not change the world, execution does”. That is exactly what we were all here to do.
After the keynote, all the teams were off to get started. The hours flew by and the student teams worked throughout the day with their organizations to deliver workable solutions. Several teams created successful marketing plans for established organizations while others created presentation decks for fledgling groups so that they could articulate their vision and mission to prospective funders. All of the organizations valued the help they received and in the end 15 organizations left feeling better prepared than when they had arrived. We even had an organization offer one of our student participants a spot on their board right on the spot!
What I really liked about this day was that each of us helped make a difference in our community in single day. It can be easy to forget to remain connected since we are all busy students - but each of us was so eager to give up a Saturday to engage with our community. In fact, all student slots were filled in just 4 days – a new record – and a testament to the commitment of our students to remain active and give back.
Thank you to everyone who participated. This day was a success not only because we got a lot of great work done but also because we made a difference, in a single day. Get ready for Link Day 2013 – it will be here sooner than you think!
For more information on Link Day, please see this video.
Sonal is a first year MS-MBA student in the Public and Non-Profit Management Program. She is also the first year representative for Cohort C on the Graduate Student Council, a BU on Board Fellow with AmericaSCORES Boston and served as the Student Recruitment Chair for Link Day 2012. When not in class you can usually find her rushing to all sorts of meetings around campus.