Eller Executive MBA Collecting School Supplies for South African Students
EMBA students will deliver supplies to five high schools outside of Johannesburg in October.
TUCSON, Ariz. – August 26, 2009 – On October 1, 23 Executive MBA students enrolled in The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management will travel to South Africa to gain international perspective, but they’re also planning to leave something behind. Packed in with their laptops, power adapters, and comfortable shoes will be school supplies for high school students in Alexandra, a vast and impoverished township on the outskirts of Johannesburg.
The students’ need is great — many residents of Alexandra lack access to basic services such as electricity and running water, much less school supplies. Officials at Alexandra’s five high schools (Alexandra High School, EastBank High School, Kwabhekilanga High School, Minerva High School, and Realugile High School) have requested up to a thousand each of blue pens, HB pencils, rulers, erasers, basic calculators, clear plastic book covers, tape, and more. The Eller MBA program is collecting donations in Tucson at McClelland Hall Room 210 (1130 East Helen Street) and at its Scottsdale location (16425 N. Pima Rd., Suite 370) now through September 24.
“The Executive MBAs will be judging the top five teams from a high school business plans competition in Alexandra,” explains Brent Chrite, MBA program director. “We are giving the supplies to the participating schools in order to support their efforts in educating the next generation of South Africans. These materials will also support their interests in entrepreneurship and small business development as a response to extraordinary levels of unemployment and poverty in the region.”
“We have a moral imperative to give the children of the world the chance to make their lives better,” says Harry Rising, program manager for the Arizona National Guard Camp Navajo Industrial Operation and current Executive MBA student. “It is a real blessing to have the opportunity to make this difference anywhere we can, especially away from our own homes. It helps to strengthen the ties of fellowship that bind us together as people of goodwill.”
For Rising and his classmates, the South Africa trip is the culmination of their MBA program, from which they will graduate in November. In addition to guest judging the business plans competition in Alexandra, they will visit Cape Town and Johannesburg, where they will meet with high-level executives at American Express, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Population Services International, ANC, Simonsig, Nederburg Vineyards, and more.
“International travel is the common link for ordinary people to gain real understanding of other people and their cultures,” Rising adds. “We cannot expect to understand someone until we see their ways in their own environment. In my earlier job in international sales, I came to understand that we hold far more values in common throughout the world than not. To witness the business environments of others during our education focuses that idea, while illustrating how environmental, political, and social context affects that commonality.”
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #12 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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