MBA blog: Making money while doing good

Our blogger Raymond Fung decides to use his new-found business knowledge for good causes

Injustice, poverty, discrimination, environmental issues, on and on, the list of issues around us can be as long as you wish. It's nothing new, to a point it has derived a sense of numbness in us. Many of us have read about it, contributed in donation, done a various degree of volunteer work. But are we doing it right? It seems the more we do, the more wrong we have around us. Are we really helping? I don't know, but I'm trying to find out.

Within this year of MBA life at IE Business School, along with all the fancy workload and mountain of case studies. I have also involved myself in multiple social events that interest me.

Namely, the Social Responsibility Forum, Impact Weekend (a social entrepreneurship competition) hosted by the IE Net Impact Club in Madrid and the Doing Good and Doing Well conference by IESE in Barcelona. For an internship I decided to volunteer in South Africa via the Emzingo program (which was founded by IE IMBA alumni). 

The Emzingo program aligns the selective MBA students based on their background and interests with the non-profit organizations in South Africa and Peru, then places the students with designated coaches and mentors to allow students the maximum freedom to interact with the organizations and design the final deliverables for the end of our internships. 

This term, a total of 21 MBA students from three business schools are taking part in this program: 14 to Johannesburg, South Africa (10 from IE, three from LEEDS, one from ESADE), and the other seven IE students are heading to Lima, Peru. We will be working with various non-profits organization, some are international renown, some have really limited resources. 

These organizations are involved in education, HIV preventives, marine life preservation, micro-finance, entrepreneurial training and coaching, etc – a total of 12 projects. I headed to Johannesburg, partnering up with Momen Alrayyes, a student from LEEDS University, to work on entrepreneurial training and mentoring project for Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship which is partly funded by Virgin Unite. I am a strong believer of doing good for the world while making money and this project absolutely thrills me, to a point I can’t even find words to describe it. This is the time, when I put my knowledge into practice, particularly entrepreneurship, which is something I am passion about.

Prior flying to Johannesburg or Lima, we went through an extensive orientation in Madrid to prepare ourselves to work in developing countries and to learn how to maximize our positive impact. I personally have to say, I wasn't really sure what to expect of the orientation week. I was more eager to get going on the ground. But now looking back for the past few days, I am glad about the time spent during orientation. Besides the knowledge gained through the seminars, I find it was crucial to admit that we as students know practically nothing about South Africa and Peru. 

Thus, I learned that it is important to never jump to any assumptions but open our eyes and observe. The chaos we think we see could easily be a norm order in a different culture.  It is all a matter of perspective. We are only going to be here for six weeks, our goal and objective should be clear; and our input to the organizations must not merely be what we MBA students deem necessary for them but take into account what they tell us they need and the limitations they face.

The orientation week was composed of many elements, including coaching, leadership, ethics, a review of the current economic and political climate in the respective country, a visit to the Peruvian and South African ambassadors (definitely a highlight), and then was close off with a fund raising event organized by the 21 of us, Emzingo fellows.

The upcoming weeks in South Africa will be challenging, fascinating and I will push myself to another level. I don't think I am ready, I don’t think you will ever be ready before diving in, but one thing I do know is I'm ready to be inspired, so bring it on!

Raymond Fung is an International MBA student at IE Business School

PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Data Analyst - Essex - £25,000

£23500 - £25000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Data analyst/Sys...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Account Manager

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Account Manager is r...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Manager / Sales Executive

£18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Account Man...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore