Florida Southern MBA Students Raise $22,000 for Lakeland Nonprofit Organizations
LAKELAND, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2010) -- Students in Florida Southern College's new full-time, 16-month MBA program have raised $22,000 for Lakeland nonprofits during a first-semester "Marketing Management" project.
The class, led by Dr. Nicholas Nugent, assistant professor of business administration and sports management program coordinator, was given the assignment about two months ago, to design and implement a fundraising event to benefit Polk County charities.
The class divided into two teams and chose the United Way of Central Florida (UWCF) and the Humane Society of Polk County.
The team benefitting the UWCF, led by Rachel Wright, staged a bachelor's auction Nov. 19 and 20 at Winter Haven's Lake Region Yacht & Country Club. It was attended by 160 people and raised $12,500.
The team benefitting the Humane Society, led by Sarah Hartsfield, held a poker tournament at the Magnolia Building in Lakeland on Nov. 19. It was attended by 100 people and raised $9,500.
The project was designed to integrate real-world experiences and academics, a philosophy that defines FSC's MBA program.
"Business is not just about balancing a financial statement, it's about incorporating communications, leadership, and teamwork," said Dr. Larry Ross, business professor and director of Florida Southern's MBA program.
Students not only had to handle the logistics and legalities of planning events, but they also experienced potential future career paths. Both Wright and Hartsfield say they are now planning careers in event planning after their experience on the project.
The MBA group has fostered goodwill in the business community they will join after graduating in Dec. 2011, having made significant contributions to both organizations they benefitted.
"I was impressed by the enthusiasm, planning and execution of the event. It is especially encouraging to know that these students will soon be business leaders who understand that this business includes community events," said UWCF president Terry Worthington. He noted that the students' contribution was the top source of new business for UWCF to date this year.
Humane Society executive director Lisa Baker was equally impressed. "We were wowed. The students did a fantastic job. The entire event was flawless," she said.
The students will continue on as a cohort in the MBA program, utilizing the planning and implementation expertise they developed during their first semester.