Business school class learns through philanthropy

The 58 students in “Analysis of Business Issues” class are using community service projects to hone their business skills.

Community service becomes a business venture for the students, who will compete in groups and present their project strategy and results in December to a group of outside judges. The judges will then select the best service project as well as the best presentation.

“(Community service) gives business students practical experience with a real business case,” said Susan White, assistant professor of Decision Sciences. “Furthermore, it helps us give back to the community.”

For the first time last year, four groups of sophomore students competed with projects such as a walk for breast cancer and working for the Creative Center for Nonviolence.

“(They) were almost unanimous in their opinion that this was a valuable part of the course,” White said.

This year, eight groups are competing for the best service project. One group of sophomores created a project they called Lemons for Leukemia. The group gave away free lemonade on Thursday and Friday in Kogan plaza, asking for donations rather than selling the product. The group got donations for supplies from Safeway, the College Republicans and Pi Kappa Phi.

Brian Palo, a sophomore, said Lemons for Leukemia stands a great chance of winning.

“It involves a lot of hard work,” he said. “We started this service project from scratch, rather than doing work with a service group. The idea of selling lemonade for leukemia victims is completely original.”

On Thursday, Lemons for Leukemia made about $279. All proceeds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services.

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