Corps puts B-school skills to real-world test around the globe
Davito '05 never thought that his Kellogg School degree would
have landed him in a small Tibetan village, helping artisans
to market traditional handicrafts.
A graduate of the Master
of Management and Manufacturing program (a dual-degree offering
from Kellogg and Northwestern University's McCormick School
of Engineering) who had recently accepted a position with McKinsey
& Co. in Chicago, Davito found himself dodging charging
yaks and living in Spartan conditions without running water.
"As different as Tibetan culture is from our own, the business
principles that make a successful venture are the same anywhere,"
he says. "There was a great interplay, as our host organization
taught us about Chinese and Tibetan values, and we taught them
basic business concepts."
Corps volunteer Kathy Wang '05 worked with local artisans
Corps volunteer Brandon Davito '05 with local children
Corps volunteers Andre do Valle '05 and Ricardo Cilloniz
'05 worked with microlenders in Samoa.
Brandon and 22 other Kellogg graduates gave up their summer breaks to
volunteer with Kellogg
Corps, a student-run organization that sends teams of
MBA graduates on 4- to 6-week projects with nonprofits in
developing countries. Since its inception in 1996, Kellogg
Corps has sent more than 300 participants to more than 30
countries to work on projects in areas as diverse as eco-tourism,
microfinance and agriculture.
In addition to the Tibet trip, this year's volunteers traveled to five
countries, including Cambodia, India, Ecuador, Samoa and Cameroon.
The projects' objectives ranged from determining the societal
costs of removing Indian children from the labor force to
establishing policies and procedures for a microcredit agency
in Samoa and writing a business plan for a tree nursery in
China which supplies rural farmers with a sustainable source
of building materials.
After spending two years in the fast-paced business-school environment,
students see Kellogg Corps as an opportunity to apply what
they learned by working in a setting completely unlike that
they are accustomed to at home. "Samoa is one of those places
where you sit on a beach with your friends and stare into
the crystalline South Pacific," says volunteer Andre do Valle
'05. "Through Kellogg Corps, the experience is intensified
many times over," he says. "You experience the real culture
by living among the people and working with them. The bonds
you build with your friends from working together and delivering
impact on real-world problems are bonds that last forever."
is the case with most student activities, an ongoing challenge
for Kellogg Corps has been fund raising. Airfare, food and
lodging often cost as much as $3,000 per volunteer, so participants
are expected to contribute a portion of the cost. "Fund raising
is one of our top priorities for Kellogg Corps," says Olga
Khaniaeva '06, finance co-chair. "Our goal is to make the
volunteer experience accessible and affordable for anyone
who wants to participate in order to help the maximum number
find out more about Kellogg Corps and how you can support
this effort, please visit kelloggcorps.org.