Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Winter 2005Kellogg School of Management
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Kellogg Corps in Tibet
Kellogg Corps volunteers Brandon Davito '05, Kameron Rezai '05, Liz Henning '05, Cherie Yu '05, and Rachel Lester '05 in Tibet
Kellogg Corps puts B-school skills to real-world test around the globe

Brandon Davito '05 never thought that his Kellogg School degree would have landed him in a small Tibetan village, helping artisans to market traditional handicrafts.

  Kellogg Corps in Ecuador
  Kellogg Corps volunteer Kathy Wang '05 worked with local artisans in Ecuador.
  Kellogg Corps in Tibet
  Kellogg Corps volunteer Brandon Davito '05 with local children in Tibet
  Kellogg Corps in Samoa
  Kellogg Corps volunteers Andre do Valle '05 and Ricardo Cilloniz '05 worked with microlenders in Samoa.
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."

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."

As 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 of organizations."

To find out more about Kellogg Corps and how you can support this effort, please visit

Kellogg Corps in Cameroon
Kellogg Corps volunteers in Cameroon
©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University