Columbia Business School has a long and impactful tradition of using the talents of its students and faculty members to engage and assist the local community. The School’s move to Manhattanville, in addition to beautifying a former industrial zone, constructing spacious public parks, and creating local jobs and business opportunities, will help strengthen existing community outreach programs and provide the opportunity to create new ones.
Some examples of the way the School already works to help the local community:
Columbia Community Business Program | Nonprofit Board Leadership Program | Harlem Tutorial Program | Hughie Mills Business Academy | Holiday Party for Kids | Financial Education Society | I-Prep | Community Action Rewards Everyone (CARE)
Housed in the School’s Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship, and in collaboration with the Law School and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Columbia Community Business Program (CCBP) gives for-profit businesses based in Upper Manhattan access to the School’s various entrepreneurial resources, including training sessions with business coaches and regular meetings with students, faculty members, and alumni. Through this engagement, local entrepreneurs gain valuable advice from current and future industry leaders on how to transform their businesses. CCBP partners with community organizations such as the Abyssinian Development Corporation, the Harlem Business Alliance, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, and others, who serve as advisers to the program.
Part of the School’s Social Enterprise Program, the Nonprofit Board Leadership Program pairs current students with New York City nonprofit organizations to work on research projects throughout the year. Students present their findings and offer suggestions to the boards of the nonprofit organizations, using the business skills they learn at the School to help influence public service in real time. Past nonprofit partners include Friends of the Children, the Riverside Park Fund, Pathways to Housing, and many more.
A joint project with the Law School, the Harlem Tutorial Program matches 80 Columbia Business School students each year with Harlem-area junior high school students, whom they tutor on campus one or two afternoons per week. In addition to helping the participants acheive academic success, the objective of the program is for tutors to act as role models for junior high school students, aiding in their social and educational development.
Managed by the Black Business Students Association, the Hughie Mills Business Academy brings together small business owners in Harlem with less than $250,000 in revenues for a five module course of study in areas such as marketing, accounting, and strategy. Sessions are taught by Columbia Business School students.
Each November, the Graduate Business Association invites 180 schoolchildren from the local area to campus to attend a holiday celebration thrown by Columbia Business School students. Uris Hall is transformed into a children’s party space complete with holiday decorations, seasonal music, activity stations, and even an MBA student doubling as Santa Claus. Children play games, sing carols, and leave with a present.
Part of the national Junior Achievement organization, the Financial Education Society connects Columbia Business School students with local high school students, whom they teach basic economic principles. The Financial Education Society also creates forums for students to research and discuss various aspects of financial literacy and brings financial education experts, academics, and advocates to campus to speak about key issues relating to financial literacy.
Twice per week, Columbia Business School students gather for I-Prep, a program in which students conduct mock interviews with emerging professionals, typically welfare-to-work individuals, to provide guidance and insight to help them in their job search and interview process.
Community Action Rewards Everyone (CARE) is the umbrella organization for all charity and volunteer efforts at Columbia Business School, and is consistently innovating new ways to for MBA students to do good in the community. Each MBA cluster elects a representative to the CARE board, who helps organize opportunities for that cluster and the rest of the School to participate in community service.