The model of American business schools is radically changing. In times past, students came to business school, looked for the highest paying jobs they could find, and looked forward to making lots of money upon graduation. But in today’s age, the business school experience is different. Today, it’s more possible than ever to pursue socially-driven goals at business school. To work with organizations that not only want to make a profit but also want to make a difference. One of those organizations that I’m working with at Kellogg is Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. And just last week, I had the great pleasure of attending Cristo Rey’s annual fundraiser in downtown Chicago, as an incoming Board Member for 2011-2012.
Just last week, I had the pleasure of attending Cristo Rey high school’s annual VIVA! (CLICK HERE for description and pictures) scholarship fundraiser at Millennium Park’s Harris Theater rooftop terrace. And what a great event it turned out to be! It was a day of inspiration for those who wanted to reflect on how well the school had done last year. A day of celebration for the school’s former students and employees. And a day of participation, not only for volunteers wanting to get more involved but also for people in Chicago, including the city’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
In addition to being a hit, the event was also my introduction to Cristo Rey, which is important as the incoming Kellogg Board Fellow for the next year. So I met with the Chairman of the board and the Chairman of one of the board committees. I met with the Director of Development, and another members of his team. And I met with a couple of past board fellows who not only loved their experience on the board but also continue to serve the organization by working on the junior board today.
But more important than seeing the mayor and meeting with board members was that I also had a chance to finally see the school first hand. To take a peak at the institution that’s considered a long-time pioneer in the education field. And the school that’s praised for coming up with one of today’s most innovative business models in urban education. A model that allows the students to earn a percentage of their tuition by working five full days each month in entry-level positions at top corporations in downtown Chicago - major banks, law firms, hospitals, and consulting firms.
And at the root of this innovation was the idea that top organizations, like Cristo Rey, do well because they use business to do good, not just to make profits. And that its board members and board fellows understand that with this privilege of being successful comes responsibility. Not just to go out and do well, but also to give back and to make the world better. And to do it in a way that has lasting impact.
Personally, I want to have impact in the education field. And in the end, it sounds like joining Cristo Rey will allow me to do just that over the upcoming year. I look forward to joining the Cristo Rey community.
To learn more about Cristo Rey, CLICK HERE for the website. Also, see below for the video on 60 minutes.