The three pillars of the Crosby MBA program are the community, curriculum, and careers. When the three are able to be combined for a dynamic experience, the synergistic effects have the potential to be very impactful for all involved. Realizing this opportunity, the leadership of the Trulaske College of Business collaborated with the United Way to initiate the University of Missouri’s inaugural United Way Board Fellows program. Through this program, students will act as a consultant for projects involving local nonprofit agencies and will serve as board members over the course of spring 2018. Six students in the Crosby MBA program were selected to take part in the experience: Jacob Hurrell, Morgan Steward, Satu Lantiainen, Elise Watson, Renato Rodrigues, and George Brand. They will each work with a variety of organizations, including Heart of Missouri United Way, Phoenix Health Programs, United Community Builders, Adult Day Connection, Fun City Youth Academy, and Youth Empowerment Zone. Each student was matched with an agency based on their skills and interests.
This program was first created in Stanford University in 1997 and has since expanded to include universities ranging from Harvard University, Cornell University, Washington University, and more. Students will take part in this program as a component of their coursework to complete the MBA program, but will also gain real-world experience in a way that benefits the community. On Monday, November 13, the student board fellows, employees of Heart of Missouri United Way and the participating nonprofit agencies, as well as stakeholders in the United Way joined together to kick off the program. The Trulaske College of Business Dean and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Ajay Vinzé and Chris Roberts, spoke on behalf of the University of Missouri to express their excitement regarding the launch of this program. Additionally, Executive Director of the Heart of Missouri United Way, Andrew Grabau, addressed the over thirty members in attendance to introduce the program to the community. The room was buzzing as the diverse group of people networked and began the process of building relationships that are integral to seeing this program to fruition.