Beyond the MBA Classroom: MIT Sloan Charity Auctions

When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Twice a year, in the fall and in the spring, students at the MIT Sloan School of Management organize charity auctions. Each “ocean” (the 60-person cohort with which students take their first-semester core classes) selects a charity to support and identifies items to be auctioned, ranging from lunch with a professor to a home-cooked meal by a student to more unusual offerings, like having a professor chauffeur you to class in his classic car. First-year oceans compete to see which one can raise the most money, and second-year students organize a similar auction. The 2011–2012 ocean auctions raised more than $70,000 for such charities as Pencils of Promise, Bridge over Troubled Waters and the Sloan Social Impact Fellowship.

Specifically, a February 2012 MIT News article reports that in fall 2011, the “Pacific” ocean cohort raised more than $15,000 for Pencils of Promise, which builds schools in developing countries. In addition, a first-year classmate procured a $15,000 matching donation from Dell, Inc. The money raised allowed Pencils of Promise to build a two-room preschool in Laos, Pha Thonglom, benefitting 40–60 children. The organization plans to dedicate the school in Sloan’s name.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at MIT Sloan and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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