MBA students win charity business competition
A team of MBA students from the Marshall School of Business won top honors this weekend at the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ annual Challenge for Charity competition.Marshall’s delegation of 220 students raised over $235,000 and completed 5,300 volunteer hours. This year’s competition marks the sixth year in a row that the Marshall team has won the competition.Started 30 years ago at Stanford University, C4C is a nonprofit organization with active chapters at eight top business schools on the west coast, including USC, Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkeley and the University of Washington. C4C works to develop leadership in the business field but also commitment to the community and social responsibility. At USC, C4C is the largest student-run organization in Marshall, and this year, the chapter held more than 90 events during the academic year.The competition’s top award, the Golden Briefcase, is awarded to the school that achieves the highest score in total hours volunteered (40 percent of score), money raised (40 percent of score), and performance in sporting events at the C4C weekend (20 percent of score). The Marshall team received first place in both sports and fundraising and second place in volunteering events.All C4C chapters collaborate to raise funds for the Special Olympics, the primary beneficiary of C4C since its creation. Additionally, each chapter selects two additional partner charities from their surrounding communities. This year, the Marshall C4C team supported Junior Achievement of Southern California and A Better LA, a nonprofit started by Pete Carroll.Aaron May, a student in Marhsall’s full-time MBA program, serves as co-president alongside fellow MBA students Gregory Woodburn, Lisa Horii, Robert Needham, Jordan Selva and Keahn Gary and led a board of 75 members.“What I really love about C4C is how it shows that the students in this program really care about each other and the community that we’re a part of … It complements our curriculum and our careers,” May said. “It gives us the ability to look outside our walls and realize that there’s a lot more out there than financial statements and marketing. There are plenty of ways that we can give back to our community using the skills that we have acquired in Marshall.”After he graduates in a few weeks, May plans to continue working on a company he created with classmate Mike Koranda a year ago. The company, Pacific Issue, creates custom-tailored shirts for men and received $25,000 through a crowdfunding campaign.“It’s great to see that my classmates care about giving back to the community in these ways. It’s amazing for me to be a part of it and lead the charge,” Gary said . “It’s incredible when you think of how much money we raised, especially if you compare it to the amount we raised last year when we set a record at $202,000. It’s crazy. It’s amazing what our two MBA programs — full-time and part-time — can do when we get behind a common purpose and a mission.”Woodburn came to Marshall with a background in the nonprofit sector. He was attracted to C4C as an opportunity to further explore his passion and skills in philanthropy. Woodburn will be working for the Clinton Foundation next year.“The intersection of business and philanthropy really resonated with me when I first learned about the program after being admitted to USC Marshall for business school … We have a lot of people moving to Southern California from across the country or the other side of the world. C4C has been a great way for them to learn that giving back is a huge value here at USC, especially at Marshall,” said Woodburn. “Our three pillars are Career, Curriculum and Community, and we think those are really the attributes that build the whole experience here … We get to take the lessons we’re learning in the classroom about organizational culture or operations and build those skills in the community realm also. I got to work with great people doing the work that I love.”Over the last six years, Marshall MBAs have raised over $1 million for charity through the C4C program.Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the team won first place in volunteering and fundraising and fourth place in sports. The team actually won first place in fundraising and sports and second place in volunteering. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.