“Business” with a heart

On the top of the Financial Times page, one of the link options that was on display was “MBA blog”. Interested, I clicked and skimmed through its contents, fully expecting entries that talk about survival in and the brutality of an MBA programme.  With post titles such as “Navigating the online jungle”, “Who wants to be a rock star?”, and “A measure of performance”, which talks about one of the bloggers’ experience working for the California Fisheries Fund, I was half-disappointed. But I quickly had to reassess after meeting the four different bloggers. Here are their profiles (click image to enlarge).

ftmba

Three are currently attending and one attended outstanding MBA programmes.  Sure, they’re all bright young people.  But their similarities don’t stop there. If you read about who they are, it should be apparent that they are doing business with a heart. The phrase “business with a heart” sounds incorrect if you look at what they do.  But as one of the bloggers said in his most recent post: “Everyone who works at the Environmental Defense Fund wants to change the meaning of the term “business as usual”. And I suppose you get the point.

It is not your conventional Wall Street, consulting, manage-your-own-business path that even one of them is following.  Instead, all four’s contribution to the world is captured more appropriately by the phrase “international development”.

As a public policy major in grad school, it was tough to avoid not being stirred.  Business and international development.  International development through business and entrepreneurial activity.  It defies the conventional (or maybe not so anymore) notion of earning an MBA for money. There’s a certain joy I found in recognizing that the face of business is slowly changing and the changes are happening first through these young and intelligent individuals.  It is redefining the essence of business.  It is no longer simply an issue of creating jobs and maximizing the bottomline.  With more people getting involved in international development, the issue is now heading towards poverty reduction, heightened global awareness, and active grassroots participation.

The lightbulb above my head is once again lit.

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