TMMBA Students put their MBA to use while visiting Chile

Tracy Gojdics, Director

GEDC0332Students participating in the 2010 TMMBA International Study Tour had a unique opportunity to put their MBA to use while visiting ( “a roof over my country”), a relief organization based in Chile.  Students met Un Techo Para Mi Pais (UTPMP) Director of Development, Mariso Alarcon to learn more about the goals of the organization and the issues they face as they continue their efforts of providing temporary housing to the thousands left homeless in Haiti. 

UTPMP, although based in Chile and providing relief effort to the areas impacted by the recent 8.8 earthquake, wants to be sure that efforts in Haiti stay on the world’s radar screen and that financial support continues.  According to Mariso Alarcon it costs approximately $2,500 to provide one temporary house and the goal is to provide at least 2,000 this year. 

TMMBA students naturally divided themselves into two groups:  cost-cutting and revenue building and over the next 24 hours they brainstormed strategies Un Techo could put to use.  It was great to see the students using the knowledge they’ve gained form courses such as Operations Management, Marketing and Strategy and put it to use for an organization such as Un Techo. 

We met with Un Techo on Monday and the students presented their ideas on Tuesday evening over dinner.  What I found amazing was how the students were able to develop a plan (and put it into PowerPoint!) and maintain an already busy schedule of company visits, dinner at a winery and partaking in Santiago’s nightlife.  Giving 110% is the essence of a TMMBA student.

I talked with Marisol after dinner and asked her what she thought of the strategies put forth by our TMMBA students.  I believe her exact words were, “your students did more than I expected and more than I could have imagined.  I can’t wait to share this with my colleagues.  This has been fantastic for us.” 

So what happens now that the TMMBA International Study Tour is over and the interaction with Un Techo has passed?  It turns out that students are going to “build a house.”  The plan is for students to get their entire class involved and raise funds to provide a temporary house for a needy family and keep the Un Techno spirit alive.