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MBA students raise funds for several charities

Last fall, MBA students held auctions that raised more than $70,000 for six different charities. Students met in their ocean cohorts at local restaurants and pubs and bid on a variety of items including dinner with a professor, dates with classmates, exercise lessons, class photos and tickets to professional and college sporting events. For students who were not able to attend their auction in person, silent online auctions were held online to encourage 100 percent participation.

Dan Ramirez, MBA ’13, worked to engage all his first-year MBA classmates. “I wanted to get people excited about the auctions, so I set up a friendly competition among all the oceans,” he said. “Working with talented and hard-working people made it easier for me to get things done. I was impressed with number of people who bid on items or donated cash.”

Prior to the auctions, students from each ocean selected a few charities that they wanted the proceeds to go to. Students then gave one-minute elevator pitches to their classmates endorsing their preferred charity. The best pitch won.

Rahul Tejwani, MBA ’13, pitched his former company, Pencils of Promise, and his ocean selected it as the charity of choice. At the auction, he was involved in the bidding, and purchased one of the highest ticketed items.

“I’m a huge New York Giants fan, so it was great to have the winning bid and get the tickets to a game this coming fall,” said Tejwani of his the 50-yard line seats that were donated by a second-year MBA student.

JR Andrews, MBA ’13, said that his ocean auction offered a variety of items to bid on including an iPad, Celtics tickets, and a signed Men of Movember calendar. The silliest item sold at his ocean’s auction was for a student to grow “crazy” facial hair. Andrews bid on and won a vegetarian meal with Professor Arnie Barnett, Bollywood dance class lessons, a roof deck party, and a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony.

“I bought batches of cookies, and a grocery run,” said Natacha Hardy, MBA ’13. Her cohort-mates also purchased a ride to New York City including a shopping trip, one pound of fresh pasta, and even a homemade dinner of the winner’s choosing.

Here are the results by ocean and each charity that benefited:
  • Atlantic: Fenway High School: $6,000
  • Baltic: CameroonONE, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute: approximately $13,000
  • Caribbean: Sloan Social Impact Fellowship: $4,586
  • Indian: CEOC, food pantry: approximately $5,340
  • Mediterranean: Bridge Over Troubled Waters: $5,000
  • Pacific: Pencils of Promise: $15,426 plus an additional matching $15K from Dell, Inc.
Both Ramirez and Tejwani were thrilled when LGO classmate Steve Herrington was able to get a $15,000 matching donation from Dell, Inc. The funds will help Pencils of Promise build a two-room preschool in Laos, Pha Thonglom. This community is in one of the poorest areas in the region, and their school population is growing, so the funds will be immediately put to use helping 40-60 children.

Pencils of Promise plans to dedicate this new school to MIT Sloan.

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