Upholding the Aggie tradition of service, a group of 18 MBA students from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School recently donated their time and labor for local charities. The group, called MBA SHOC (Students Helping Our Community), spent more than five hours working on a Habitat for Humanity house in Bryan, Texas, and reorganizing a thrift store whose proceeds benefit Twin City Mission. The mission offers assistance to the homeless and victims of domestic violence in the Bryan/College Station area, as well as other family services.

MBA SHOC aims to give back to the local community through efforts such as working with Habitat for Humanity.
MBA SHOC aims to give back to the local community through efforts such as working with Habitat for Humanity.

“There are more important things in life than school and work,” said first-year MBA student Sara Stigler, who helped on the Habitat house.  Not only did the work benefit those that would soon be living in the abode, but Stigler says there’s an incentive for the students, too. “Service to the community is a great break from studying,” she joked.

The Habitat for Humanity house was mostly complete when the students arrived to volunteer. They helped put the finishing touches on the dwelling by giving each room a final coat of paint. Habitat Crew Leader Jasmine Autrey says, “Students that participate in these projects are really making an impact on the lives of [the families that live in the houses]. It’s really important to have a place to call home and they are extremely appreciative for the help and the houses they receive.”

The students that worked at the resale shop put their marketing and retail knowledge to use as they organized donations and created displays. They rearranged the flow of the store to increase usability for shoppers, and gave the store manager tips on how to rotate the merchandise seasonally.

Matt Olszewski, a second-year MBA student who helped out at the resale shop said that everyone has a responsibility to help their neighbors. “It’s good to get out of the corporate America world we get absorbed in. Sometimes we get sucked into that environment and it’s good to get out and see how others live,” he said.

Second-year classmate Scott Bradford agrees. “As an MBA, it’s a privilege we have and an opportunity we have that we must take advantage of,” he said. “We are given so much opportunity in our program and in our lives; we must do the same and repay the favor.”