Saidah Anderson, PMBA 40, has been a part of the Olin/United Way Board Fellows program this past year and shares her experience in this blog post:
The Olin/United Way Board Fellows program has been one of the most valuable leadership experiences I have had. I chose to partner with the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House over the past year because I really liked their mission, which is to “empower individuals and families to move out of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency.” I am a firm believer that educating the community is the foundation to improving current conditions and aiding a better community.
As a new resident in the St. Louis area, I was unaware of the poverty conditions across the river in East St. Louis. When I volunteered, I was able to observe firsthand the conditions in which the community lives. It let me know that Lessie Bates is a pillar in the community and is a much needed nonprofit in the area. Much of the community relies on Lessie Bates resources, so it was a great feeling to be able to give back to a community similar to my upbringing and really interact with the families.
As a corporate professional and future leader, I believe I have a responsibility to give back to my community and to be the change I wish to see. The Board Fellowship program has allowed me to have a valuable role in community leadership and has taught me valuable skills about being in leadership that impacts the lives of thousands of people. It has taught me that with power comes great responsibility and it must be used appropriately.
The Board Fellowship has been, hands down, the best real world experience thus far in business school. No amount of case studies could have prepared me for being in the board room as the Board Fellows Program has. This course was connected to my passion and purpose in life, something I don’t think I could get from any other course.
The Olin/United Way Board Fellows program, students learn about nonprofit
board governance first-hand while growing their professional network. The program lays the foundation for building lifelong passions and becoming a better citizen. Learn more on the Center for Experiential Learning website.