PSU Net Impact: better business, better world

Leading Portland State’s Net Impact team as president over the last year has been an amazing experience. Net Impact is an organization committed to connecting MBA students to businesses that make the world a better place. PSU’s chapter began in 2004 with just one member and has since developed into what it is today. As a student-run club, I have been privileged to work with outstanding students as well as supportive faculty and staff to make the most of the short time we have had together. Having just passed the torch to the new leadership team of rising second-year MBAs, now is a great time to reflect.

The 2011-2012 Net Impact leadership team.

Last month, Net Impact hosted its Fifth Annual Mercy Corps Fundraiser, an event that brings students, faculty, professionals, and friends together over drinks and food while supporting a great cause. The fundraiser was set up with 19 Portland-themed raffle packages, including restaurant gift cards, a signed Timbers soccer ball, a quarter-barrel of Widmer beer, yoga classes, massages and many other treats from the city's best local spots. All proceeds from raffle sales went to benefit Mercy Corps Northwest.

To plan this event, members of the Net Impact Mercy Corps task force helped motivate the entire leadership team of 20 MBA students to find items for the gift packages. Students paired off into teams—we each had to identify our team names, gift package themes, and even power songs. The task force encouraged friendly competition between teams by providing a prize for the most popular package. In the end, we had 19 amazing prize packages each worth at least $100 to raffle off, and raised a record-breaking $2,175.

It has been an eventful year for PSU's Graduate Net Impact Chapter. Thanks to our amazing leadership team and support from the School of Business as well as the Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS), PSU’s Net Impact successfully achieved more milestones than it ever has before—leaving a strong legacy for the incoming leadership team. Looking back over the last year, there were a number of accomplishments that helped us reach this goal. Here are some of our highlights:

  • We helped host the Annual Net Impact Conference right here in Portland, bringing 2,600 MBA students and professionals to the city.
  • We acquired funding from ISS and the School of Business to send 35 PSU students to the conference, nearly 50 percent of our full-time MBA cohorts!
  • We held over 14 groundbreaking events, including six sustainability tours of local green businesses, four career-related events, a volunteer day, conversations with faculty, the outstanding Mercy Corps fundraiser, and sustainability roundtables.
  • We submitted a sustainability profile of PSU to be included in the upcoming 2012 Business as UNusual Report, which features MBA programs around the country with Net Impact chapters.
  • We finished April with 43 Net Impact members—that’s three more members than the gold chapter requirement for an MBA program of our size.

PSU's Net Impact chapter made history this year—and we look forward to our strong first-year successors raising the bar even higher.