Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility at Haas

     

This semester, I'm taking Kellie McElhaney's Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility Course. The Strategic CSR course is one of the experiential learning course offerings at Haas. The course meets over the entire fourteen week semester, and we receive classroom instruction and guidance while simultaneously working on a consulting project with a corporation on a CSR related issue.

Earlier this month, my team, comprised of three MBA students, went to visit the headquarters of our client, a major airline. Our main task on this project is to examine our client's Corporate Citizenship strategy and determine how our client can position itself in an airline industry that is becoming more and more intentional about its corporate citizenship efforts. A large part of corporate citizenship for airlines is reducing their environmental impact. Improving fuel efficiency is one of the ways that our client, as well as other airlines, are achieving what defines CSR: doing what's good for the world, while also doing what's good for business.
Our client is testing out a plane that is more fuel efficient than standard planes within its fleet. Not only did my team get to fly on the this plane and interview onboard flight attendants, we also got to visit the airline hangar, and had the opportunity to interview people at all levels of the organization, from junior level to C-level staff.
This field work has greatly enhanced the quality of our project deliverables, and my team is very excited to give our final presentation to the class and our client in early May. This course has exceeded my expectations in terms of the quality of instruction and class discussions, the caliber of guest speakers who have visited our class, the visibility and relevance of each of the team projects, and the resources that have been made available to my team. I would recommend this class to anyone who is looking to pursue a career in CSR, as well as to anyone even remotely interested in the subject. It's been an eye opening experience so far.

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