Optimal Pricing...for a Good Cause


A major theme in the Microeconomics class we just wrapped up was how to optimally price goods and services. Now that we're (kinda) experts in sophisticated pricing strategies, our first-year cohort (Axe--the BEST cohort, in case you hadn't heard) recently got the chance to apply our learning while supporting a cause we can all get behind.

Prior to kickoff of the Cal vs. Arizona football game (the Bears emerged victorious, of course), my fellow Axers sold hot dogs outside the business school to benefit Haas for Students. HFS is a matching fund for nonprofit student internships--students donate a full day's pay to support their classmates who decide to spend the summer working for nonprofits (i.e., as a general rule, getting paid less). During 2006-2007, Haas for Students raised over $60,000 in Fellowship Awards to support twelve of their classmates!

Employing analyses we learned in the classroom to maximize profits (I kid you not), my classmates raised almost $1,400 (profit, not revenues!) to support the do-gooders among us. This despite a steady rain that turned out fewer customers than anticipated. The hot dog costume certainly helped generate interest (who says MBAs are too old and professional to make a fool out of themselves?!), but it was a true team effort.

As someone passionate about social change, and given that the bulk of my professional experience pre-Haas was in the nonprofit sector, programs like HFS and our fantastic loan repayment program leave zero doubt in my mind that I chose the right school.


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