Consulting in Brazil and putting the "Fun" in "Fundraising"

February 24, 2007

Greetings SOM Blog readers! I'm Patrick, a first year MBA student here at Yale SOM. I hail from Toronto, Canada and prior to coming here to pursue an MBA I was an investment banking analyst with a Canadian investment bank. I came to SOM for its strength in the nonprofit sector, small class size, and most of all its unique culture among leading MBA programs. As for the internship hunt (a big topic that is on the minds of probably 99.99% of first-year students at this time), the application process has really only just begun for me. I'm looking to transition from ibanking into the nonprofit world, specifically community/sustainable development or perhaps Microfinance. As some of you may know, the nonprofit recruiting calendar is not nearly as structured as the finance/consulting/marketing/ processes, so I still have miles to go before I sleep. With that out of the way, I thought I'd write my first entry on the community blog about Global Social Enterprise (GSE), an opportunity that will allow me to travel to Brazil over spring break and participate in a pro bono consulting engagement with a locally based nonprofit or entrepreneurial venture. Over 20 of us will be going this year and we will be working on five separate projects. In addition to the groundwork in Brazil, GSE also features an in-class component and currently serves as my elective course this semester. This Thursday, GSE hosted its premiere fundraising event- a date auction held at Playwright. All money raised will be directed towards offsetting the cost of the trip, and as one of the people benefiting from the fundraising event, I put myself up on the auction block. I ended being auctioned pretty early in the night (I was the second person auctioned off), and my study group stepped up and collectively bid "fair-market" value for me--which at the time was $10 above the guy who was auctioned off first (the picture below is me trying to entertain the crowd and drum up some bids).

As the evening progressed, the fundraising activities increased accordingly. Much to the delight of the entire GSE team, prices for people started skyrocketing, from $150 to $200, $200 to $300, culminating with two separate ladies who were auctioned for $500 each! Ultimately GSE ended up raising almost $6000 that night--significantly higher than our initial projections of $1500. By raising this much money we offset about $200 per GSE team member. I'm happy and pleased the evening was a success, and I'm definitely grateful for all those who put themselves on the auction block, the crazy bidders, and everyone who came out on Thursday night. I'll end this entry with some more pictures from the evening. Some first-year faces--Jane, Patrick (me), Alissa and Dean

Four travelers that are Brazil bound--Justin (1st year), Julienne and Nadia (2nd years), and me

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Patrick Ma