Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Planning the February 5, 2010 Check Your Label event

This is a guest post from Sara Woolbright, vice president of the Trockman Microfinance Initiative and a co-planner of the Check Your Label event.

When I was five years old, my family took our first trip to Disney World. After what seemed like months of waiting for our trip, we finally arrived and I was instantly in love with Disney. But among all of the rides we rode, all the shows we watched, and all the characters with whom we took pictures, “It’s a Small World” quickly became my favorite attraction, and remains so to this day.

I am sure my love for the ride developed for the catchy tune and the large collection of dolls in what was virtually the most detailed and accessorized dollhouse I would ever see. However, as I grew, I began to adore the ride for the different cultures, adventures, and stories the dolls expressed. As I became a more inquisitive child, the ride instilled in me a curiousness for foreign lands and the people within them. My latest trip to Disney occurred the summer after I graduated high school and the first ride I rode upon arriving was “It’s a Small World.” This time, I looked around at the ride seeing it as a child’s introduction to fostering a spirit of a global community in which everyone is directly connected.

Although “It’s a Small World” holds a special place in my heart, as an (almost) adult, I recognize the na├»ve simplicity of the message. Nevertheless, the oversimplified idea of “It’s a Small World” fosters an optimistic outlook of the world with three easy and applicable lessons: recognize how truly small and connected the world is, become more globally minded and aware of global issues, and foster an attitude of a global community.

These three concepts align with the work of the speakers for the February 5, 2010 Check Your Label symposium. All of our speakers have in some way worked to spread a message that simply comes back to one of these three concepts, either TOMS Shoes' donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold, or understanding the working conditions of people who make items we buy without more than a few seconds’ thought. (Visit the Check Your Label website to read about all of the incredible things the speakers have accomplished.

As an undergraduate student studying business, it is easy to be judged as someone who is driven only by profit. As a student who one day hopes to work in the consulting field, I understand and respect the necessity of making a profit. But what is noteworthy about the speakers for the symposium is that they are finding a way to be profitable while making a positive impact in the world. They are not only worried about making a profit, but the people they will affect and have the opportunity to impact while doing so. It is the perfect blending of education and passion, something students are longing to find as we embark into the “real world” and begin our careers.

I have personally felt the excitement of discovering a way to use a business education to make social change possible, along with my fellow students Kyleigh Turk and Emily Rizzo, both of whom are helping plan the Check Your Label symposium. Through my capacity as vice-president of the Trockman Microfinance Initiative, I have worked with fellow students to increase the awareness and education of microfinance on Indiana University’s campus. Through working with faculty and other students on the symposium and other projects, I have come to believe that for many students, making a social change through their career is becoming more of a concern and focus for their undergraduate career. There are many lessons to be garnered from this fusion of a business and social-mindedness which students, especially studying business, are now eager to hear.

There are only 16 more days until the Check Your Label symposium! To learn more about the event, visit the website
or the Facebook page.

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