Chris Abrams is a second-year MBA student at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business who has a background in the healthcare IT sector in revenue cycle management for health systems. After hearing about Scheller’s unique Pro Bono Consulting program from peers, he knew he wanted to get involved and to do a practicum while completing his MBA. When he found out about the opportunity to work with he was thrilled. Here is why he said:
“Extra Good is an Atlanta-based nonprofit in the medical surplus recovery (MSRO) space. They create channels to deliver medical products from manufacturers and health systems to recipient organizations and individuals for the sake of improving health outcomes and access to medical equipment and supplies. For example, an MSRO would take in donations of medical products from clinics, assess the quality of each item, and then deliver these to recipient organizations. MSROs manage the relationships and vetting of both the donors and the recipients. Extra Good provides program management, executive coaching, and advisory support to these MSROs.”
As the Faculty Advisor Dr. Terry Blum (of the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact) leads this 3-credit practicum course that is offered in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. She works closely with the Net Impact MBA chapter at Scheller as she recruits local social enterprises who express a need to explore a strategic or operational business challenge. Some of the typical questions partners arrive to Pro Bono with include “how do we capture and communicate our social impact in the community” or “is there a new market opportunity for our organization?”
Chris and his fellow MBA students were tasked with determining a growth strategy for Extra Good. One of their (and their clients’) major challenges was the utilization of volunteers during COVID. Chris explained: “The big thing that’s been impacted is volunteer work because there isn’t a safe way to utilize them. A key stakeholder in a medical surplus recovery organization are the volunteers, and their groundwork is crucial. Typically, volunteers sort through all of the donated excess medical supplies, and then put them into bundles and ship them. And there isn’t a safe, socially distant way to do that.”
Chris and his team worked virtually with the Extra Good executive team and interviewed several of their customers to find out what project management tools they needed to be able to adapt to their new circumstances in the time of COVID-19. The report they produced helped the organization identify strategic partnerships and better serve their constituents.
Chris encourages his MBA peers to get involved with the Pro Bono Consulting Practicum because it provides hands-on opportunities for students to develop skills in customer empathy mapping and need-finding while driving meaningful impact in the Atlanta community.
“The MBA Pro Bono Program is not only a good opportunity for Georgia Tech students to connect with nonprofits in Atlanta and gain hands-on experience in this sector, but when we complete our projects, the hope is that our work will have a positive impact in our communities.”
If you are interested in getting involved as an MBA student or as a community partner connect with Dr. Terry Blum, ILSI’s Faculty Director.
The Institute for Leadership and Social Impact is an interdisciplinary institute that promotes servant leadership and organizational practices that contribute to a more just, caring, and equitable world. Learn more about our work!
Originally published at https://www.scheller.gatech.edu on January 4, 2021.