Victor Mullins, associate dean of the undergraduate program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, writes about the Smith Business Academy (SBA).
The Smith Business Academy (SBA) is a brotherhood of young minority males at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, charged with the goal of excellence. Throughout the past year, I’ve witnessed multiple workshops from big names such as EY and PwC, along with impactful startup talks from companies like Quevera. These events helped to develop the members of the program academically and professionally, but SBA is about more than just making a professional impact. It’s about impacting the community around you and making a difference, no matter how small.
A couple weeks ago a handful of SBA members traveled to A Wider Circle in Silver Spring, Md., to do some volunteer work. A Wider Circle is a non-profit established in 2001 with the goal of ending poverty through the provision of furniture, clothes, workshops, and other necessities for people in need.
SBA members worked with A Wider Circle representative named Alex who gave them a tour of the facility and set them to work sorting AC units, organizing mattresses and moving furniture. When asked about the results of the member’s efforts after the work was finished, Alex exclaimed, “You guys were a huge help today and we appreciate you all taking the time to come out. The work that you did may have seemed small but it will definitely make a big difference down the line."
When I spoke to SBA members after the event they had the same sentiment. Ethan (VP of Events) said, “Doing community service is a prime example of how you can develop yourself through helping others.” Austin (President) said, “Every man should look for ways to improve his community. This event gave SBA members a chance to get involved and help where needed.”
Activities like this one make me proud to be a member of the Smith Business Academy. Seeing my brothers work hard to clean their community reminds me that even when we get caught in on our daily obligations, we must always take time to help those around us. It’s too easy to become focused on moving our careers forward, but it will always be beneficial to take a step back, count your blessing, and help those around you.
For more information about the undergraduate program at Smith, visit: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/undergrad