Sit and talk to a mother of six, the owner of a hole in the wall called a “convenience store”, in the largest slum in Thailand.
Walk amongst ripening coffee beans with the poor owner of a small coffee farm in central Costa Rica.
And make a difference in each of those locations; make a difference in the economic situation of each of those three business people; make a difference in the lives of every member of each of their three families; make a global difference.
Too often university students have two incorrect perceptions of their educations:
- Students think that all of their learning should come from their professors in the classrooms. This is very far from the case. If it was the case, everyone would have the same abilities as everyone else that had the same classes. Learning takes on many forms. In today’s world, service learning is proving to be one of the most rich learning styles available to students. For the students that had the three experiential learning experiences above (chosen out of over twenty that UMHB business students have had), the level of richness in learning achieved by serving in the field could never be replicated in the classroom – not even with current technologies.
- Students fear walking off the graduation stage and into the real world because they fear that they will not be able to perform. The field-based opportunities prove otherwise. They prove it to themselves; to faculty; to those being served; to future employers. Even students that have not yet graduated have created marketing plans, charts of accounts, promotional materials, operations manuals and many other “deliverables” for needy business people around the world.
There are many places in the world where business people have less business knowledge than university business students. The globe is filled with teachers with less training than university education majors. And it seems as if there will never be enough healthcare workers in the world. Every biology, chemistry, and nursing university student has a place to serve – if they are willing. Ability is not the question. Knowledge is not the question. Willingness is what it takes.
So why not you? Each of us has been gifted with certain abilities, aptitudes and skills. Be it business, healthcare, education or other areas, the world is your classroom. And universities like UMHB are providing open doors to those global classrooms. Don’t settle for less.
Be a Global Difference Maker!