USC Marshall MBAs Doing Good
Each year, the USC Marshall Society and Business Lab (SBL) awards subsidies to MBA students who intern at nonprofit and social enterprise organizations. Follow their adventures.
Filming went great! I’d prepared simple character descriptions, gathered props, decided what activities to demonstrate, practiced shooting with my camcorder, etc. beforehand and all that organizing definitely paid off. I then had enough time to edit the videos down to about 5-minutes each, which ensures that the new hires watching them won’t get bored and tune out. I was also able to cut in “slides” that had titles, steps, rules, helpful tips, and things to watch out for.
Nowadays, people increasingly expect to be able to watch a demo video (on YouTube, for instance), instead of having to learn something by reading a book or manual. And truly, the former is much more efficient and entertaining. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a movie is worth a million. My bosses were really grateful that I started a training video library and plan to add more and more activity demos to it. This should greatly reduce the amount of time that employees spend training new-hires, get new-hires up-to-speed faster, and also increase the quality of the guidance the new-hires provide.
I think that technology really is the key for not-for-profits nowadays. It’s a great solution for a lack of “manpower” since many are understaffed for the sake of keeping within their budgets. In addition, technology may require an up-front investment, but after that, it’s very cost-efficient. Besides video and on-line trainings, technology can be used for marketing on the cheap — sending e-mails instead of letters, utilizing social networking and crowd-sourcing sites (such as Groupon’s G-Team), having a really user-friendly website that can answer all questions and receive donations with the click of a button, and so on.
I am so excited and curious to see where technology takes not-for-profits, specifically educational ones. The Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org), is a great example of how the internet can be a huge help to teachers and school districts that are over-extended and facing shrinking budgets. Every child learns at their own pace and in their own way, so the key is being able to tailor programs to each one’s needs. This is not possible when there’s one teacher for every 30 kids, but it is possible when there’s a library of different explanations for a topic available.
My summer internship with CORE really opened my eyes to the multitude of possibilities out there and inspired me to seek further training in how to use and make effective use of technology. Thanks for making this all possible, SBL!