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SIBC provides professional experiences to undergraduates

| Monday, September 30, 2019

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Notre Dame’s Student International Business Council (SIBC), has maintained their mission of “Peace through Commerce” over the years through a variety of professional experience projects available to undergraduates.

Founded in 1989, SIBC was endorsed by University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and endowed by Frank Potenziani in an effort to create an organization with an emphasis on ethical leadership with a global perspective. Since its conception, SIBC has grown to become the University’s largest student-run organization, with over 1,700 students participating in a variety of projects last year.

Senior and SIBC president, Miles Wood, said SIBC primarily functions as a resource for students to get practical professional experience through partnerships with alumni at a number of companies.

“At the end of the day we’re trying to get people exposed to different career paths and help them learn not only what those jobs are like but also how they might be successful in those fields,” Wood said.

While Wood came to Notre Dame without an idea for his future career, he credits SIBC in helping shape his focus in consulting.

“SIBC did a great job of demystifying consulting for me and giving me an idea of what that career path would look like,” Wood said. “After spending the summer at Boston Consulting Group I was actually shocked to see how realistic the SIBC projects in consulting portray everyday work.”

Within the first few weeks of each semester, SIBC holds an all-council meeting to present students with the opportunities available to members for the upcoming semester. In order to accommodate for every major and area of interest, SIBC provides projects in different divisions, including accounting, consulting, finance, marketing and STEM. SIBC also offers international projects which connects students to companies around the world.

Bruce Morris, senior and social impact co-director, first became involved in SIBC as a freshman working with Montana de Luz, a nonprofit in Honduras which works to provide orphans living with HIV/AIDS health, spiritual and educational resources to have a life into adulthood.

“The project I worked on was to help rebrand and recreate their fundraising strategy so switching over to a single monthly donation to a subscription style fundraising program,” Morris said. “It was really cool to see, because unlike other project where you work in the hypothetical realm, we actually got to see the new fundraising strategy on their website a week after we presented it to them.”

While social impact projects like the one Morris worked on were previously housed in a social entrepreneurship division, SIBC recently dissolved that division and incorporated social impact projects within each of the other six existing divisions.

“We saw an issue where people weren’t really paying attention to the social entrepreneurship division because they were looking for the networking aspect of it all, which we do have, for example, we partner with McKinsey and Company consulting with the Montana de Luz project,” Morris said. “We thought if we put it in the main divisions we’d attract more attention, and so far it’s been working pretty well.”

Although SIBC may appear to be more directed toward Mendoza College of Business students, faculty advisor Monica Laidig said the organization is open to undergraduates of all majors.

“A lot of people worry about the word ‘business’ if they’re not in Mendoza, but try to look beyond that, they’re definitely welcome and employers are always looking for students with critical thinking, leadership and creativity, and that’s not only happening in the business school,” Laidig said.

Morris also encouraged students across colleges to consider the opportunities SIBC provides.

“Especially with the social impact projects we really want to pull from a wide variety of majors and experiences, what makes a project successful is having people from different perspectives coming in and contributing to the project,” Morris said.

SIBC has already had their All-Council meeting to introduce students to different projects this year, but Laidig said if students are interested there still may be some projects they can join if they reach out to SIBC as soon as possible by going to their website.

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About Serena Zacharias

Serena is a senior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She hails from the great cheese state of Wisconsin and currently serves as the ND News Editor for The Observer.

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