Last Wednesday, the UCLA Anderson chapter of Net Impact held the kickoff for its Eighth Annual Net Impact Consulting Challenge (NICC). NICC offers students the opportunity to assist local nonprofits and for-profit social ventures with current strategic challenges across various areas, such as marketing, finance, operations, and leadership. The students work with their assigned organizations for a period of two and a half weeks, and the competition culminates in a presentation on Sunday, January 27th, when all teams will present their strategic recommendations and compete for a cash prize.
In an effort to bring together students of various disciplines and levels of expertise, NICC is open to FEMBA and EMBA students, as well as graduate students outside the business school. Students compete in teams of four to six, and this year there are a total of 17 teams and 86 students. The participating organizations were selected through a competitive application process, and are dedicated to causes that include education, poverty, domestic violence, healthcare, and environmental issues. In past years, NICC had been restricted to nonprofit organizations, but the application process this year opened up to for-profit organizations with a social mission, reflective of a growing interest in this business model.
Over the past eight years, NICC has brought together 190 students and impacted over 60 local organizations. During the kickoff event, guest speaker and Anderson alumna Gayle Northrop noted that across the years, interest in the nonprofit world has grown at Anderson from just a few students to a sizeable group of individuals with varying interests and aspirations.
I'm also participating in NICC, and my team and I were fortunate enough to get placed with the Alexandria House, a non-profit organization that empowers women and children who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking by providing them with access to transitional housing, a support network, and medical and career services, ultimately preparing them to lead happy, fulfilling lives. We met with our clients at the kickoff event to discuss the strategic challenge at hand and outline our plan of action for the next few weeks. We feel honored to have the opportunity to work with such passionate, dedicated individuals, and are so very excited to compete in this challenge and help Alexandria House to reach its goals! I urge you to check out Alexandria House's website and learn more about how it helps to make L.A. a better place: http://www.alexandriahouse.org
Stay tuned for my next post later this month to find out who wins NICC!