MBA Students Set New Standards in Giving Back

Social Action Club collects over €23,000 just before Christmas

30/12/2015 Barcelona


The Solidarity Club of the MBA program has raised €23,000 for several charitable projects / Photo: iStock

“Birth is a lottery: you don't choose where you’re born, nor do you choose your circumstances. I have been fortunate to have opportunities in life. And as an IESE MBA student, it's my duty to help society in some way.”

These are the words of Ali Hassan, a second-year MBA student from the U.S., and an active member of the IESE Social Action Club.

And they’re more than just words.

In a little over a month, the MBA program's Social Action Club has raised more than €23,000 for solidarity organizations like ASPASIM, Mary's Meals and the Daydream Foundation, which provide funds for various social causes.

“Life is a gift that you receive without having done anything to deserve it,” says Juan Jacobo Sarrado, a fellow MBA and member of the Social Action Club.

“Every moment in life is an opportunity to do things the right way or the wrong way. So why not do good for those who have not had the same opportunities as you?"

IESE MBAs have taken this sentiment very much to heart and between the end of September and November they have undertaken a number of social activities to raise funds. 

Baking a Difference

Cake baking may not feature on the MBA curriculum, but students baked up a storm earlier this year. “Giving back cakes” were the fundraising vehicle for ASPASIM, a nonprofit entity focused on caring for persons with intellectual disabilities.

The Beautiful Game

Jointly organized with IESE Football Club, this year’s charity tournament in October brought together more than 70 participants, including students from the MBA and Executive MBA (EMBA) programs, faculty and staff from the school. In total, the event raised almost €1,000, also for ASPASIM.

The "Movember" Phenomenon

IESE's "Movember" team was third-ranked nationally, raising over €8,000 for the Movember Foundation's annual campaign. The aim is to raise awareness and funds for the fight against the cancers most common among men.

Thanksgiving Day Auction

A jersey signed by Leo Messi and a paintball game between students and professors were the two "items" that brought in the most, with bids of €1,700 and €3,600, respectively.

The funds raised in this charity auction went to:

  • The Movember Foundation.
  • Mary's Meals, an organization in the United Kingdom that works in 12 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to help at-risk children.
  • The Daydream Foundation, which for more than 14 years has focused on the social integration of children and young people from dysfunctional families.


Organized by MBA and EMBA students, in collaboration with the African Business Club and Run Bike Swim Club, this 5 km run raised almost €3,500 for Mary's Meals Social Volunteering

The Social Action Club does more than just raise funds for causes. It also engages in social volunteering.

More than 25 MBAs took 35 children from the Daydream Foundation to Barcelona's emblematic amusement park, Tibidabo.

The experience was significant for second-year student, Andrea Briones: “By the end of the day language barriers had disappeared and each child was beaming."

“It's nice to see how after spending just a few hours with children from families with issues, the time that you devote to them has such an impact on them."

Students also volunteer at local organizations such as Braval and Terral, which run socio-educational support programs for young people, women and immigrants and promote social integration and cohesion.


Juan Jacobo Sarrado opted to take his MBA at IESE, in part, because of the school’s commitment to "developing responsible managers who will make a positive impact on their surroundings."

Leadership with integrity was also key to Ali Hassan, who places high value on IESE activity in the field of social engagement.

“I hope to keep social engagement a real part of my professional life,” he says. “Giving back should be a constant thing. It’s a way of life.”