Dec. 22, 2021

Haskayne Executive MBAs break record in annual holiday giving challenge

Grad students learn importance of giving back, raise $23,823 in goods for Women in Need Society
Aaron Nasser, EMBA project coordinator, drops over $23,000 worth of goods to the WINS in early December.
Aaron Nasser, EMBA project co-ordinator, drops over $23,000 worth of goods to the WINS in early December. Haskayne School of Business

At the Haskayne School of Business we place emphasis on learning business fundamentals, how to be a leader in Calgary and beyond, and how to work with others to achieve a common goal. We’re proud to say that Haskayne Executive MBA students and alumni are adding another critical component to that list: the importance of giving back to your community.

When Brent Snider, MBA’04, teaching professor and academic director, took over leadership of the EMBA program two years ago, he had three clear priorities for students beyond the classroom: build your network, build your health and wellness, and build up your community.

The annual charity challenge did just that, and this year they shattered their previous records. An incredible $23,823 in goods was donated to the Women in Need Society, including 189 winter coats, 432 winter hats and gloves, 389 shirts and sweaters, 136 gift cards, and more.

Last year, the students raised $11,808 in value for Inn from the Cold by collecting winter gear, toys and games, gift cards, toiletries, childcare supplies and bedding. In 2019, they donated $9,158 worth of toys to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

“The charity component is part of a bigger picture for the EMBA program, one that extends collaboration between students, faculty and alumni well beyond the classroom,” says Snider. “Each year we sit down as a group and decide where we can make a difference in our community.”

Snider also notes that the charity program would not have achieved such astonishing success without the leadership of EMBA program co-ordinator Aaron Nasser, BComm’19, who inspired healthy competition among the students and alumni. “The level of donations was literally overwhelming — it was deeply heartwarming and also took four fully loaded SUV trips just to deliver them all,” says Nasser. 

The WINS expressed their deep gratitude for the EMBA group who took the time to make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season. “It was a great feeling going through the boxes, sorting through the amazing items and thinking about the thousands of smiles this donation will bring,” says Vera Nassar, WINS fund development co-ordinator.

Like many of us, Haskayne EMBA students lead busy lives. They have demanding jobs, a demanding course load and family commitments to tend to. But this doesn’t stop them from giving back to those in need.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to build camaraderie with classmates and alumni, all in support of a great cause. It’s easy to get lost in finals and exams, and charity events like these are really important to maintain perspective during the holiday season,” says EMBA student Jen Lewis.

Curious about the Haskayne EMBA program? Learn more. Applications are now open for the fall 2022 cohort.