Experiential Learning Center 
Discover How You Can Transform Lives

As Director of the College of Business Experiential Learning Center (ELC), it is my pleasure to welcome you to this month's college newsletter highlighting our new Angels Foundation Fund and the passionate people working with the ELC that come together to improve the quality of life for others in the non-profit space. I am proud of the ELC and honored to be a part of something unique and extremely valuable for our students and the organizations we work with.

Everyone can see the development in students over the course of a project. One ELC team member told me even her mother noticed she was acting more professionally in her communication style and her approach to problem solving. Organizations get fresh ideas from highly motivated future business leaders and the satisfaction of significantly contributing to the educational experience of a talented group of students. In the ELC, we experience learning by doing.

In this edition you will learn more about the launch of the Angels Foundation Fund and its first recipient, Turning Point, and hear how the Young Professionals Network at McDonald's Corporation is tapping into the ELC to help a non-profit. The ELC is thrilled to support non-profits that are running on less and needing more business savvy - and they are getting it from NIU.

The ELC touches students, faculty, alumni, businesses (for profit and non-profit) and communities. Do you have an idea for an ELC project to support your group's philanthropic efforts? Contact Joan Petros, ELC Director, at jpetros@niu.edu.

Make a Profound Difference: Angels Fund Impacts Students, Non-Profits, and Communities

Non-profits play an integral role in our lives. Non-profits enrich our communities. In fact, they make their way into our lives more often than we may acknowledge. Your child's little league or extra-curricular activities are probably a non-profit. Did you adopt your pet or have it treated at the local humane society? Or perhaps you are a part of a professional association that is a non-profit?

To support the non-profit sector, the NIU Business Experiential Learning Center (ELC) announces its Angels Foundation Fund. The ELC connects teams of NIU students with organizations to tackle real-world business problems. Since 2005, the ELC has teamed 790 students with 128 business projects. "We would like to provide more opportunities for students to work with non-profits," explains Joan Petros, ELC Director. "The fund was designed to connect non-profit organizations to the ELC who are not in a financial position to pay the ELC project fees. It's a genuine win-win."

Read entire story

Learn more about Turning Point, the fall 2013 inaugural recipient of the ELC Angels Foundation Fund.

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Non-profits know this mantra all too well. We invite you to do something by becoming a sponsor. Consider a donation to the Experiential Learning Center Angels Foundation Fund today.

Young Professionals at McDonald's turn to the ELC:
Students to Build Financial Modeling Tool for Non-Profit

When the Young Professionals Network (YPN) at McDonald's Corporation heard about the NIU Business Experiential Learning Center (ELC), the members jumped at the opportunity to raise funds for an ELC project to help Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The YPN offers programs and leadership opportunities to its 300 members supporting three pillars: career development, networking, and philanthropy.

The YPN has worked with RMHC in many ways before, mainly volunteering at a local Ronald McDonald House, but this is the first time it has been able to support a valuable business project. "This is a unique philanthropic opportunity," shares Chris Gundersen, YPN co-chair and IT Project Leader. "We can help the RMHC business practices and procedures, in addition to helping NIU students gain exposure to working with a large organization. The YPN has a similar goal for our members. We want young professionals at McDonald's Corporation to have opportunities to enhance their business skills."

Read entire story

Do you have an idea for an ELC project to support your group's philanthropic efforts? Contact Joan Petros, ELC Director, at jpetros@niu.edu.

Distinguished Donor Profile…Zach Alesandrini

NIU College of Business Outstanding Young Alumnus award winner and Dean's Circle Member, Zach Alesandrini, had planned on attending University of Illinois. In fact, he had mailed in his acceptance letter, accepted the scholarship which they had offered, and told his friends. He had also applied to NIU late in his senior year, and when NIU accepted him and also offered him a scholarship, he decided to take a visit to campus. That afternoon he changed his mind.

Barsema Hall, recently built at the time, was one of the best facilities he had seen. When speaking with faculty he was warmed by their down to earth personalities and driven by their focus to prepare students for the business world. While in Barsema Hall, Zach was taken to the Business Experiential Learning Center, (ELC) and given a tour. He saw first-hand the top corporations it was working with and reset his direction; he knew NIU was where he needed to be. “I saw the ELC giving students real world experience that is so hard to replicate. You can learn all the theories, formulas, and case studies you want, but until you are actually doing it (and the ELC is doing it) you don't fully understand what it takes.”

Read entire profile

Read more about Zach


Vol. 2, Issue 9           September  2013

Upcoming Events

October 7-11, 2013

October 12, 2013
NIU Football Homecoming

October 18, 2013
OM&IS Alumni Event
Rockit Bar & Grill - Chicago

October 29, 2013
MBA Colloquium

November 6, 2013
Distinguished Donor Event
Rich Harvest Farms

November 21, 2013
Rockford Club
Business Over Easy -
Fostering an Ethical Work Environment

December 3, 2013
MBA Economic Outlook Luncheon

For details or to Register

In October's Edition: Legacy
Read about how NIU is fostering the value of legacy

Donors are key to our success. You help provide day-to-day essentials in the classroom, scholarship awards for hard-working students, and program and faculty support. You impact every facet of the university, and the entire NIU community is grateful for your generosity as one of our distinguished donors.

Dean's Circle Members are recognized by giving $1,000 - $4,999 annually.

President's Circle Members are recognized by giving $5,000 and above annually.

Founders Forum Members are cumulative lifetime donors of $50,000 and above.

View College of Business
Dean's Circle Members

(a/o 8/31/13)

View College of Business President's Circle Members
(a/o 8/31/13)

Thank you for your support.

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or Denise Schoenbachler at Schoenbachler@niu.edu.

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