A Passion for Corporate Social Responsibility: Kathryn Luher ’20 BSBA (Business Management and Marketing)
May 17, 2018
Kathryn Luher ’20 BSBA (Business Management and Marketing, Certificate in Social Innovation)
The business world has been put to the test when it comes to integrity. For corporations, the right decision is not always the easiest—nor the most popular. How can we, as emerging business leaders of the future, stay true to college namesake Karl Eller’s famous quote, Integrity is all you’ve got?
The answer is corporate social responsibility.
CSR is the initiative to improve environmental and social practices in companies. These activities can range from implementing renewable energy to power an office building to donating time to a company-sponsored charity.
When I began my studies at Eller, I was unaware of the career options offered by the business world. I have a passion for giving back to the community, so initially I only considered a career with nonprofits. However, I knew such a path would not fulfill my drive to be involved in the corporate world.
I first learned about corporate social responsibility in the second semester of my first year and have been eager to learn more ever since. I am excited to work in an industry that measures success through the impact of its positive influence. I have already begun to surround myself with likeminded individuals at Eller by participating in the consulting track of BCOM 314 Business Communications, taught by Lesli Pintor.
Acting as business consultants, our class team developed a communication plan to address the organizational needs of Friends of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), including recruiting and retaining visitors and volunteers. We targeted local retirees and developed a plan for initial contact and follow-ups. We spent a lot of time conducting research and brainstorming solutions. The Friends of BANWR is a small nonprofit, so it was difficult to find specific information. We also recommended that the nonprofit form partnerships with local businesses for cross-promotion. These partnerships would lead more people down to the beautiful and remote refuge near Arivaca, Arizona.
After a challenging first semester, nothing was more rewarding than the smiles on our clients’ faces when we presented our plan. This moment solidified my passion for CSR, even though I wasn’t yet working in a corporate environment.
For my own career pursuit, finding a company that aligns with my values is very important. CSR is not a large “industry,” but pursuing CSR will afford me the opportunity to make a large impact in business' CSR departments.
Corporate social responsibility acts as a competitive advantage when recruiting top talent from Eller. Eller students are passionate to make a difference in the business world. Even if integrity is all we’ve got, we make the most of it. I look forward to the challenge!
Header photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.