Students in International Management class provide support to landmine victims

Students in International Management course organize fundraisers

Last fall, Dr. Maya Jaber, assistant professor of management in the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, raised an idea to students in her International Management class. She asked them to create an international nonprofit organization and develop a fundraiser to support the organization's services for landmine victims in Lebanon. This resulted in a semester-long project that gave students real-world international management experience with an important impact.

The students came up with three services to be covered with the fundraiser. The causes they focused on were raising money for supplying prosthetics and other medical support devices to landmine victims, educating Lebanese children about safe practices and the warning signs of landmines and creating an online platform for victims to expand their entrepreneurial markets.

The project gave students experience in handling logistics, creating goals, developing marketing tactics and managing finances and budget. They created a GoFundMe page and hosted a week-long event on campus at the Markee Pioneer Student Center with games and prizes.

“The fundraiser was an amazing experience, as well as very educational,” said Jaylynn Benson, a junior business management major from New Glarus, Wisconsin. “Our class collaborated effectively, and Dr. Jaber skillfully guided us though the event. Even if students didn’t donate, we were still able to educate them about Lebanon landmine victims.”

After the event, the class chose to support the landmine victims by creating an informative website that provides education on the existing dangers and challenges of landmines in Lebanon, while also serving as a platform for landmine victim entrepreneurs to market and sell their products, achieving two of the three objectives of the class.

“I am so proud of my students as they raised $700,” said Jaber. “The original premise was to send the money back to the country for local nonprofits, but due to the situation in the Middle East at the moment, it is not possible.”

Jaber is exploring how they can use the money to build the website locally and collaborate with students in Lebanon, who will hopefully manage the site in the future.

“This class was one of the most beneficial classes I have taken [at UW-Platteville],” said Benson, who is also in the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Pathway for Project Management. “It allowed me to use knowledge from other classes and apply it to something with a real purpose at an international level. The skills I learned during this course are those that I will be able to use throughout my future career.”