Students exposed to MEDA’s global reach
BLUFFTON, Ohio—Eight Bluffton University students observed how their business majors could have global impact at the recent Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) conference in Wichita, Kan.
Comprised of members from Canada and the United States, MEDA is an organization that aims to create business solutions to poverty and to generate economic growth for small businesses.
Alexia Fox, a Bluffton junior from Berne, Ind., enjoyed seeing the dynamic of MEDA’s work and accomplishments in other nations. For example, the organization helps distribute mosquito nets in Tanzania, helping account for a 25 percent decrease in childhood malaria in the African nation.
Amazed, she said, at how the MEDA meshes faith-based and business values, Fox noted that “I can use my degree to make a difference in the world rather than using it to advance myself.”
Michael Liska, a sophomore from Bluffton, and three other students participated in the business case study competition, in which they were small business problem-solvers for Prairie Harvest, a retail store in Newton, Kan. “I enjoyed the real-world business experience,” Liska said, “because I got to apply what I have learned in class to a situation and see how it played out.”
“I was most influenced in the many ways a business degree can be helpful and used for good,” he added, saying that he anticipates returning to next year’s conference beca use the experience reinforced his dream of working for a nonprofit organization.
Conference seminars on topics such as mentoring and managing businesses also expanded students’ knowledge of global outreach, the Bluffton participants said. MEDA encourages young business professionals to join the organization to further its global impact.
Also traveling to the conference from Bluffton were Jacey Dehogues, a sophomore from Kalona, Iowa; Brandi Dominique, a senior from Wauseon, Ohio; sophomore Owen Lugibihl and junior Crosby Suter, both from Pandora, Ohio; Ben Roeschley, a senior from Graymont, Ill.; and Carly Unruh, a junior from Wayland, Iowa. Several campus organizations helped fund their trip, including Pi Delta, Women’s Council and the Investment Club.