4 leading business schools that are making a difference in the community
Image via Shutterstock

“If a brand genuinely wants to make a social contribution, it should start with who they are, not what they do. For only when a brand has defined itself and its core values can it identify causes or social responsibility initiatives that are in alignment with its authentic brand story.” – Simon Mainwaring

Why do so many students choose to pursue a degree in business? From the possibility of finding a job within three months of graduation to the high starting salaries business graduates command, a degree in the field can seem like the perfect route to landing your dream job.

It’s widely-known that a business degree can do wonders for your CV, equipping you with expertise in leadership, industry knowledge and networking experience that are sought-after by global employers. In fact, a report by The Independent has shown that studying business or a subject relating to economics a university level has the potential to make you a billionaire.

While these returns are very tempting, students are now looking for more from their education and careers than the mere promise of an income.  According to Education Post, business school students worldwide adopt a different set of priorities, with most of them citing hope to make a difference in the world as their main priority.

Image courtesy of the Sobey School of Business

More pupils are looking for opportunities to use their skills to give back to communities and address a number of issues societies currently face. The shift in how students view business has led specialized business schools to offer more than just high-ranking degrees. These institutes provide subjects like Sustainability, Social Enterprise and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to give insight into things companies can do to help surrounding communities.

But it’s not just universities that are slowly adapting to the changes of how a business should function. In fact, companies are now making it their priority and responsibility to make positive change through their valuable CSR work. “Companies can do more than just make money, they can serve others,” explains Marc Benioff, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce. “The business of business,” he continues, “is improving the state of the world”.

If you have a passion for helping the world, a business degree that intends to make positive impact could be ideal for you. But it’s not always easy to pinpoint a university that you know is a proud believer in community engagement and collective action through a partnership with students – much like the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University.

“At the Sobey School of Business we are proud of our Impact with Purpose Report which highlighted our contributions to the region – such as our $329 million annual economic impact on the Province,” says Dr. Patricia Bradshaw, Dean of Sobey School. “We are also looking at new ways of advancing our mission of preparing citizens of the world to lead sustainable, entrepreneurial businesses and communities.”

Excited to know more? Here are 4 leading business schools that are working hard to make a difference in surrounding communities…


Featuring an international faculty that boasts world-class researchers and educators, students who apply to the Sobey School of Business learn from the business best. The School represents one of the largest business faculties in Canada with 75 full-time professors, 97 percent of whom are PhD-level scholars.

Image courtesy of the Sobey School of Business

This AACSB-accredited university provides degrees in Bachelor of CommerceMaster of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Finance, Executive Master of Business Administration, Master of Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Master of Business Administration (CPA Stream), Master of Applied Economics, Co-operative Management Education, and a PhD in Management. Half of the School’s students come from outside Canada.

Here, students combine strong academic study with direct and relevant hands-on experience to make an impact with purpose. You will build a strong foundation in business fundamentals, and then apply what you’ve learned in case studies, consulting projects and through opportunities like the unique IMPACT program or the brand new Venture Grade Capital group.

In addition to offering a well-rounded education, the School also has the Sobey School Business Development Centre, building and supporting community business leaders through consultations and training. The SSBDC focuses on business development within Atlantic Canada and offers services in things like entrepreneurship development, community leadership, market research and economic development.


Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business at Temple University is the largest and most comprehensive business school in the greater Philadelphia region, boasting a long-held tradition for preparing the business leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The School offers a variety of academic programs, like the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program, 13 specialized Masters programs, and four types of MBA pathways (Executive MBA, Global MBA, Online MBA, and Part-time MBA).

But this isn’t all that makes the Fox School of Business so impressive; on top of this, the School understands the importance of creating employable graduates, hence why it has the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) to prepare students for the working world through workshops, mentoring programs and internships. And if you’re looking forward to making an impact, the School has student organizations that arrange an exciting array of social activities, from fund raising to community service projects, that students are free to join.


Image courtesy of Hofstra University

Consistently recognized for its leading business programs by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes and The Princeton Review, prospective students of the Zarb School of Business have access to a wealth of experiential learning and enrichment opportunities that enhance their business education. Here, students choose from a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including Dual Degrees, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science, and many more.

Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, the School has the Martin B. Greenberg Trading Room – one of the largest academic trading rooms in the nation. The room, equipped with 34 Bloomberg Professional terminals is identical to those used by leading financial institutions. But it’s not all business here, since the institution conducts a wealth of community work, such as bringing financial literacy and business education into the lives of younger students in the community through various partnerships with corporate organizations.


Image courtesy of the Haskayne School of Business

Founded in 1967, the Haskayne School of Business is internationally-recognized for its business education, research and community work with an emphasis on the distinct elements that define Calgary and Alberta: Energy, Entrepreneurship and Ethical Leadership. The School provides a range of degree programs, including the Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Executive MBA, Global Energy Executive MBA, PhD in Management, an interdisciplinary Master of Science degree in Sustainable Energy Development, plus a full range of open and customized Executive Education programs.

Haskayne School is also a big believer in giving back to the community through its work and aims to connect the expertise and experiences of students and faculty with the needs of the community. Students can look through several engaging community outreach events that are held throughout the year, connecting them with leaders who expand their thinking and build their professional network.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International


Liked this? Then you’ll love these…

Top British business programmes for international students

Innovative Business Schools: 5 universities that give graduates an entrepreneurial edge