Mendoza College of Business alumnus Bob Burke spoke at an Ethics Week event on Feb. 12 (Monday) in the Stayer Center. Shortly after graduating in 1994 and taking a job as a business analyst for Arthur Andersen, he founded a nonprofit that provides free tax preparation assistance to low-income families. He pitched the idea as a way to help young employees at the firm develop professionally as they learned to work with a different demographic. The program, now called Ladder Up, also includes other financial programs to help people climb out of poverty and has expanded to other cities in the U.S. In Chicago alone it has provided more than $529 million in economic benefits to more than 297,000 residents. He encouraged students to take a chance and do something different and to consider taking a year and working at a nonprofit after graduation.
“You will learn far more doing service than any for-profit job you can find in America,” Burke said. “Why? Because a nonprofit has limited resources, which means they have to stretch you. They have to have you do 12 different jobs, not one job. My point is, take a chance. Do something different. There is no risk at your age. There is no risk. The only risk is not taking that chance, doing something different and really doing it.”
Read the full story in The Observer.