The ASU chapter of Enactus offers networking and résumé-building resources and a place to work on local and international social outreach projects.
In only its third year at ASU, the international organization is already busy with several projects and trips to regional and national competition, said supply chain management and economics junior Michael Mefford, the club’s vice president of operations.
“We look to find gaps in the community or problems that are around either your school, your state, your country (or) internationally,” Mefford said. “The whole point of Enactus is to create projects that somehow fill these gaps.”
Enactus works closely with its business advisory board, a team of advisers from companies such as Energy One, MariSol Federal Credit Union, MassMutual Financial Group, Bank of America and PepsiCo who answer questions, offer networking connections, help with résumés and provide resources to Enactus students that would not normally be available.
“(The club members) can build these relationships with members on our board,” Mefford said. “We have the regional director for PepsiCo on our board, credit unions, banks, etc.”
This semester, Enactus is working on three ambitious projects and hopes to begin working on more as the semester progresses.
Gayatri Mahajan, a business and legal studies senior and vice president of marketing and media for Enactus at ASU, is the head of one of the current projects.
Her project, the Learning Institute for Vocational Education or LIVE, is a free school in Jalore, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, India.
Mahajan has always wanted to start a school, and she was frustrated with how difficult it is to get into college in India. Her goal is to provide an alternative to Indian students.
“The school provides K-12 education along with a certain skill set that the student can obtain in those 18 years of his or her life instead of having to go to college,” Mahajan said.
However, the school is not just for K-12 students.
“Lets say a farmer in the community wants to come learn better ways to be sustainable and cheaper in his production,” she said. “He can come in, and we cater to those needs.”
Mahajan’s next step is to write a business plan with help from the Enactus team so she can get funding, which she plans to have done by December. Once she graduates, she is looking forward to spending more time getting funding for her project.
“I can devote all my time next year to LIVE,” Mahajan said.
Another of Enactus’ projects is called Global Food Registry, or GFR, a database of local food growers that the group hopes will eventually expand across not just the U.S., but the whole world.
Tommy Verderame, sustainability senior and public relations liaison for Enactus is excited about where GFR could go.
“You can find local food no matter where you are in the world,” Verderame said.
The team is now working on the research and development part of GFR, traveling looking for the actual food growers. It will be a long process, but Enactus’ members are confident in their ability to succeed.
Enactus’s officers are optimistic for the club’s future at ASU and its ability to grow and flourish this school year. With an international network and a variety of resources available to members, the club has a lot to offer to students looking for business experience, as well as sustainability and social outreach experience.
“If you’re in the business college, these connections are essential,” Mefford said. “Just a degree doesn’t cut it.”
The group is open to anyone with passion and a great idea, not just business students.
“We’re a cool group; we’re a fun group of kids, and that’s what we really like to stress,” Verderame said. “The whole point of this club is for people to come and join who have great ideas.”
The club’s first fundraiser of the year is a car wash at the Sonic near Broadway and Rural roads in Tempe on Aug. 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise money for the Enactus national competition.
Enactus’ first meeting is Sept. 5 in Mohave 236 in the MU.
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