I met Dr. Joyce Heames when I attended West Virginia University for graduate school. Even though I was in the journalism program, I had already been working in publishing for a few years, and I wanted to expand my knowledge of anything and everything business, so I took classes at the College of Business & Economics whenever I could. By luck, I heard about a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) class–a topic I had some familiarity with because of some previous work in public relations–and signed up for the class.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

The CSR class does not follow a traditional structure. The class is given $20,000 to distribute to local nonprofits. We announced a request for proposals, reviewed dozens of grant requests, met local and national nonprofit leaders, and got to experience the CSR world from the inside out. It was an incredible experience, and I hope that Universities around the country take notice of what WVU is doing and gives their students a similar opportunity. I’ve come back to CSR principles time and time again in my own businesses and in my work with clients, and from my perspective, there are thousands of untapped opportunities for using business to do good around the world.

I hope this episode inspires you to explore them.

To learn more about Dr. Heames and her work:

Quicklinks:

Music credits: Song Title: Droplet — Artist: Jeremy L