Why donate to a business school? Jody Evans knows better than most
Today Associate Professor Jody Evans helps to change people's lives – but getting there was only made possible by the assistance she received herself.
Jody is one of the most familiar faces at Melbourne Business School, having taught thousands of MBA students as well as now serving as Associate Dean of Engagement.
In the role of Associate Dean, Jody is involved in the School's scholarship programs, and she knows first-hand the impact they can have – it was the gift of a scholarship after the death of her father that made Jody's academic career possible.
"My sister and I were the first in our extended family to go to university. My father died when I was about 22, and it was just at the time I got an offer to do a PhD," she says.
"I could not have pursued that education without the support of a scholarship. It literally changed my life, and now changes what I get to do for other people's lives."
Jody says one of the most satisfying aspects of her job is seeing what students can achieve when they are equipped with the skills to lead, innovate and inspire.
"I'm fortunate to witness every day, both in and out of the classroom, the transformative power of education. Not just any education, but the unique impact of business education at our amazing School," she says.
"Investing in your own personal and professional development is always a difficult decision, but personal finances can make this a near-impossible dream for many people.
"It's a real part of our agenda at the School that we put every dollar we possibly can into removing the financial obstacles to further study and making our programs as accessible as possible to people."
As well as offering extensive scholarships, Melbourne Business School works with dozens of community and not-for-profit organisations including the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Peter McCallum Cancer Foundation and Guide Dogs Victoria to improve the sustainability of their social enterprises.
As a not-for-profit education provider, the School relies on the support of donors for many of its scholarships. No donation is too small and every dollar has an impact, Jody says.
"People can help the School in so many ways, but when it comes to financial help – whether it's $50 or $50,000 – a donation makes a difference. It's not just a gift, it's a difference in someone's life which has a tremendous ripple effect."