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Student Distinctions

Notre Dame MBA student announced as essay finalist

by Carol Elliott

March 25, 2009


Notre Dame MBA student Balakrishnan Rangan has been selected as a finalist in the Access: Voice of the Next Generation essay contest presented by student group Net Impact and sponsored by FedEx. Rangan was one of just 11 finalists selected from essays submitted by graduate and undergraduate students from the United States and seven other countries.

The purpose of the contest was to encourage emerging leaders to offer their opinion on the future of “Access,” or the ability for people, organizations and nations to connect and interact rapidly around the globe to access goods, information and ideas.

“This competition gave me an opportunity to write about something that I believe in, and so I sent in my entry based on the theme of human development,” said Rangan, who will graduate in 2010. In his submission, “Where will Access take us next?” he discussed his personal revelations about the power of having instantaneous access to information via technology. Rangan also suggests that supplying this access to developing parts of the world ultimately will improve standards of living by providing educational resources, combating terrorism and increasing the sense of interconnectedness in the human community.

“The main point I want people to take away from my essay is that, in an increasingly smaller and agile world, improved access could help human development catch up with business development,” he added.

"It was inspiring to witness the creativity and diversity of entries for this exciting student essay contest," said Liz Maw, executive director of Net Impact, an organization comprised of students and professionals interested in promoting corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, international and environmental sustainability. "Not only did each submission demonstrate a thoughtful approach to access, but we received many essays that created a personal connection to the issue."

Winners will be announced in April 2009. Three finalists will take home cash prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500, respectively, and the winning essay will be published in Access Review, the annual business magazine published by FedEx.

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