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Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University

Student Experiences

Perspectives from the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative

Sean Roe '14 talks about how NPI broadened his definition of "success"

Student experiences in the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative

NPI students reflect on their experiences: 

"NPI 5.0 was an amazing experience that merged my lenses. I realized that my accounting skills and business knowledge are hard skills; they are transferrable and malleable and help me solve problems in creative ways. NPI showed me that I could use them to help the poor."

"In the past two quarters NPI has provided me with the opportunity to learn many important lessons that would not be possible through traditional classroom learning. The first, and perhaps most important insight that I gained was how to implement corporate social responsibility into my life as an aspiring businesswoman. Throughout the class, I was shocked to discover that my education could help others in very real and tangible ways."

"I have known for a long time, that problems are not as simple as what they appear to be on the surface but BUSN 188 has truly allowed me experience first hand how multifaceted these obstacles are. I think spending time with the actual owners made me realize that the human component of problems is an incredibly important detail to take into account when finding solutions."

"Not having the answers to every question or necessary time to prepare for every setback forced our team to problem solve and grow in ways that I could have never imagined. In the real world, and especially in the world of small business, you have to be able to learn as you go. Not every course of action will be laid out in a lesson plan and the answers aren’t always in the book. However, willingness to solve problem by adapting to change, difficulties, or surprises ultimately opens up avenues to more solutions."

"The most valuable aspect of this class was feeling like we were really able to make a positive and measurable change in a community. Using our existing knowledge to fill a need felt both humbling and empowering."

"My experience in NPI has helped to get me to understand how fundamental the problem of social inequality is in society. It has made me understand that while a lot of small solutions can relieve the results of the unjust political system, it cannot change the actual system. …The learning and work within NPI put a face and a personal reality to the situations and intense societal obstacles faced daily in the pursuit of a fair living."

"I learned a lot about group dynamics. It was difficult at times working in a group without a clear leader and requiring everyone to step up and contribute as much as they can—when the reward wasn’t really grade based. It was awesome to see the motivation push past classic rewards and work toward a greater good instead."

"Although I always cared about social justice, I never did a profound analysis of poverty and never really asked myself if my actions were actually solving any issues or just making things worse. It is with NPI that I understood how important it is to spend time in a community and truly realize what they need before I can help them. What is more, I learned that the most enjoyable part of helping others is actually getting to know the community where they live in, to understand what they fight for everyday, to be empathetic with them and to truly commit to the community as a whole, not just one person."