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2014 Class Gift: Q&A with the Committee Co-Chairs

2014 Class GiftLeft to right: John Ghirardelli, MBA ’14; Maja Omanovic, MBA ’14; and Dina Kazzaz, MBA ’14

Each year, graduating students across MIT Sloan programs provide important and lasting support in the form of the Student Class Gift. Supporting the MIT Sloan Annual Fund, the gift helps to ensure that the next generation of Sloanies will share in the exceptional experiences made possible by philanthropic support. We asked the EMBA and MBA Class Gift co-chairs to reflect upon their MIT Sloan experience, and why being involved in the Class Gift was important to them.

Why was it important for you to be involved as a leader for the 2014 Student Class Gift?
Karim Ghachem, EMBA ’14: I never saw the point in doing something in life if I couldn’t share an experience with someone else or find ways to contribute to those who have supported me. The MIT Executive MBA program and my classmates have given me so much that it is a privilege and an honor to give back to Sloan and the MIT community that has helped each of us grow and bridge our experiences.

John Ghirardelli, MBA ’14: I view the Student Class Gift as one of those events that, from an MBA perspective, is the chance to put your money where your mouth is. I’m very proud of where I went to graduate school, and I’m committed to maintaining and improving the community for generations to come.

Dina Kazzaz, MBA ’14: I chose to take a break from my career and come to MIT Sloan because I was ready for new personal and professional challenges. I wanted to meet new people who would inspire me, to learn from professors who would equip me with new tools, and to immerse myself in an environment that would encourage me to explore new opportunities and possibilities. The Student Class Gift is a way to say “thank you” to those who were generous enough to build this incredible place and to fill it with world-class professors and students.

Why do you think it’s important to start a tradition of philanthropy while still a student?
Maja Omanovic, MBA ’14: Giving is difficult—especially when you have student loans. For philanthropy to work, it has to come from the heart. It is not about giving outside of your means. It is about giving because you care. If you start early, philanthropy can and will become a habit.

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