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Olin Business School sweeps TeamMBA Awards

Whitney Curtis

MBA student Michael McLaughlin addresses a crowd in Simon Hall in October 2012 after returning from his successful hike of more than 2,500 miles.






Olin Business School MBA student Michael McLaughlin, who trekked more than 2,500 miles to raise money and awareness for abused and neglected children, and Olin Business School were named winners of the 2013 TeamMBA Awards June 20 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The annual awards are presented by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) — a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools — to honor graduate business and management students “in the business of giving back.”

McLaughlin took a semester off from his business studies last year to embark on Hike4Kids, becoming the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and the Ozark Trail back to back

Chronicling his journey on Hike4Kids.com, he raised awareness and more than $15,000 for the Family Resource Center in St. Louis and a school for blind and neglected children in Cameroon, founded by one of McLaughlin’s MBA classmates, Brooke James.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive international recognition from the GMAC,” said McLaughlin. “As MBA students who are in the process of transitioning into leadership roles, we should be cognizant of social issues and our part to play in finding solutions. This is what makes the TeamMBA Awards program so necessary. It inspires MBA students to look toward and embrace a pivotal role not just as leaders in the business community, but as leaders in the world.”

McLaughlin inspired his fellow students to follow his example of excellence. Olin was named the TeamMBA institutional award winner for hosting many events to support Hike4Kids, for teaching financial literacy to underprivileged youth, and for leading mentorship programs, among other initiatives. 

Greg Hutchings, JD, Olin’s assistant dean and director of the specialized masters program, accepted the awards on behalf of McLaughlin and the school at the opening session of the GMAC’s annual conference in Vancouver.

TeamMBA Awards have been awarded annually since 2008 to recognize graduate business students and schools that exemplify a commitment to social responsibility. This is the first year that the individual project and institutional awards have come from the same school.

“Had I known Michael in 2004, when we first dreamed of what TeamMBA might become, he would have been our role model,” said GMAC President and CEO Dave Wilson, who founded TeamMBA and presented the awards. “Michael is dedicated to improving the lives of others. He and the Olin School have demonstrated the values we nurture with TeamMBA.”

As the first individual to win the TeamMBA Award for best project, McLaughlin received $500. TeamMBA, which encourages and promotes social responsibility among graduate business and management students around the world, is administered through the GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow Fund, which formalizes GMAC’s commitment to giving back to move management education forward.

About GMAC: The Graduate Management Admission Council is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT exam), used by more than 5,800 graduate business and management programs worldwide. GMAC is based in Reston, Va., and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam — the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide — is available at more than 570 test centers in 110 countries. More information about the GMAT exam is available at mba.com.

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