Local Non-Profit Organization Benefits from Rady MBAs Conducting Independent Study

In recent years, approximately 68 percent of Rady MBAs have worked with a faculty member on an independent study during the course of their program. Given the current economic climate, companies are grateful for student assistance on projects, as financial resources become more scarce. This win-win situation allows Rady MBAs to gain valuable experience, and possibly make new connections for future careers. Independent studies are done with companies large and small, public and private and even several non-profit organizations.

One of the recent projects done for a non-profit organization, involved four Rady students, supervised by Professor Ayelet Gneezy. They were tasked with developing a marketing analysis of the La Jolla Festival of the Arts, the nonprofit fundraiser of the Torrey Pines Kiwanis Club.

“In the 23 years of the Festival, I am unaware that anything like this has been accomplished.”
  - La Jolla Festival Chairman Ronn Rohe

The 2009 chairman of the festival, Ronn Rohe, is a marketing and business consultant, and recognized the need for a solid, fact-based assessment of the current challenges facing the festival. Rohe approached Dr. Gneezy, who then assembled a student team for the project. The students were tasked with reviewing the festival's demographics and marketing program. They were given fact sheets, budgets, contracts, anything they thought necessary to form their analysis.

Under the guidance of Professor Gneezy, the students then analyzed the results and produced a 56-page report of their findings, along with specific recommendations on how to raise awareness, enhance the festival’s image and stimulate attendance. They produced a comprehensive report with concrete, actionable suggestions on ways to grow the festival in coming years.

“In the 23 years of the festival, I am unaware that anything like this has been accomplished,” said Ronn Rohe. “The festival management, all volunteers, was thrilled with the cooperation we got from the school and the professionalism of the students who were assigned the project.”

To learn more about the La Jolla Festival of the Arts, visit http://www.lajollaartfestival.org/.