Waltham & Sharon, Mass. -- Bentley University and The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees), a nonprofit conservation organization and the nation’s oldest statewide land trust, have launched an innovative partnership designed to expose undergraduate business students to consulting work in the fast growing field of green marketing.
Beginning last week, Bentley and The Trustees introduced a unique course for the spring 2009 semester that challenges undergraduate students to develop a marketing plan for The Trustees -- targeted specifically to the Gen Y demographic and their relationship to conservation and the environment. The research efforts will be conducted in Bentley’s state-of-the-art Center for Marketing Technology led by the center’s Director and Senior Lecturer of Marketing, Ian Cross.
As part of Bentley’s overall strategy to expose more students to the growing environmental field and connect them with job opportunities post graduation, the new course will provide weekly access to representatives from The Trustees and other green marketing experts throughout the semester to offer advanced learning and networking opportunities. “Every company we’ve partnered with in previous “corporate immersion” courses has offered internships or employment opportunities to our students, proving the long term success and viability of these hands-on projects,” says Cross.
Through the partnership, The Trustees will provide the Bentley community -- approximately 6,000 students, faculty and staff -- the opportunity to sign up for a free one-year membership, connecting them with the beautiful network of 100 properties The Trustees manage and protect statewide, including the historic Old Manse in Concord, breathtaking World’s End in Hingham, and the popular Crane Beach in Ipswich. Trustees membership includes free and significantly discounted access to the many outdoor and recreational opportunities, programs, and events The Trustees offer locally and around the state, as well as a subscription to the organization’s quarterly magazine, Special Places, which reports on important conservation topics and accomplishments.
The Bentley/Trustees alliance comes at a particularly critical time as the movements of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and the involved relationship between business and society gains momentum in boardrooms and classrooms. The last decade has shown that business schools have a profound responsibility: curricula must innovate in order to produce graduates who can flourish in a world facing increasingly complex social, ethical, political, economic and environmental challenges. Universities such as Bentley play a key role in inspiring young talent to help build and sustain their local environment and economies.
“The management education landscape is changing and, increasingly, the role of experiential learning – which exposes students to situations that reflect the actual work environment, aligns their interests with the stakeholders of the organization, and challenges them to learn by doing – is taking its rightful place in this shift. Bentley is uniquely poised to develop these partnerships, and our high tech learning labs offer just the right space for students to combine their business knowledge with their creative talents,” says Traci Logan, Bentley Vice President for IT and COO.
“Experiential learning needs to go beyond the application of technological and analytical management tools,” says Bentley president Gloria Larson. “It also needs to guide students to be ethical individuals who take into account the broader social, political and environmental context within which all organizations operate. While experiential learning is not new, our approach focuses not only on outcomes, but also on relationships, impact and unintended consequences. Our goal through The Trustees partnership is to create a relationship between our students and their environment, to help them understand what their generation needs to do to help preserve and protect the natural world and the quality of life in their communities and why it is important for their future.”
“We are excited to work with Bentley as partners in this and future marketing programs,” says Andy Kendall, President of The Trustees of Reservations. “As the population and our membership base ages, we are looking for strategic ways to inspire young people to become future conservationists. We need them to care about the rapidly shrinking natural, cultural and historic places around them and to work to protect and care for them. Our hope is that this program will not only provide us with important insight on how to captivate younger audiences, but that it will also give the students in the class valuable experience in the growing green marketing field by getting to know a leader in the conservation movement, The Trustees, on a deeper level.”
The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees)
The Trustees are 100,000 people like you, from every corner of Massachusetts, who love the outdoors and the distinctive charms of New England, and believe in celebrating and protecting them for future generations. Trustees’ volunteers, members, donors, staff, and governing board all “hold in trust,” and care for special places called "reservations,” hence the name, The Trustees of Reservations.
In addition to owning and caring for 100 reservations—nearly 25,000 acres in more than 70 communities, all of which are open to the public--The Trustees hold conservation restrictions on more than 16,000 acres of privately owned land and have worked with communities and other conservation partners to assist in the protection of an additional 16,000 acres. The Trustees’ affiliate, Boston Natural Areas Network, owns 39 community gardens and advocates for urban wilds and greenways in the city of Boston.
A member-, donor- and endowment-supported organization, The Trustees provide hundreds of year-round programs and events that inspire people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate and care for natural, scenic and cultural landscapes and landmarks across the Commonwealth. As one of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofits, The Trustees employ 165 full-time, 46 regular part-time, and 350-400 seasonal staff with expertise in resource protection, land management, historic preservation, ecology, public policy, and outdoor education. For more information, please visit www.thetrustees.org.
BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is a leader in business education. Centered on teaching and research in business and related professions, Bentley blends the breadth and technological strength of a university with the core values and student focus of a close-knit campus. Our undergraduate curriculum combines business study with a strong foundation in the arts and sciences. The McCallum Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and custom executive education programs. Located minutes from Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts, the school enrolls approximately 4,000 full-time undergraduate, 250 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,400 graduate, and 30 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), which benchmarks quality in management and business education.