Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Taking Charge in Costa Rica

Junior Max Schneider took on all the hurdles and headaches of leadership to make his fraternity's service trip to Costa Rica a reality.

Junior accounting major and Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS scholar Max Schneider gained a new appreciation for international travel when he organized his fraternity's mission trip to Costa Rica.

Max's trip over the summer came after a long road of learning and determination. “It was an idea that was kind of being whispered about in my fraternity,” he says. Max, with three previous mission trips as credentials, was soon in charge of making the service trip for the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members a reality. From creating an application to fundraising $18,000 with sorority members of Kappa Alpha Theta, Max says the entire process was a learning experience. “It was a pretty big effort,” he recalls. “I didn't realize how many hoops we'd have to go through and the hurdles that there would be.”

Working through those hurdles, including figuring out how to allow donations to be tax deductible, “really taught me a lot about leadership,” Max says. He hopes that his groundwork will pay off and the service trip to Costa Rica will continue as a new tradition for his fraternity. During the trip, he assumed an unexpected role overseeing the project and coordinating 18 students. “I felt more like a dad than I did a friend,” he says. “It was quite the task to keep an eye on everybody.”

Organizing the trip was a chance to explore a different avenue of leadership than Max had experienced as student body president at St. Xavier High School. “I wanted to do things that I wanted to do, like lead this mission trip, where I get to set my own rules and set the terms, and do it how I think it can best be done,” he says. “That was probably the coolest experience I've had with mission trips, just because it was something I saw through from the very get-go.”