This is the fifth post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.
“The best moment of my internship was doing a walk-through of Habitat Terrace, a development in San Francisco,” Angela Steele (MBA16) said. “Standing on the construction site, it became real that 28 families who otherwise may have been displaced and left struggling to make ends meet will now be able to stay in the city and own their own home.” This past summer, Angela worked with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco (GSF)’s Real Estate Development (RED) team, an opportunity she was able to pursue partly due to the Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF). Aside from building affordable single-family homes, Habitat for Humanity GSF also provides financial literacy courses to home buyers and rehabilitates distressed homes.
Having taken the Real Estate Speaker Series and participated in the Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge, Angela looked for a chance to examine the affordable ownership model within a small organization. “Maintaining a stock of affordable housing in order to preserve the diversity of cities is something I believe in and I wanted to explore this for my internship,” she explained.
Though just a few months long, Angela attacked four major projects during the internship:
- Developing a new pro forma allowing the RED team to conduct a robust financial analysis of a development in Redwood City,
- Drafting a construction and design standards manual to be used to ensure quality control,
- Implementing a new project billing process for an existing development in San Francisco, and
- Evaluating the volunteer construction model to identify inefficiencies and opportunities for greater cross-divisional collaboration.
Working with Habitat for Humanity GSF, Angela reminded herself to remain a “Student Always,” especially outside the classroom. As someone who switched from the student travel industry to Real Estate, she had a lot to learn; “I was tasked with work that I had never done before. I had to learn as much as I could, from as many people as I could, as quickly as I could. The core prepared me well for this!”
Every year, the Haas Social Impact Fund, run by the Berkeley-Haas MBA Association (MBAA), selects students interested in using their internships to work in the social sector. The program is funded mostly by current Haas MBA students who divert a small part of their summer salaries to support their classmates. MBAA VP of Community and leader of the HSIF fundraising and award process, Robbie Heath, explained “The HSIF allows students to put their MBA skills toward great organizations and great causes without internship salary factoring as much into their decision.”
Find out more about how to get involved in the Haas Social Impact Fund.