Recruiting MBAs for Social Impact Internships

MBA Intern at SMASH Academy

MBA Intern at SMASH Academy

Berkeley-Haas MBAs want to have a positive impact on the world. For some of them, the time to start is now, not after graduation or a “first career” in corporate America. That desire translates into an opportunity for nonprofit and social enterprises to recruit and hire MBAs as summer interns. If your organization has a tough, strategic project that could use a smart, energetic, passionate MBA from a top program, now is the time to recruit.

Top graduate programs, including Berkeley-Haas, are seeing an increase in socially-focused MBAs. Is compensation too large an obstacle to be competitive? The answer is that there is no answer. Some large nonprofits can provide top pay, while others struggle to provide even a transportation stipend. Students are attracted to the full package; an interesting project, a strong organization, a unique experience, leadership development opportunities, work aligned with their passion, as well as pay and benefits.

The first step is creating a strong job description to market your project and organization. Some things to remember when creating a job description for MBAs:

  • Put the impact of your work and/or the strength of your organization front and center.
  • Link the expected outcomes of the work/project to the impact and mission of the organization.
  • What experiences will the candidate gain from the position that are unique or valuable?
  • Does the role create an experience with something new or innovative?

Download a social impact job description template that you can use as you create your job description:

Job description template for social impact jobs

The second step is to know where to get visibility. Visit our “Work with Students” page for details on where to submit job and project descriptions to be seen by Berkeley-Haas students.

MBA students work on a wide range of projects through nonprofit, government and social enterprises. We highlight some of those projects on this blog using the “Haas Social Impact Fund” category listing to the right. Some recent examples:

These projects were possible, in part, due to a Berkeley-Haas program that provides financial support to MBA students working for social impact organizations for their summer internship. These stipends are intended to supplement the compensation provided by the organization, not replace it. The Haas Social Impact Fund program page has details and timing for this year.

If you have feedback or questions on any of these resources or programs, please contact us at



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