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?

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HSIF: Documenting Health Access in Nepal – Grace Lesser

This is the seventh post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.

4. Dhading DH Tent_Gorkha Mother

Mora, 29 years old: “This is my second child. More than this would be a challenge with the economics and with the health. If I don’t use a family planning method I’ll have another baby, and I don’t want that. Most women choose a permanent method for that reason. I will too.”

As an MBA/MPH student, Grace Lesser (2016) had the unique opportunity to receive both the UC Berkeley Global Health Reporting Fellowship and support from the Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) and Rashell Young Fellowship this past summer. With these fellowships, she pursued a customer insights/photojournalism study on access to maternal and reproductive health services in post-earthquake Nepal with One Heart Worldwide (OHW), a maternal health NGO with an extraordinary boots-on-the-ground presence in relief efforts there. “My goal in doing this project,” Grace said, “was to provide a counterpoint to the dryness of the policy conversation, or the flatness of the funding dialogue. My original goal was to document narratives across several different countries, but when the earthquake hit Nepal and I had the opportunity to go through a relief organization with a real local presence, I focused my efforts on examining health access in the wake of the crisis.”

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HSIF: Impact Investing in Mexico – Anette Urbina Gamboa

This is the sixth post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.

Looking to transition to a Impact Investing career in her home country of Mexico, Anette Urbina Gamboa (MBA16) spent the summer working with IGNIA, a US$100 million venture capital firm investing in companies serving the base of the pyramid in Mexico. “IGNIA proved the perfect opportunity for me to gain exposure and work hand-in-hand with leaders and innovators in the field,” Anette said. “Their main focus is on investing in companies providing high-impact goods and services, such as healthcare, housing, financial services, and other basic services.”

A principle that resonated with Anette throughout her summer with IGNIA was: Question the status quo. She felt that the organization personified this principle its very core. With a history of social change only through governmental or philanthropic organizations, groups like IGNIA and other impact investing funds spurring a social entrepreneurship ecosystem, “the landscape is rapidly changing. It took a few early pioneers who dared to imagine a new way to deliver social good and forever alter the social impact landscape in Mexico.” Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight – Joe Dougherty

Joe DoughertyJoe Dougherty, Partner and West Coast Leader, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Berkeley-Haas Lecturer

“Coming to Berkeley, I was delighted (but not surprised) by how smart, inquisitive, and creative the Haas MBA students are.”

Joe Dougherty first began teaching at Haas when fellow lecturer, Shashi Buluswar recommended that he co-teach the ‘Social Enterprises’ section of the Social Sector Solutions course in 2013. “I had taught graduate courses previously at UNC Wilmington and Johns Hopkins, and was delighted to have the chance to work with Haas,” said Joe. “It was a great course. I worked hard, but had a blast!”

This coming Spring, Joe will be teaching his first undergraduate class – Leadership in Nonprofits and Social Enterprises.  Joe hopes that students are able to take away the idea that:

“Managing a nonprofit or a social enterprise is more complicated than managing a traditional for-profit, because you serve two masters: financial performance (a.k.a. sustainability) and impact,” he said. “Also, the people who receive your services and the people who pay for them are often not the same, which introduces further challenges. At the same time, the work can be incredibly rewarding.”

Joe has worked with nonprofits and social enterprises in over 20 countries in addition to organizations in the United States. He is currently a part-owner of a global social enterprise, Dalberg. As Joe has said, “I’ve learned a few things about what seems to work – and what definitely does not work – and I hope to use this experience to help Berkeley students avoid the mistakes of the past and engage with the social sector in a more informed and insightful way.” He plans to use lessons learned from his various experiences outside the classroom to further enrich the course and provide insight to his students.

Social Impact Consulting Panel

Social Impact Consulting Panel

Jennifer Kawar and Laura Tilghman

Photo by Bruce Cook

November 9, 2015

The annual Social Impact Consulting Career Panel broke our own speaker series attendance record this year! It is always a popular event, and this year more than 100 people filled the room to hear the perspectives of the accomplished panel members. The all female panel was made up of distinct leaders in the social impact space and moderated by Kimberly Wright-Violich, the co-founder and managing partner of Tideline.

2015 Panelists:

  • Alison Colwell, Associate Director, Advisory Services, BSR
  • Jennifer Kawar, Chief Investment Officer, Nonprofit Finance Fund
  • Willa Seldon, Partner, Bridgespan Group
  • Laura Tilghman, Senior Consultant, FSG

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HSIF: Providing Stable Futures Through Affordable Ownership – Angela Steele

This is the fifth post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.

Habitat for Humanity development in San Francisco, Habitat Terrace.

Habitat for Humanity development in San Francisco, Habitat Terrace.

“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. Continue reading

HSIF: Entrepreneurs Changing Communities – Dulce Kadise

This is the fourth post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.

Dulce Kadise and her team with Michael Baker, co-founder of MBAs Across America, in New Orleans, LA.

Dulce Kadise and her team with Michael Baker, co-founder of MBAs Across America, in New Orleans, LA.

Traveling from New Orleans to Alabama to Little Rock to Nashville, Dulce Kadise (MBA16) worked to understand and assist four entrepreneurs’ varying needs and goals through MBAs Across America. A popular organization with Haas MBAs, Dulce and classmate Dan Fishman (MBA16) were teamed with a Harvard MBA and a Stanford MBA to, as Dulce described, “embark on a 5-week journey across the country working with four entrepreneurs who are changing their communities.”

In New Orleans, the team worked with Your Nutrition Delivered, a business focused on food as medicine, delivering meals tailored customers with certain diseases or conditions, brainstorming expansion strategy, including geographies, channels, and products. Continue reading

HSIF: Creating Sustainable Accounting Standards – Sonya Hetrick

This is the third post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.

“We all know that internships are incredibly important in helping us decide the types of organizations we want to work for beyond our time here at Haas,” says Berkeley-Haas MBAA VP of Community and leader of the Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) fundraising and award process, Robbie Heath. “Having some extra money to cover expenses during the summer can help our classmates focus more on preparing for that future.” Through the HSIF, select students interested in social sector internships are awarded fellowships granting financial assistance, mostly funded by current Haas MBA students who divert a small part of their summer salaries to support their classmates. This past summer, Sonya Hetrick (MBA16) was an HSIF Fellow working at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

Sonya Hetrick and her fellow SASBees with the SASB gong, which is rung to celebrate accomplishments.

Sonya Hetrick and her fellow SASBees with the SASB gong, which is rung to celebrate accomplishments.

SASB is a non-profit organization developing industry-specific sustainability standards for publicly traded companies to use in their SEC filings. Sonya saw that their culture aligns well with all four of Haas’s guiding principles, particularly that they are an organization that has Confidence without Attitude—confident in their research and in the organization’s mission, yet open to input from a wide variety of stakeholders in order to develop the best possible standards. Continue reading