I’ll be honest, I am pretty green when it comes to social impact – I have a traditional finance background and other than a couple of volunteering stints, I have not had much experience on the ground. That’s why I came to Wharton.
So if you are interested in social impact at business school, here is a quick run down on what Wharton has to offer and how you can get involved as a first year student:
- Wharton Social Impact Initiative: the umbrella organization for all things social impact-related at Wharton. Apply for WSII Fellowships to lead key initiatives and shape the movement on campus.
- Wharton Social Venture Fund: apply to be an Associate and work in sector teams to assess potential investments. This is a great opportunity to “get your hands dirty” and really understand the VC process with plenty of support along the way.
- Wharton Social Impact Club: a must for every MBA student even slightly interested in this space. There are plenty of opportunities to contribute; you can apply for a first year VP position and a Social Impact Week or Social Impact Conference role.
- Lipman Family Prize: apply to be a Fellow on the committee that seeks, screens and selects outstanding social entrepreneurs for this prestigious award.
- Wharton Community Consultants: provide advice and assistance to non-profits in the greater Philadelphia area, either as a consultant or project manager.
- Non-profit Leadership Board Fellows: those with prior non-profit board experience can apply to be a Board Fellow Coordinator; in second year, anyone can apply to be a board member for a non-profit in Philadelphia.
- Coursework: the ever-growing list of social impact courses is available at http://socialimpact.wharton.upenn.edu/academic-programs/mba-course-list/
- Advanced Study Projects: from time-to-time, highly regarded professors may select students for social impact-related small group projects with external parties. In addition, if you have a great idea, speak to the professor – it is easier than you think to get something off the ground.
For more information, check out socialimpact.wharton.upenn.edu.
That’s it for now. I will endeavor to add to this list as I discover more around campus!