The Center for Responsible Business (CRB) Fellowship is one of the ways the Center encourages the development of business leaders who will redefine business for a sustainable future and address the great challenges of our time. Started in 2011, the CRB Fellows are part of a growing network of graduates leading the movement to integrate sustainability into their work and the practices of the firms that employ them. The CRB Fellowship is graciously funded by retired Goldman Sachs Partner and CRB Senior Advisory Board Member Scott Pinkus. Upon receiving the fellowship, this thought-leader serves as a liaison between the CRB and the Haas student body and receives automatic placement on the CRB Student Advisory Board to provide strategic support and accelerate the CRB’s agenda. Additional benefits include close access and mentorship from our Senior Advisory Board, CRB Staff and Faculty, and donor Scott Pinkus.
To commemorate a decade of the CRB Fellowship, we cataloged all ten of our dedicated fellows and asked a few to recount the impact the CRB has had on their personal and professional development.
“The CRB has opened innumerable doors for me professionally to positively impact the world through business. It’s through the CRB that I found a community of classmates and alumni who want to make the world better through business. It’s through the CRB that I gained a dear friend and mentor in Kellie McElhaney. It’s through CRB networks and connections that I landed both my MBA internship and post-MBA job – both in corporate sustainability aiming to spark change at multi-billion dollar companies. And it’s through the CRB that I continue to sponsor student projects, lecture in classes, advise current MBA students seeking career advice, and speak on career panels.
The life experiences created for me because I chose to attend Berkeley Haas will stay with me forever. I’ve grown tremendously as a person and as a professional because of them. And it’s thanks to Scott’s willingness to invest in people to build a better future that I owe this shift in my life. Scott’s generosity and commitment to reshaping business leaders through the CRB sent my life on a trajectory I never would have imagined possible.”
“I remember coming across the CRB when I was applying to MBA programs and it immediately strengthened my already positive perception of Haas. For obvious reasons, most business schools are built to support their students’ self-oriented efforts to improve their careers, and while many programs today attempt to layer in nods towards public and social responsibility, most are not able to do so in an authentic way. The CRB, with its long history of actively demonstrating that businesses can and should positively interact with the societies in which they operate, makes the case that Haas’ public presentation is more than a fashionable pretense. As someone with deep convictions that ‘enlightened self- interest’ is the only responsible view to take in the private sector, the CRB deeply resonated with me and drew me towards Haas.”
“The opportunity to work with the Center for Responsible Business was a deciding factor in pursuing my MBA at Berkeley Haas. Coming into my first year as the CRB Fellow and serving on the Student Advisory Board was an immediate way for me to connect with fellow students passionate about topics including sustainability and human rights. I embarked on my MBA path by exploring careers at the intersection of design and innovation, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing.
Through my time with the CRB, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to the annual Microsoft Conference on Business and Human Rights, help create the proposal for the new Sustainable Innovation focus area and take CRB courses. These experiences thankfully aligned well as I pursued internship opportunities and I was able to match with a role at IDEO focuse d on exploring the organization’s impact ecosystem. The systems thinking and framings of responsible business that I learned throughout my time at Haas were invaluable in my contributions during my summer at IDEO. That experience ultimately resulted in a full-time return offer as a Senior Business Designer in IDEO’s Design for Learning studio. I’ll be focused on advising clients on lifelong learning and future of work challenges.
I am forever grateful to the Center for Responsible Business and to Scott for recognizing my potential for impact, and further providing me with the resources to maximize that potential.”
“This fellowship has given me the opportunity to engage deeply with the CRB and connect with like-minded students driven to make an impact through our careers.
The CRB has been very influential in my time at Haas so far, because from the moment I stepped on campus, I had a community with the CRB. It has also been very influential in my career path: while I was initially focused on corporate sustainability, my time spent learning from the CRB staff and board members has led me to realize that I may be able to have a greater impact by bringing my sustainability mindset and passion to a more traditional role. With that in mind, I decided to pursue an internship in brand management to test the hypothesis that I can leverage my MBA to help make our food systems more sustainable. This summer, I’ll be interning at Danone North America, which is the largest certified B-Corp!
I’m currently working with two of my fellow student advisory board members to help the CRB shape the way we approach sustainable innovation. I’m also taking one of the CRB’s courses, Strategic and Sustainable Business Solutions, where I have the opportunity to work with Airbnb on a Sustainable Tourism consulting project. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that the CRB fellowship has provided me – from supporting my MBA to connecting me with industry peers and allowing me to contribute to Berkeley Haas’ leadership in corporate responsibility.”
“Being selected for this year’s fellowship has given me the chance to already start exploring as I transition from a career in management consulting to sustainability and finding my community within the school. I am honored and humbled to be selected, and am so excited to learn from and work with like-minded individuals to figure out how I can make the greatest impact and give back. I am so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait for the next two years.”