The Student Advisory Board is central to our mission at the Center for Responsible Business. Each year the Board provides us with invaluable insights into the Center’s ongoing projects and long-term vision, keeping us up-to-date with Haas students’ interests in social impact and sustainability. This past summer our current Board members were hard at work redefining business as usual, completing challenging projects ranging from sustainable coffee sourcing to job training for refugees to founding a new social impact fellowship program at Haas. We’re confident they will continue to make a difference in their careers as we prepare to welcome our new board members for 2016-2017! Check out their dynamic summers in their own words below.
Eddie Gandevia, MBA ‘17
Over the summer, I worked for a growth equity investment firm focused on Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya as part of their investment team. I focused on sourcing and evaluating potential acquisitions in the region, evaluating potential partners, and developing their social impact framework.
In addition, I continued to lead an impact investment startup called the Human Capital Fund (HCF). HCF is an investment firm focused on resolving the talent imbalances that constrain growth and investment in impactful businesses in underserved markets. This coming fall, we are partnering with Haas Business School and Bay Area impact investors to award 5 fellowships to top MBA students who will participate in a fully accredited immersive semester. Fellows will take on full-time interim CFO, CMO and COO roles to help these businesses achieve their growth and impact goals and in turn receive a unique, transformative leadership development opportunity. The pilot will test the potential of the model, and, pending its results, HCF hopes to scale across the US and into East Africa, delivering the dual impact of unleashing growth in businesses driving economic growth and development as well as raising the next generation of business leaders sensitive to the challenges facing underserved markets and the potential for business to play a transformative role in a solution.
Grace Lesser, MBA/MPH ‘16
This summer, I interned with Whitewave Foods in Colorado, a multi-national consumer packaged goods company specializing in natural foods. I interned in a Consumer Insights capacity within the Marketing group, but had the opportunity to work on a unique coffee sustainability strategy for Whitewave’s cold brew portfolio. It was extremely cross-functional in nature – I worked closely with the brand and insights teams, R&D, creative, legal, finance, sustainability, and of course the coffee supplier. I focused on understanding the consumption habits and values of the Whitewave coffee consumer, analyzed the competitive landscape, and finally recommended a coffee sourcing and certification strategy. It was fascinating to act as a kind of internal sustainability consultant on a project that had so much internal interest. At the end of the summer, I sold the recommended business case for sustainable investment into key leadership and received very positive reception – here’s hoping you can buy cold brew with values from Whitewave in the coming months. I also leveraged my MPH training to lead integrated consumer insights and analytics efforts for an innovative new coffee product based on functional health benefits – keep your eyes peeled on the “Stok” cold brew brand for some interesting new product expansions.
Jason Block, Berkeley-Haas Undergraduate ‘17
I am an undergraduate senior at the Walter A. Haas School of Business. This summer, I utilized my business skills by working with the Bread Project, a Berkeley social enterprise, that empowers low-income individuals on their path to self-sufficiency through skills instruction, on-the-job training, and career assistance in the food service industry. In this role, I furthered local economic development by training refugees, immigrants, and formerly incarcerated individuals and by developing marketing materials for institutional advancement. In the fall, I looks forward to advising the Center for Responsible Business on their undergraduate programming and to inspiring more Haas students to promote social responsibility and high-level impact in their business careers.
Leah Staub-DeLong, MBA ‘17
I joined Intuit for the summer to learn more about how technology can help individuals and business owners better manage their finances and improve their financial wellbeing. I worked on the QuickBooks brand team to improve the way the product’s marketing and products deliver value to customers. I also led research to better understand how accountants use QuickBooks for their pro bono work, surfacing recommendations to enable Intuit to be a strong partner to accountants in their work with nonprofits.
Nancy Cao, MBA ‘17
I spent my summer working with Kiva’s US loans team. Kiva US is the only group in Kiva facilitating direct loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs, and is an important player in local community development. In my capacity as a business development lead, I identified and developed partnerships with other organizations, including an organic farming association and an economic development center in central California. These partnerships were a critical source of growth, by creating sustainable pipelines of qualified borrowers. I hope to continue working at the intersection of financial inclusion and fintech after graduating from Haas.
CRB Patagonia Case Competition – Student Lead
Interested in an internship with the CRB this year? Apply for the Student Lead position to help with the Patagonia Case Competition at the Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business. Apply soon – applications due Wednesday, September 28th, 11:59pm!
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