Clifford Emmanuel ’15
I saw a lot of power when the public and private sectors came together to create solutions.
Before SOM, I was with the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting firm. I did a lot of work focused on global development and increasing access to post-secondary education. I got to see a pretty broad spectrum of means of social change, and the ones that stood out as particularly effective were the ones that blended business and social interventions. I saw a lot of power in cross-sector partnerships, where the public sector and the private sector came together to create solutions.
I wanted to be in a place where I could study some examples of world-class partnerships, and I thought SOM was the best place to do that; it was almost specially designed for the kind of impact I wanted to have in the world.
Part of it is the curriculum and the way it brings in concepts from different disciplines. We just completed a case in our Integrated Management Perspectives course where we took on the perspective of an investor in clean energy projects. Professors from our Economics and Sourcing and Managing Funds courses illuminated different aspects of the case and how they fit together. I remember thinking, “Wow, if I’m that investor, sitting in that role, I had better be effective at bringing together these different pieces; these problems don’t present themselves in silos.”
Another reason SOM was the right place for me is the culture. There’s a belief among students that we can do more together than we can do individually. It’s visible in classes, outside of class, in clubs, in student endeavors. It’s an environment in which I’ve felt the freedom to experiment, to take on leadership roles in student government and clubs. And I think that’s something I’ll take with me throughout my career, looking for environments that value depth of thought and connections between people and their ideas. Those are places where I’ll thrive as a leader.
Interviewed on April 10, 2014.