Yale School of Management

Industry Focus: Nonprofit and Social Impact at Yale SOM

In this series, we ask current Yale SOM MBA students to share their experiences interning and recruiting for positions in their industries, as well as the resources at SOM that have helped them in the process.

headshot of Maggie Shun

Maggie Shun ’21

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from NYU Stern School of Business
Pre-SOM work experience: Deloitte management consulting, TechnoServe consulting fellowship in Zambia, Flex corporate strategy (large design and manufacturing firm in the Bay Area)
Summer internship: International social impact at Sesame Workshop

Why did you choose to enter nonprofit/social impact?

When I was studying business in undergrad, I met an acquaintance who told me, “I don't believe all men are created equal. Some are born advantaged, some disadvantaged, and it’s the duty of those who are advantaged to help those disadvantaged.” The quote really stuck with me, and I decided I wanted to use business as a change agent to help do good. 

What was a typical day like during recruiting season?

I spent a lot of time when I first started school talking with second-years and alumni to figure out what I wanted to do within social impact. There were lulls when it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. During winter break, a few applications started to come out. I realized at some point it was a matter of supply and demand. I can try my best to figure out what I want to do from my end, but there are also only so many MBA internships in social impact. I applied to the ones of interest and ultimately received a few offers in February to late March.

How was your summer internship experience?

It was a solid experience overall. I worked on developing a “Sesame Institute”—essentially a fellowship program that aims to train young professionals in educational children’s media in the Middle East. I worked with the firm’s VP of operations and head of international social impact, and I met many experts in and outside of the organization. At the end of the internship, I presented to the CEO for an hour.

What were some of the most valuable resources at SOM that helped you during your search?

I used the CDO to bounce ideas off of, I did a research project with Professor Mushfiq Mobarak, I heavily used the alumni database, I loved going to the Yale Philanthropy Conference and Economic Development Symposium, the clubs were helpful (Social Impact Lab, Economic Development Club), and I organized a few Economic Development Club job treks as the first-year lead.

Do you have any advice for prospective students looking to work in the nonprofit/social impact space?

There are resources to tap into at SOM, so take advantage. Of course, lots of the work will be driven by you, so sometimes things will seem like they’re going nowhere or you might lose motivation—that’s all very normal. Eventually in the spring, opportunities will pop up on the SOM career portal, and you’ll land something great.

About the author

Maggie Shun