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A Student-Faculty Collaboration on Talent in the Social Impact Sector

A Student-Faculty Collaboration on Talent in the Social Impact Sector

With caps and gowns retired to the recesses of closets, I have a bit of time to reflect on my SOM experience having just graduated this past May. One aspect that really is unparalleled at SOM, is our faculty and our ability to shape the curricula and our own learning.

After working at Acumen this past summer, I was left with questions about talent in the social impact sector (or purpose-driven talent) and how companies can connect social impact to talent development. I had conversations with Professor Kate Cooney, who specializes in social enterprise and nonprofit management, and a director at Deloitte Consulting, Bill Eggers, who recently published a book called Solution Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems. We toyed with an idea of conducting research on leading firms and social enterprises and intermediaries around the topic of purpose-driven talent, to highlight leading practices that firms and social enterprises are using to both do good and help develop their talent.

Fast-forward almost a year later: we have conducted over 20 interviews and have had a Deloitte-sponsored ON Conference around the topic that brought together leaders in the industry, nonprofit, and social enterprises together to engage on the topic of talent development related to social impact.  While we are still in the midst of refining the piece with hopes of publication soon, I recently published my first LinkedIn post on the subject: “MBAs’ elusive pursuit of ‘social good’: Business school graduates seek opportunities within corporations to flex their ‘business and society strength, but firms aren’t ready.”  Enjoy and feel free to engage in the discussion—it’s incredibly timely after graduation!

Even as a graduate, it’s hard to stay away from the SOM community. I have had numerous discussions with our newest faculty member, Kyle Jensen, about future social entrepreneurship curricula and Professor Kate Cooney and I still touch base almost weekly. I am hopeful we’ll have a solid piece of research to report back soon! 

The SOM community is literally at your fingertips—make the most of it. A special congrats to fellow classmates of the Class of 2014—and welcome Class of 2016 and prospectives!

Nate Wong is a recent 2014 Master of Business Administration graduate from Yale School of Management and will be rejoining Deloitte Consulting LLP as a manager within its newly launched Social Impact Practice, focusing on strategy for multi-nationals, foundations, and social enterprises looking toward social impact and economic development, based out of Washington, D.C.