SOM’s social impact club leaders joined in welcoming the Class of 2023 through the Net Impact Kickoff Event, in which second-year club leaders had the opportunity to share details of the clubs’ missions and activities.
This year, Prachi Sharma and Sean Fry started the kickoff meeting by introducing Net Impact’s mission as an umbrella organization that seeks to connect socially minded students and facilitate their exploration of the intersection of business and society. Underneath the umbrella, Net Impact supports multiple activities, including the “&Society” forum and the annual Yale Philanthropy Conference. It also provides funding for students who wish to attend social impact related conferences beyond Yale. Next, leaders shared details about each of the groups within Net Impact and how first-year students could get involved.
- &Society Forum: Co-Leads Jackie Ruggiero and Haven Herrin introduced &Society Forum, a weekly community discussion for conversations beyond the classroom. Discussion themes, chosen by participants, allow students to have important conversations on timely topics such as navigating echo chambers and encouraging allyship. The goal of the forum is to create a safe space for students to discuss and create community across differences. First-year students can get involved by helping leadership organize events, proposing topics for discussion, or participating in open-minded conversation.
- Yale Philanthropy Conference: Michael Berger introduced the Yale Philanthropy Conference, an annual event that brings together a collection of speakers at panels, workshops, and keynote speeches to help deepen students understanding of the philanthropic sector. Last year’s event, Reimagining Philanthropy, was the largest in the conference’s 15+ year history, with over 1,500 attendees. First-year students can get involved by creating panels or serving on a committee to organize logistics, fundraising, and more.
SOM’s Program on Social Enterprise sponsors several curricular and co-curricular offerings including:
- The Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) courses are designed to immerse students in practical issues faced by mission-driven social entrepreneurs, while providing a unique opportunity to partner with social organizations in a different country on a hands-on consulting project. Fall-winter GSE works in India every year, and Spring GSE rotates between Brazil and Kenya. First-year students can get involved by taking the course in Spring (Kenya) or considering taking GSE India as second-years.
- Social Impact Lab: Drew D’Alelio and Sara Derian introduced Social Impact Lab, a weekly seminar series in which speakers share practical tips and inspirational talks from the social sector. The speakers vary from industry experts to current students that share diverse perspectives from their experiences working in the social sector. First-year students can apply to be student speakers or attend sessions prepared to ask questions to the various speakers.
The event concluded by giving students a chance to ask questions and meet the second-year leaders to discuss opportunities to get involved. In addition to Net Impact, the leaders encouraged all current and prospective students to get familiar with the range of socially oriented clubs at SOM, such as:
Business and the Environment Club
The mission of the Business and Environment Club is to support students interested in the intersection of competitive business organization and sustainable environmental practice. This club acts as a bridge between the Yale School of Management and the Yale School of the Environment. The club provides educational opportunities, networking, and support students to incorporate environmental factors into their decision-making processes.
Economic Development Club
The Economic Development Club's mission is to educate, recruit, and build community around creating social impact through economic development. Economic development stems from efforts across a broad range of fields so the club supports interests that span empowerment, international development, policy, and infrastructure, among others. They work closely with other clubs to host events that address the economic development aspects of various industries, fields, and geographies.
Business Students for Racial Equity Club
Business Students for Racial Equity is committed to advancing racial equity at the Yale School of Management, in the greater New Haven community, and in their future workplaces. As a collaborative space for racial equity work, they are committed to working with and amplifying the work of other groups and communities of color. Through education, community engagement, and advocacy, they aim to leverage their position in the business community to create structural change and interpersonal empathy in our society.
Impact Investing Club, MIINT, and Fishbowl Ventures
The Impact Investing Club educates SOM students about the growing field of impact investing across a variety of asset classes and financial return expectations. The club offers mentorship alongside experiential learning opportunities to help students establish careers in the space. They help coordinate teams for the Turner MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) competition and for Fishbowl Ventures, a student-run impact investing fund at SOM.
Social Impact Consulting Club
The Social Impact Consulting (SIC) club provides pro-bono consulting services to nonprofits, government agencies and social enterprises, mainly in the New Haven area. For over 20 years, SIC has brought together public and social sector leaders and Yale MBA students to provide students with opportunities to apply business school knowledge and achieve a positive impact in the community around us.
Nonprofit Board Fellows Club
The purpose of Nonprofit Board Fellows is to create opportunities for SOM students to serve on nonprofit boards in and around New Haven. The Club recruits nonprofits that can provide a worthwhile leadership opportunity for students and selects students with a high motivation to serve on the boards. Nonprofit Board Fellows will provide training and support for students during the term of their service.
By Nina Dhingra, MBA 2022