Pay-it-forward MBA internship fund helped make these opportunities possible
This summer, the Business+Impact initiative at the Ross School of Business was able to provide extra funding for social impact-related internships for Michigan Ross students at government and organizations across the country.
B+I drew from its Summer Fund and the student-run Give-A-Day Fund, which finances the majority of MBA summer internships each year. The fund provides financial assistance to full-time MBA students interning with social impact organizations, and calls on the current class of MBAs to support the next cohort. This year, the Give-A-Day Fund received $30,000 in donations, including more than $10,000 that was raised at the University of Michigan’s Giving Blueday in December. At that event, more than one-third of the Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA Class of 2020 donated to the fund.
Despite having to primarily work from home due to the pandemic, students were still able to develop their skills while helping mission-driven organizations in Detroit and around the world.
One student, Claire Babilonia, MBA ‘21, was a corporate products intern at Arlington, Virginia-based Ashoka, which she describes as “an international citizen-sector organization whose mission is to build an Everyone a Changemaker World.” The purpose of her project was to evolve Ashoka’s corporate products to increase employee engagement and corporate transformation practices for corporate partners.
Babilonia shared how her contribution will equip more of Ashoka’s corporate partners with the tools and success measurements to transform their organizations and identify as changemakers. “Many of the organizations Ashoka partners with now are based in Europe, yet this summer project will help Ashoka launch new partnerships with large U.S. corporations who are committed to incorporating social impact into their core businesses and value creation strategies.”
Babilonia revealed that she interviewed over 15 social impact and corporate transformation experts around the globe. “Their insights were a critical part of the project and it was a blast learning about their background, expertise, and sharing reflections on what it means to be a changemaker.”
Kelsey Casey, MBA ‘21, was a strategic development intern at Global Good Fund and expressed her gratitude for the fund.
“The Give-A-Day Fund provided the funding I needed to pursue this internship in the first place! I’m forever grateful for this opportunity to be funded by my peers and work for an organization that I fully believe in.”
She shared how her internship has allowed her to see behind the curtain of a nonprofit, start-up organization and serves at the perfect nexus of human capital and social impact work. “I hope to work for a similar organization later in my career after my return to consulting after school.”
In addition to the financial support, the Give-A-Day Fund allowed for students to have a meaningful internship experience.
J’Taime Lyons, MBA/MPP ‘22, explained how her internship at the East Durham Children’s Initiative will affect her career path.
“I would like to start a social impact consulting firm that aligns high poverty areas resources to increase and strengthen cradle to career pipelines. My internship provided me the opportunity to see how a collective impact organization and multiple partners are coming together to align services. My internship would be fulfilling as my dream career.”