What Net Impact Means to Me: Reflections from a 2nd year MBA #socent
by Tee Weldeab
I had a vague idea what Net Impact was prior to business school. I had even attended a fun mixer hosted by the NYC professional chapter that a friend belonged to. But I never took the time to really figure out what the network was all about. That is until I came to Mills. Before I dive further, let me give you a formal description of what Net Impact is: A global network of business students and professionals dedicated to inspiring and equipping the next generation of socially and environmentally responsible business leaders. Now let me explain what I mean by that.
Not too long in the recent past, the notion of using business and an MBA degree to “do good while doing well” was a foreign concept. The sole purpose of a business was to generate profits for its shareholders. Solving society’s social and environmental ills were the responsibility of nonprofits and charities. Not anymore. Old-fashioned capitalism is fast becoming an outdated, primitive model. In the alternative model, people and the plants matter as much as profits. And many companies are already proving that being socially and environmentally responsible is also good for their bottom line.
Personally, this model is something that should be incorporated into the curriculums of every business school around the world, not just select programs such as the Lokey Graduate School of Business. Until then, Net Impact will fill in that gap. In fact, the Net Impact exists to uphold these values. The new generation of MBAs are not satisfied with the status quo. More than ever before, MBA students and alumni are pursuing successful business careers while making a positive impact in the communities in which they live and work. Success, as it turned out, goes beyond financial measures. As recently demonstrations around the world have shown, this alternative model has been long overdue.
So, you may still be asking, “What is the Lokey Net Impact and why should I join?”
Simply put, Lokey Net Impact brings a group of like-minded students who share common values. Net Impact means different things to each of our members but it allows us to use our business skills to make a positive impact, whether it is implementing economic development initiatives in urban neighborhoods, launching green programs at our jobs, or exploring the world of social entrepreneurship. Regardless of your MBA concentration, whether it is accounting, marketing or general management, there’s something for you at Net Impact. And while courses like Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy & Social Enterprise provide the theories and classroom discussions, Net Impact helps bring these theories to life through various events and community involvement. In short, Net Impact enhances your overall MBA experience.
”Success goes beyond financial measures.”
Given the short duration of an MBA program, you may be wondering, “What happens when I graduate?” Well, take heart in knowing that your membership continues as part of a professional chapter once you graduate and join the working world. Almost every major city now has a professional chapter, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, and Washington DC to name a few.
Through my involvement with Net Impact, what I learned in the classroom and working with entrepreneurs during my internship, I’ll soon be leaving school with an entirely different view of the value of my MBA and business than when I started the program. An MBA is more than a vehicle for elevating my professional career and commanding a higher salary. An MBA is also about becoming a change agent and a source of empowerment for my community. Business is more than just boosting corporate profits. Business is also about creating value and building better alternatives. Thanks to Net Impact, I’m more than ever determined to bring my personal values into my future workplace.