Featured Alumni Ben Munoz

April 2011

Ben Munoz
Ben Munoz '07
Co-founder
Ben's Friends

What attracted you to the SEEK Program? If you graduated from Kellogg prior to SEEK being offered as a major, what drew you to courses relating to CSR, social responsibility or nonprofit management?

I was not involved with SEEK during Kellogg although I wish I would have, given where I'm at now.  After my first year at Kellogg, I suffered a rare form of stroke and subsequently created a network of online patient communities for people affected by rare diseases.

What is the name of your current organization, and what does your organization do?

BensFriends.org – we provide a platform for patient-to-patient support for people affected by rare diseases around the world.

Please briefly describe your position or role at your organization.

I am one of the two cofounders of BensFriends.org.  I started BensFriends.org initially because I needed the emotional support myself.  When I recovered, I continued to build it for every other rare disease patient who needed a shoulder to lean on.

How are you applying the skills/knowledge you learned at Kellogg in your career?

My Kellogg MBA has made a world of difference.  My business school experience in general has taught me to think much more strategically and tactically. 

More specifically, almost every course has had an impact.  My ops coursework taught me to quickly identify and relieve the bottlenecks in our processes.  My marketing coursework taught me the importance of establishing a clear position and branding in the marketplace and to protect that brand.  My strategy coursework taught me how to build on my organization's core competencies and  how to analyze the competitive landscape in formulating our strategies.  My entrepreneurship coursework taught me the hands-on fundamentals needed to get BensFriends.org off the ground.