Social Enterprise 2005 Summer Internship Experiences

Name: Diana Lee

Organization: New Schools Center
I worked as a Strategic Planning and Operations intern this summer at New Schools Center - an incubator, funder and trainer of small autonomous public schools in San Jose. I helped co-develop the business plan and five-year growth plan with a team consisting of the CEO and two strategic consultants. I also conducted an industry benchmark analysis, identifying new program niches and evaluating the organization’s $1MM cost structure against peers. Finally, I assisted in an internal audit of the Board of Directors and principals, resulting in a re-evaluation of its board membership.

The internship was part of a summer Fellows program for Education Pioneers. Education Pioneers selects top graduate students in business, education, law, policy and other disciplines to work on challenging business, policy, or legal projects for partnering education organizations, school districts or schools. Not only did I gain practical experience as part of the cohort, but I also participated in leadership sessions and professional network-building events/retreats to study key areas in education reform, meet seasoned executives and explore ways to use my business skills and interests to make systemic change in education.

Name: Charmaine Ong

Organization: National-Louis University
I spent the summer at National-Louis University, which is a Chicago-based nonprofit university that focuses on serving nontraditional students and is well-known for teacher education. I worked on a market research project for NLU’s Florida Regional Campus, which was evaluating its strategy and options going forward. My task was to provide senior management with a picture of the market that the campus serves, including trends and competitors, analyze NLU’s strengths and weaknesses, and make some recommendations. I also worked on a Sarbanes-Oxley project. NLU wanted to implement Sarbanes-Oxley-type controls throughout the organization and began with an evaluation of each department’s function, procedures and controls. I worked with NLU’s Controller and provided a detailed analysis of the Department of Development and Alumni Relations, including key control activities and objectives, as well as risk assessment. Throughout my internship, I leveraged the knowledge I had gained through my Market Research and Accounting and Corporate Control classes at Kellogg. It was an interesting internship opportunity that enabled me to experience a nonprofit work environment, learn about education, and explore both marketing and financial administration functions.

Name: Andrew Youn

Organization: BroadReach Healthcare
For my summer internship, I managed the rollout of AIDS treatment sites in South Africa. My internship organization (BroadReach Healthcare) provides life-saving AIDS drugs to communities that wish to take an active role in caring for themselves. My job was to work together with these communities to organize a professional network of community doctors and support providers. I helped set up a self-sustaining structure at several treatment sites, with the capacity to treat one thousand patients in the next year.

I learned a lot during the summer, but by far the most important thing I took away was inspiration. This summer ingrained two pictures in my mind that will guide my career for decades to come. One was the face of a famished child dying of poverty and AIDS, and the other picture was his recovery into a new life. The first picture has become my driving inspiration, and the second my vision and hope for the future. I cannot have imagined having such a clear direction before starting Kellogg.

Name: Renee E. Martin

Organization: Federal Bureau of Investigation
This summer I acted as a Strategic Advisor to the CFO at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I developed the strategic vision for the Director’s Knowledge Management Initiative that was initially targeted at improving the FBI’s crisis management and hostage rescue capabilities. I then gained executive support for the necessary culture shift from one with zero tolerance for defects to one that can effectively learn from mistakes and best leverage operational best practices Bureau-wide. I also translated the vision into technical requirements and devised an incentive system for Special Agents to support the initial implementation of the program.

Name: Jorge Robert

Organization: Endeavor
I for worked for Endeavor, a non-profit that approaches global economic development by stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Endeavor supports entrepreneurship by employing the classic venture capital approach. It carefully selects entrepreneurs to support and then provides the contacts, mentoring, and strategic guidance entrepreneurs need to reach new levels. To avoid conflicts of interests, Endeavor does not make capital investments in the entrepreneurs.

Over the summer I provided onsite strategic planning services to nTime, a company based in Rio de Janeiro run by an Endeavor entrepreneur. I conducted a strategic review of the Brazilian business. The analysis led company to shed two business units. I also developed an international sales strategy that immediately delivered two new business partnerships. Eager to speak with US based investors, I created a business plan for nTime and company valuation as well. The analysis reversed the decision to seek outside capital.

Name: Jessica Bailey

Organization: Chicago Community Trust
This summer I worked with the Chicago Community Trust. This internship provided me with tremendous exposure to the not-for-profit sector in Metropolitan Chicago and enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the grant-making process. Specifically, my involvement in the letter of inquiry and proposal review process, site visits and competitive grant review meetings allowed me to see organizations first-hand and to understand how grant decisions are made.

In addition to grant-making work, I independently developed a five-year business plan for a new concept – the “Centers for New Ventures in Philanthropy.” I also conducted extensive research for the Persons with Disabilities Fund, which will most likely culminate in the development of a $4.1MM asset fund that will assist individuals living with disabilities.

Name: Jason J. Maga

Organization: Amtrak
My summer experience was at Amtrak, the government-owned company responsible for providing intercity passenger rail service throughout the US. Amtrak is currently under substantial pressure to redefine much of what it does; the Bush administration and many Congressional Republicans are seeking to eliminate Amtrak's funding if Amtrak does not make the changes they seek. (This situation generally is oversimplified in the news media as an "impending bankruptcy.") While many would question the wisdom of working in such an environment, I found it to be a very exciting time to be there; I had opportunities to take leadership roles on some big issues and I expect my work to have a significant long-term impact on the company. I worked in the Operations Planning group (technically as a consultant), and from there I had a chance to work on both operational and strategic-level issues.

My specific projects included implementing a railcar fleet planning process to guide mechanical/capital plans and train assignments. This gave me exposure to people all around the company, including people from the Operations, Maintenance, Marketing, and Strategic Planning groups; developing and introducing a way to use NPV analysis to guide car overhaul decisions; developing and presenting a proposal to redefine the strategic role of "long-distance" train services that pass through rural areas without major airports and; participating in a task force for identifying ways to improve on-time performance.

Name: Andrea Box

Organization: Junior Achievement (JA) of Chicago
This summer I worked at Junior Achievement (JA) of Chicago. As taken from their website, Junior Achievement “uses hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life. In partnership with business and educators, Junior Achievement brings the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential.” As part of JA’s 2010 strategic growth plan (increasing the number of children reached in the Chicago area, and the impact provided through their programs) I was asked to determine the feasibility of bringing two new programs to the Chicago area. I looked at the strategic fit with the current JA programs, the competitive landscape in the Chicago area, interviewed over 40 educators on the topic, calculated the financial viability of bringing the new program to Chicago, and got a pulse from the business community regarding their support. The results of the feasibility study indicated that the programs were a good match with JA’s mission and current programs, but would require substantial financial and business support from the community. JA is currently in the process of diving deeper into these two arenas, before moving forward with the new programs.

Name: Regina Galang

Organization: Council of Alumni for Social Enterprise (CASE)
This summer I was a fellow for the Council of Alumni for Social Enterprise (CASE). “CASE's overarching mission is to support the further education and contribution of graduate students and alumni on important global, social issues. An important piece of CASE's mission is to encourage a deeper and more personal understanding of the role that individuals can play in contributing their thinking and practical knowledge to the not-for-profit world.” (© CASE Web site)

As a fellow I was supervised by a faculty member at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG) at Harvard University to conduct research and write a case study on the best practices of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors without Borders. MSF is “an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries.” (© MSF Web site)

More specifically, I traveled to Ethiopia and Thailand to research MSF’s delivery of anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment in both countries. This work consisted of site visits and extensive interviews with MSF volunteers as well as leaders in the HIV/AIDS communities (i.e. CDC, UNAIDS, WHO, etc.).

The case I write will seek to instruct other service providers locally and globally on how to replicate or integrate MSF’s best practices into future or existing programs so that the millions of people, who need ARV therapy, can be treated. KSG Professor, Guy Stuart, will teach the case in an Operations Management class in the Spring 2006 semester.

Name: Luca Torre

Organization: International Finance Corporation (Cambodia)
I spent my summer working for the International Finance Corporation in Cambodia in the Grassroots Business Initiative group which focuses on providing small social enterprise with the assistance needed to improve and expand their businesses. During my internship I supported launch of regional export facilitation center for Southeast Asia by identifying and delivering technical assistance to a consortium of participating handicraft manufacturers.

The main activities I focused on during my internship were identifying strategies to optimize raw material sourcing by consolidating purchases and identifying reliable international suppliers, leading the launch of subsidized credit line to provide manufacturers with affordable working capital financing, creating marketing tools to promote producers’ design center in export markets via brochures and website, and initiating contacts to build partnership between Italian fashion association, Italian government and GBI.

Name: Amy Chung

Organization: Baltimore Community Foundation
This past summer I worked at the Baltimore Community Foundation as a financial analyst intern. In this role, I conducted a profitability assessment of the Foundation’s entire product portfolio. The tools and inputs I used to assess the Foundation’s products included an activity-based costing model, the Foundation’s gift and grant activity, interviews, and focus groups. I also benchmarked the Foundation’s performance against other comparable community foundations. The output and recommendations from my study were reported to the Foundation’s leadership team.

Name: Kristen Ekdahl

Organization: Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF)
After working at a consulting firm for four years and then a nonprofit for one year before coming to Kellogg, I decided I wanted to spend my summer in Chicago pursuing a long-time interest in community development to help determine if it is a field I want to pursue for full-time opportunities after graduation. That is why I chose to work at the Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), a nonprofit that provides low-cost, flexible financing to nonprofit community development organizations for affordable housing, economic/commercial development, and social service/nonprofit facility initiatives.

The internship was hosted and supported by Citigroup’s Community Summer Internship Program and provided me with the following: 1) a chance to deepen my experience in, and knowledge of, the community development industry; and 2) work at an organization where I knew my efforts could make an immediate and indelible impact on the organization’s operations. My specific project was focused on designing and implementing a program for CCLF to measure the social impact of its loan portfolio to quantify the “social return on investment” that its loans were providing to investors.

The process involved: doing extensive due diligence on current industry standards and best practices (of which there were very few) regarding social impact measurement; conducting a qualitative and quantitative assessment of CCLF’s historical loan portfolio to determine level of success related to social impact and identify areas of strength and opportunity for improvement; design a new measurement process and implement the new process with three analytical/measurement tools that I designed.

Without the funding I received from Citigroup’s Community Summer Internship Program and matching funds from Kellogg’s Ford Center for Nonprofit Management, I never would have been able to explore this personal area of interest and provide CCLF with an entirely new and innovative measurement process. While ten weeks at an organization only gives you a small glimpse of what a potential career in that field might be like, it was extremely informative for me because it helped solidify my interest in community economic development. But it also revealed my desire to work in the for-profit sector for several years after graduation to develop skills that will allow me to contribute at a much higher level when I return to the nonprofit organization in the future.