Social Enterprise 2008 Summer Internship Experiences

Name: Matt Dougherty

Organization: FBI, Special Advisor Program
I spent my summer at the FBI in the Special Advisor program. This is a five year old program that recruits students from top MBA programs to work as internal consultants for the Bureau's top executives. As this was the first year of the internship program, there were only three interns and we all worked together on the same project with three full time Special Advisors as a quasi internal consulting team. We spent our summer evaluating the policies and processes of the background investigation process required of all FBI employees. Through data analysis, interviews, and process mapping, we recommended changes to improve the efficiency and reduce the costs of background investigations.

I learned about this opportunity in part through the CMC and subsequently through two Kellogg graduates who are now working in this program full time. The program offers positions in areas from finance to human resources to counterterrorism and more. This was a very rewarding experience as everybody in the internship and full time program was passionate about public service and leaving the organization better than they found it.

Name: Nell Hurley

Organization: Civic Consulting Alliance
This summer I was the Transit Fellow at the Civic Consulting Alliance (The Alliance). The Alliance is a Chicago-based not-for-profit management consulting firm that works with public sector leaders dedicated to making lasting, positive change, and private sector leaders who contribute services pro bono to help create that change.

I learned about The Alliance through a KCN posting and subsequently through a Kellogg ’08 student who had worked with The Alliance the previous summer. The Alliance was the perfect fit for my desire to gain consulting experience and my interest in the public sector. Over the summer I worked with the Chicago Transit Authority on two projects. The first was a long-term market strategy project designed to help the CTA identify areas of opportunity for increased ridership. This project required data analysis, secondary research, meetings with CTA staff and city planners, and the development of a final report.  The second project was to recommend a performance management strategy for the bus operations unit of the CTA. This required that I spend two days a week at a CTA bus garage conducting interviews with employees and managers, analyzing performance data, and developing and implementing a strategy for the team.

My experience at The Alliance was a positive one. It was wonderful to be a part of an organization that is having such a big impact on the City of Chicago.

Name: Nathan Kadish

Organization: ShoreBank Pacific
I spent my summer as an intern with ShoreBank Pacific in Portland, OR. ShoreBank Pacific, and its non-profit affiliate ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, work to finance local ‘green’ businesses, including green real estate, sustainable agriculture and alternative energy. The banks especially target communities that were once dependent on non-sustainable industries--such as logging and fishing—and encourage local businesses to develop sustainable practices. The banks evaluate credit applications using both industry standard metrics (ex. credit scores, cash flows, and collateral) and a mission evaluation that is conducted by lenders and a bank scientist.

My project at the bank was to redesign the credit approval application and process to help the bank become more competitive within the industry. I worked closely with the CEO and CFO to define the project and interviewed bank employees to design a new, more efficient process. In addition, I had the opportunity to work on a real estate loan and help to create a new ‘express loan’ product that will enable the bank to expand its client base.

Working with ShoreBank was an interesting and rewarding experience. The leadership is thoughtful and experienced, and after I expressed interest, the CEO invited me to be involved with board meetings, conferences and the loan committee meetings. This experience gave me an excellent view into community development financing.

Name: Katherine Macdougall

Organization: University of Hawaii Pacific Business Center Program / Department of the Interior
I spent my summer as an “Island Fellow” for a program run jointly by the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Business Center Program and the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs. The program, which began in 2002, was established to send MBA candidates from top business schools to the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States to help address economic development issues being faced by the islands. I was part of a team of eight MBA fellows, each of whom was assigned to a different island or set of islands. My assignment was to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where I spent 3 weeks meeting with local government officials and business people to discuss private and public sector economic development and policy issues, as well as to assess potential investment and partnership opportunities. I also ran workshops on the islands to help to introduce a new web-based networking tool that had been developed by the Office of Insular Affairs to help link up island business people with potential mainland partners.

After completing my field work in the U.S. Virgin Islands, I spent the next seven weeks in Washington D.C. working with the rest of the Island Fellow team at the Department of the Interior. We shared our island field experiences, developed a common strategy and recommendations for growing the web-based networking tool we had all helped to introduce on our respective islands, and we began planning for the Department of the Interior’s Annual Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands. I also updated a report on Business Opportunities in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which outlines the economic climate of the islands, as well as investment and partnership opportunities.

As an Island Fellow, I had the opportunity to meet with numerous government officials and businesspeople from budding island entrepreneurs to leaders of highly successful companies, some of whom have remained close contacts of mine. I also had the opportunity to work closely with a team of seven MBA candidates from other top programs. We were given great independence as a team to devise our own work plan, so this represented a great teamwork learning experience. Overall, the internship was a unique experience that helped me gain insight into some of the opportunities and challenges presented by public-private sector partnerships and economic development initiatives.

Name: Andrew Murray

Organization: TechnoServe
For my internship I worked at TechnoServe, a global NGO working on business solutions to rural poverty.  More specifically, I worked on TechnoServe’s East Africa Coffee Initiative with the specific aim to help over one million smallholder coffee farmers increase their incomes via improvements in the quality and quantity of coffee they produce.  I was based out of TechnoServe’s office in Kigali, Rwanda.  There were two major pieces of work for which I was responsible during my summer.  The first was to develop the business plan and financial model to be used in helping groups of farmers access capital to purchase the equipment necessary for quality coffee production.  The second involved mentoring TechnoServe’s Senior Business Advisor to improve his effectiveness, and that of the team he managed, in their role as advisors to the farmer business group clients.  Both pieces of my work were developed for Rwanda, but were/are being rolled out across the region and shared across the organization’s initiatives.

TechnoServe offered a great opportunity to work closely with people who have made a career out of working in the developing world.  It also afforded me the opportunity to travel within East Africa both for work and for pleasure.  The organization is incredibly supportive of the Volunteer Consultant program and I continue to be in touch with many of the people I met during my summer.

Name: Sharon Wolfson

Organization: The Chicago Community Loan Fund
Prior to Kellogg I worked in business development at a biotech company in Cambridge, MA. Outside of work, I spent significant time and effort working with local business owners in my neighborhood to help them gain market share in the face of encroaching competition. I decided I wanted to spend my summer pursuing my passion for economic development and making cities more livable to determine whether it would be a good fit for me in the long term. I worked as an internal consultant at the Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), whose mission is to provide low-cost, flexible financing and technical assistance to nonprofit community development organizations for affordable housing, economic development, and commercial development in underserved neighborhoods throughout Chicago. 

The internship was hosted by Citigroup’s Summer Internship Program (CSIP), which allows Chicago-land nonprofits to hire MBAs to work on strategic initiatives across the city. This opportunity offered me an opportunity to explore an area in which I had no prior professional experience and add significant value to a local organization.  My internship had two major components: 1) a primary market research project, which led to recommendations for an expansion of CCLF’s technical assistance program, and 2) an analysis and improvement of internal operational processes, for which I built three functional models. In ten short weeks, I was able to have a significant impact on both the daily lives of CCLF employees by improving efficiencies of various processes and their strategic growth plan going forward. 

I worked directly with the Executive Director on initiatives that he felt were of utmost importance to the organization. One of the best aspects of this role was the access I had to the directors of sister organizations throughout the city as I gathered information for the strategic growth project. It was a great way to network and get to know the movers and shakers of the economic development field in Chicago, which will help me as I pursue a full time position. My internship culminated with a gathering of other CSIP interns at Citigroup’s offices for a presentation of findings to senior management. I found this to be a rewarding experience because I gained an understanding of the inner-workings of a nonprofit and greater insight into my own career goals.