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McGowan Fellow Rhett Braunschweig '15 was honored for his academic performance and social leadership.

Rhett Braunschweig

Business that helps

Kellogg’s 2015 McGowan Fellow will use scholarship to promote social change through business

By Paul Dailing

9/23/2014 - Graduation isn’t the only reason Rhett Braunschweig ’15 is looking forward to the upcoming year.

Braunschweig was recently named Kellogg’s 2015 McGowan Fellow. The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund works with 10 top-tier MBA programs to honor students who have demonstrated academic excellence and social leadership.

The full-tuition scholarship will pair Braunschweig with a mentor to help him develop his skills and mindset for using business to address social issues.

Braunschweig said he’s excited about what he’ll be able to learn through the one-on-one mentorship with an experienced business leader.

“It takes a certain quality of leadership to recognize the broader role business can play in society, including promoting equality and fairness,” he said.

Social strategy

At Kellogg, Braunschweig has used his finance background and collaboration skill set to advise a social media startup through business incubator 1871 and consult for a social impact startup in Brazil through Kellogg Corps.

For the latter, he worked with a social impact consulting firm in São Paulo and a team of five Kellogg students to advance a new business venture targeting increased recycling and greater social equality in Brazil. Their business concept addresses stakeholders ranging from consumer packaged goods companies, to recyclers, to the waste pickers who earn their living pulling recyclable goods from Brazilian landfills.

It’s an example of how business could be a solution for addressing large scale social issues, something he wants to promote through the next phase of his career.

“Business offers the greatest opportunity to effect positive social change, yet it’s often underutilized in this regard. New business leaders need to change that mindset and consider a broader group of stakeholders and opportunities,” Braunschweig said.

Fortunately for Braunschweig, he won’t have to wait until after graduation to start his next project. The year-long fellowship includes a consulting engagement for the American Heart Association.

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