Why choose Kellogg to pursue social impact? A 2Y explains.
By Ale Treviño (2Y, 2023)
My family and I moved to the U.S. from Monterrey, Mexico, when I was 11 years old. Within a year, we had legal residency and my brothers and I had American citizenship. This is not the reality for the vast majority of Mexican and Latin American migrants. Many face some real horrors in their journeys to cross the border. Many others who manage to cross then might live in fear for those they left behind, they might live in fear of not being able to provide for themselves and the families they came for, or they might live in fear of deportation; at minimum they are forced to bear microaggressions or blatant racism. My brother and I have often talked about some semblance of survivor’s guilt in knowing we live quite remarkable and fortunate lives compared to the countless people who perish in pursuit of American safety.
This stark difference in lived experiences sparked my passion for human rights and social justice. This is my sense of purpose: that the life I have been given — a life that I got out of sheer luck — is one that I must dedicate to making the world a better place for those who weren’t as lucky. I have worked in corporate America as a consultant, and I have worked in the nonprofit sector, working alongside social entrepreneurs. These experiences have shaped my core belief that business has a significant role to play in driving social justice. Companies have tremendous power in defining business standards, advocating for policy changes, fueling economic spend and creating transformational wealth for communities. I strongly believe business has a responsibility to wield its power for good, and I plan to dedicate my career to empowering individuals and organizations to make this belief a reality.
This is the context in which I started looking at MBA programs. When considering which schools to apply to and ultimately which school to attend, I was laser-focused on programs that offered a holistic approach to social impact, that between classes, clubs and community, the full spectrum of social impact organizations and functions were covered. As I progressed through the application process, I spoke to students and alumni who were involved in the Net Impact Club and the Golub Capital Board Fellows(GCBF) program. They shared their experiences and their own passions in the space. Through these conversations, I deeply resonated with their mission and commitment to self-development in the pursuit of making the world a better place through business. They shared about the learnings they gained from these courses, clubs and experiences, but most important, they pressed, were the relationships they built with other purpose-minded individuals. I found this and much more at Kellogg.
I was initially drawn to Kellogg because of the Social Impact Pathway, which covers policy, nonprofit and social innovation through lectures and experiential courses. In the last two quarters, I have been able to lean into these courses and experiences, such as Megan Kashner’s Business of Social Change class and Allison Henry’s Board Governance of Nonprofit Organizations class. These courses and these professors have widely expanded my understanding of the breadth and depth of the social impact space. Now done with my core classes, my schedule allows for maximum flexibility to fill my credits with more of these classes and experiential courses. I’m excited to take William Towns’ Corporate Social Innovation class and Edoardo Teso’s Strategy Beyond Markets class.
Outside of the classroom, I sought to get involved with several social impact clubs, including Golub Capital Board Fellows (GCBF) and Net Impact Club. Through GCBF, I have had the opportunity to be matched with the Northlight Theater (a local nonprofit) to serve on their Board of Trustees for the next 18 months. Alongside the other 49 fellows, I’ve learned about the role of board members and the importance of board governance in managing an effective nonprofit organization, all while making deeper connections with similarly purpose-minded classmates. Now as Co-President of the Net Impact Club, I am eager to continue to share Kellogg’s first-class resources and mentorship with social impact-oriented students and JVs, whether their interests are to pursue social impact as a career or a passion outside of work.
Not unlike the students and alumni I spoke with while applying, I have relished the social impact community at Kellogg. It is an incredibly supportive, eclectic and inspiring group of individuals committed to making the world a better place. Through the Social Impact IPG (interview prep group), I found a group of tenacious and edifying professionals similarly seeking internship and full-time roles with a social purpose. The breadth of experiences and interests in the room was vibrant and thought-provoking week after week. I have leaned strongly on this community, especially at times when I feel stressed about finding the right internship role at a social enterprise or B-Corporation. Similarly, the community I found in my fellow Net Impact board members has been encouraging and provocative. Through small group dinners, I have learned so much about each of their backgrounds, passions and hopes for the future. They have taught me about the many ways to find purpose in my life both in and outside of work. These are the people I know I will continue to turn to throughout my career for support, encouragement and continued friendship.
As I look to my future, I am hopeful for what is to come. Though I might not know for certain where exactly in the social impact space I will land, I know that the courses, clubs, experiences and friendships I have made at Kellogg will ensure that my work has purpose and that I can fulfill my goal to wield business for good for years to come.