A National Network of MBAs Working for Impact

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The MBA experience is made richer through the networks students are able to create with other socially minded peers. To facilitate these networks, on Thursday, June 25, 2015, Berkeley-Haas’ Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL) and Center for Responsible Business (CRB) partnered with IDEO to bring together current MBA students from around the country who are interning in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provided them a chance to meet, spark conversation, and maybe build connections that would uncover the next idea or collaboration in social impact.

The partnership with IDEO furthers our strong connection with the innovation company. Tom Kelley, MBA 83, was Berkeley-Haas’ first Executive Fellow and returns to campus to speak to students, faculty, and staff through the flagship Dean’s Speaker Series.

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In attendance were students from Haas, Tepper, Booth, Fuqua, Kellogg, Sloan, Stanford GSB, Anderson, Yale SOM, and Marshall, among others. The evening began with a welcome from Suzanne Howard, Partner at IDEO and founder and Dean of IDEO U, a learning platform where anyone can learn to solve anything creatively. She introduced a few attendees from IDEO who shared their graduate school experiences as well as their journeys to IDEO and current projects. After a few words from Berkeley-Haas’ Robert Strand, Executive Director at CRB, and Ben Mangan, Executive Director at CSSL, attendees entered into five five-minute rounds of speed dating.

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Facilitated by IDEO’s Hilary Braseth, the speed dating encouraged quick conversations, both serious and fun. Questions ranged from the soul-searching “What person has most influenced you in your life and why?” to the amusing “What is your favorite smell?” All in attendance had a great time, with many students wishing the event had lasted longer. We were pleased to host a successful event, and hope to have more in the future.

“Wonderful event! I made great, new connections. Thanks!” — Event Attendee
“I enjoyed the networking activity. I would’ve loved more time.” — Event Attendee