B-school students pursue a positive impact
By Mark Adams
Mark Adams is chief of staff for Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group.
More so than ever, MBA students and alumni are seeking to have a successful business career while making a positive impact. While these professionals are as ambitious as ever, they know that success goes beyond financial measures. It means improving your company culture, using business to make social change, and improving your local community.
Upon entering business school several years ago, I found a group of like-minded students interested in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. At the time, Students for Responsible Business was a startup nonprofit based in San Francisco. Since then, the group — rebranded Net Impact — is now a national network of business professionals dedicated to encouraging the next generation of socially responsible business leaders. Net Impact now has 20,000+ members, in 280 chapters, who are changing the world.
Gathering the troops
During business school, several of us discovered one of Net Impact’s earlier national conferences being held at the University of California Berkeley business school. About 10 MBA students from our program at Indiana University gathered to attend the conference which was attended by about 250 Net Impact members from top MBA programs around the country.
We found an inspirational, grassroots atmosphere and learned about topics including corporate responsibility reporting, green teams at work, corporate philanthropy, and ways to make your company more sustainable. After the conference, I led a small team to form our own Net Impact chapter which quickly grew as this relatively new concept of “responsible business” gained traction.
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