This is an insight from our current Business Development Intern, Chloe Chapman.

As an MBA student I was surprised to learn how many of my fellow students had not heard the term ‘social enterprise’. Some thought it had to do with social media, while others were familiar with social enterprise companies (e.g. Toms or Warby Parker) without knowing the umbrella term. Most of them, once I explained what it was, were intrigued and wanted to learn more.

As an MBA, it is very valuable to do an internship with a social enterprise. Many of these organizations and businesses start small and can hugely benefit from the knowledge and passion of an MBA student. As students, we have a valuable network of teachers, alumni and classmates that can offer feedback and input that may have taken these social entrepreneurs a few rounds of trial and error to figure out on their own.

Interning with social enterprises gives MBA students a hands-on opportunity, so when we are ready to set out on our own venture, we will have asked the questions to prepare us.  Lastly, social enterprises are complicated models with more components than those focused on solely the bottomline.

By working to maximize the social and environmental impact of the company, while also generating a profit, MBA’s are given a multi-faceted problem solving challenge.  These challenges can be valuable to your professional growth and useful to reference when pursuing your post-graduate career.

There are several places you can look to get involved:

  • Net Impact – all business schools and big cities have a Net Impact chapter. Definitely seek them out and get involved to give back to your community, learn about what others in your local area are doing to use business for good, and broaden your knowledge of social enterprise best practices. Also, it’s highly recommended to attend the Net Impact Conference for an exceptional networking opportunity for social entrepreneurs.
  • Devex – online job board for international development careers and internships.
  • Idealist – network of professionals and organizations with tons of resume-building volunteering opportunities, internships and jobs.

Happy hunting and have fun getting involved in work you’re passionate about!