One of the fields gaining more applicant attention in recent years is social entrepreneurship. Accepted.com certainly has more clients applying to top MBA programs this year who are less interested in the pinstripes of Wall St. and more interested in the nitty-gritty of micro finance in the developing world. And schools are responding to this interest. To highlight a few recent developments:
- Columbia Business School, Haas School of Business, London Business School, Yale School of Management, and the Indian School of Business have partnered to organize the Global Social Venture Competition this year. Started in 1999 by Haas students, the GSVC has grown dramatically . This year it has received nearly 40% more executive summaries than last year from hopefuls representing 12 countries and 58 different business schools. The GSVC attempts to support "social venture as an enterprise that has both financial and social goals integral to it’s purpose."
- The Tepper School of Business announced that the 2007 McGinnis Venture Competition will add an award in Sustainable Technology. Tepper alum and founder of Sustainable-Future.org, Sarosh Kumana is funding the award ($15,000 in cash and $15,000 in services) along with travel scholarships so that participants from outside the US can compete.
- Tuck recently added a societal leadership program to its curriculum, designed to give second-year MBA students an additional hands-on opportunity to address complex social issues from a business perspective. The program represents a collaboration between Tuck students and Dartmouth undergraduates performing research and analysis through the new Paganucci Fellows Program. Next year, the inaugural course will focus on microfinance as a means to alleviate global poverty. Future projects will delve into ways businesses can create both positive social and financial value.
If you are interested in pursuing opportunities in social enterprise after you earn your MBA and are applying to any of the above schools, referencing the above programs at the appropriate school would lend credence to your stated goal and show that you have done your homework on the program.
These kinds of details and specifics when tied to your goals and your past experiences help you demonstrate the fit schools place such value on. The best MBA programs really don’t want to admit students interested in the "Top X- ranked schools." They want students who want to attend their specific program.
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