Net Impact: Sustainability Through Business

The following blog post was written by Mikayla Hart, 2016 MBA Candidate

Business does not happen in a vacuum. Advancements in technology over the last century have connected people across the globe in unprecedented ways. They have also shined a spotlight on the varying conditions of our diverse planet.

Simon Net Impact was established to keep us cognizant of these social and environmental dynamics influencing markets, communities, socioeconomic thought, and global trends. Regardless of one’s functional area of work or study, an individual will always benefit from being more connected to the challenges others face, and understanding how those challenges affect our global community. Therefore, it’s no mystery as to why 98% of the top 50 MBA programs have a Net Impact chapter.

Simon Net Impact students during the D.C. Trek last spring.

Simon Net Impact students posed for a photo during the D.C. Trek last spring.

When I first arrived at Simon, I was initially disappointed to find a dormant chapter of Net Impact, but quickly realized it was an opportunity to restart the chapter with a clear and focused vision. We set up Simon Net Impact to be especially relevant to our MBA journey. All of our activities revolve around three aims: building one’s skills, building one’s network, and building a better planet.

Our chapter’s efforts during our first year won us a nationally recognized gold status, held by only 30% of chapters in a community of more than 80,000 student and professional leaders. We brought in speakers on human-centered design and corporate social responsibility; we partnered with local organizations like Conscious Capitalism; we took 25 students to Washington, D.C., where we arranged visits with the World Bank, Accenture, and the International Finance Corporation, among others; we sourced projects; we landed people jobs!

We’ve just begun our second year, and the first-year students on our board are already accelerating Net Impact to greater heights. In addition to D.C., they’re looking at treks to New York and Boston. And with the creation of several new board positions focused around community and chapter relations, new partnerships are already being fostered. People that connect around a cause want to help each other succeed–it’s the best network you could have. When we’re all studying intense material and looking for jobs, tunnel vision becomes the norm. Simon Net Impact is there to lift your head to the horizon and remind you that business never happens in a vacuum.

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