About

Perspectives: Why HBS SEI?

Jeff Shaddix

Project Leader, The Boston Consulting Group
MBA 2008

photo

“Social enterprise at HBS is very much alive in terms of people having a strong desire to address needs as they arise…”


Background

Over the summer, I was a Social Enterprise Summer Fellow at Victory Schools, an education management organization that partners with and manages charter and public schools in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. I was also a student organizer of the 2007 and 2008 New Orleans Service Immersions at HBS.

Why SEI @ HBS?

The community around Social Enterprise activities at HBS is a large, diverse group of faculty, staff, and students—there are definitely a lot of people here who are actively seeking ways to leverage HBS skills and resources to have a direct social impact. The Immersion Experience Program to New Orleans , for example, was an organic sort of happening that grew out of the desire of a few students to go down to New Orleans and help after Katrina. Social enterprise at HBS is very much alive in terms of people having a strong desire to address needs as they arise by putting projects like that together.

Impact

I was able to see the nuts and bolts of what goes into launching and running a successful charter school and came away with the realization that there's a real need for people who have a background in finance and business to help with budgeting issues and financial planning. One thing that I've learned in the past year is that social enterprise offers a broad spectrum of opportunities, and that an interest in marketing or even investment management is not mutually exclusive to an interest in seeing a direct social impact from the work you're doing. In the future, I can imagine combining my consulting experience with work for school districts, education companies, or foundations.