Andrew Schwab is from the Class of 2022 and is a proud member of Section I. He previously attended UC Berkeley before working in technology M&A advisory and tech global business strategy. At HBS, Andrew is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Tech Club and a frequent Taco Tuesday chef and host.

As a child in the sun-bathed cityscape of West Los Angeles, I grew up amongst the gifts of a loving family, supportive schools, and a tranquil middle-class neighborhood. From L.A., I found my way to UC Berkeley and then to San Francisco, where I spent four years in the technology industry. These jobs challenged me intellectually and exposed me to some amazing colleagues, but I often struggled to feel passionate about the work itself. I was intrigued by the challenges inherent to the tech business landscape, but I realized that I needed a better understanding of my career goals and how they fit within my personal values.

With this in mind, I applied to the two-year MBA program at Harvard Business School. While experiencing the case method and building my network at HBS were important motivators, I was primarily driven by the opportunity to immerse myself in an environment where I would have the time and resources to study my longer-term professional goals. I distinctly remember the joy and clarity of vision that I felt upon receiving the admissions decision email: “The answer is YES!”

Upon arriving in Boston, I arranged coffee chats with section mates, attended office hours with professors, and scoured club newsletters for internship postings, all the while keeping in mind my goal of clarifying my career trajectory post-HBS. After several months of searching, I came to three big conclusions:

I am incredibly fortunate for my upbringing. My peers had fought through all manner of adversity to make it to HBS, from working from a young age to support their families to staring down incoming enemy fire while defending their countries. In contrast, I feel I’ve lived a relatively privileged life.

It's possible to find passion and fulfillment in your work. Some of my peers’ eyes genuinely lit up when they talked about their jobs pre-HBS, with the work itself ranging from founding and scaling a startup to analyzing private equity investments. I was proud of my jobs, but never felt that they were part of my identity as these peers clearly did.

Business has more of a societal responsibility than ever before. Capitalism has played a pivotal part in creating societal problems ranging from climate change to curtailment of civil liberties. The next generation of business leaders must find ways to align the motivating power of private enterprise with solutions to these existential issues.

With these thoughts in mind, I began my summer internship search. I sought out roles which would allow me to help work towards a personally and socially fulfilling mission. While this initially felt like a daunting task, I leveraged a wide variety of HBS’ career resources to prepare my resume, practice for potential interviews, identify open internships, and search the alumni network to connect with key leaders at these companies.

I ultimately landed an investment internship with In-Q-Tel (IQT), a venture capital entity affiliated with the U.S. national intelligence community. At IQT, I was proud to have spent my summer looking for opportunities to support startups which can help improve American security in a rapidly-evolving and increasingly-uncertain world. My role at IQT also exposed me to startups working on climate-related issues ranging from cutting-edge energy storage to climate risk modeling. My summer experience demonstrated just how fulfilling working for a socially driven company could be, igniting the same passion in me that I had seen in my peers.

As I look ahead, I’ve come to see climate change as a problem that resonates deeply with me, and one which I’m excited to work on in the next chapter of my career. Climate change is a complex challenge which will require active effort from not just engineers and technologists but also business operators, investors, policy-makers, and many more. I don’t yet know what company I’ll work for or what role I’ll be doing post-HBS, but I’m resolute in my (and my HBS peers’) responsibility to leave a better world than the one we inherited.