This year, we will be highlighting the work of social enterprise related student clubs at HBS. In this blog, hear from 2018-19 Impact Investing Club co-presidents: Katie Guidera, Mike Murray, and Alex Thinath (all HBS ’19).

What are the mission and activities of your club?

The HBS Impact Investing Club aims to provide students with the skills, experience, and network necessary to become the next generation of impact investing leaders. The club offers a variety of speaker events, career treks, hands-on investing opportunities, alumni mentorship, and cross-school social events to help foster a strong community of students with a shared interest in the field of impact investing.

What are your backgrounds, and why did you decide to take leadership roles?

Katie Guidera: Before HBS I worked in management consulting where much of my work was focused on international development. During my undergrad at Duke University, I founded a social enterprise that promotes locally-driven solutions to health challenges in South Africa. These experiences have collectively shaped my passion for finding ways to support and scale market-driven ideas that drive social change, and led me to the Impact Investing Club. As a co-president this year, I am most excited by the opportunity to help my classmates establish a community of like-minded peers, alumni, and opportunities from which we can launch careers that bring us purpose and drive change in the world!

Mike Murray: Prior to HBS I worked at the social impact consulting firm FSG, where I advised foundations, companies, and large nonprofits on strategies for social change. I came to HBS to transition into the impact investing and social enterprise space, and have discovered that it is diverse, dynamic, and lacking in clear career paths. Through the Impact Investing Club, I hope to help other students navigate the sector while contributing to the development of a community at HBS that is committed to impact through market-based solutions.

Alex Thinath: I have a varied background, with my first and main social impact experience coming through a base-of-the-pyramid medical device company I founded as CTO. Other experiences in fintech before school led me to an interest in financial inclusion and early-stage venture investing. Especially in early-stage investing, my motivation for taking a leadership role was to help guide my peers on getting in touch with the right people and creating opportunities during the school year to practice impact investing.

What do you want to accomplish this year?

We have big goals for the year and are excited to work with the Social Enterprise Initiative and other groups around campus to make them happen:

  • Strengthen the impact investing community on campus and build the network off campus through social events, speakers, career treks, and company sponsorships
  • Provide coaching and mentorship to students interested in a career in impact investing, through our alumni mentorship program, student-led panels, and student-faculty events
  • Expand opportunities for hands-on impact investing experience through programs like MIINT, other competitions, and second-year independent projects.
  • Support the development of impact investing-related curriculum and content and enhance connectivity between our club and related groups like the Energy and Environment and Healthcare Clubs.

How do you hope this club will add to the HBS experience and to the broader community?

Our hope is that the Impact Investing Club will provide a platform for students of all backgrounds and interests to explore impact investing during their time at HBS. Whether this is a potential career path, a personal interest, or otherwise, we want our club to offer students the chance to:

  • Get involved in building something new (our club is only in its second year!)
  • Create more practical professional development opportunities outside the classroom
  • Build actual investing experience during the school year! Whether through a sponsor, an on-campus fund, or a competition, offering a hands-on experience is a priority

Ultimately, we hope that our club can help HBS to become a more visible leader in the impact investing space, which is of growing interest to MBA students and of growing importance in the changing landscape of what it means to create social impact globally.

Read more about student clubs at HBS.