Coming into the MMS program, everyone tries to find their niche. I knew it would be a little different for me because my primary focus did not include the traditional areas of finance, consulting, or marketing. Instead, I wanted to begin a career in sustainability and social entrepreneurship, and I was happy to find that there were others in the program who shared the same goal. We wanted to make an impression during our 10 months here, so we worked together to begin a new club — MMS Net Impact. I took on the role of Vice President of Administration, and my friends Andrew and Stephanie, served as President and Vice President of Communications, respectively.
What is Net Impact?
Net Impact is a national nonprofit membership organization for students and professionals interested in using business skills in support of various social and environmental causes. Universities across America have their own Net Impact clubs, Fuqua included. The MBA Net Impact Club at Fuqua has over 400 members. While some MMSers joined the MBA club, we decided to form a MMS version of the club to leave our own legacy.
Many of our fellow MMSers were not aware of the significance of sustainability and social entrepreneurship — it’s not a “traditional” business topic — so we took it upon ourselves to enlighten our classmates through various events during the year.
For example, Fuqua is home to the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), which recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Social entrepreneurship is the process of recognizing and resourcefully pursuing opportunities to create social value. In March, the executive director of CASE, Matt Nash, took some time out of his busy schedule to help educate us on the values of social entrepreneurship. He was very helpful in highlighting regional, national, and global organizations that served a social entrepreneurial purpose — several of which seemed like fascinating places to work.
Our final event of the year focused on sustainability, which is the potential for long-term maintenance of our planet. In April, we brought in guest speaker, Tom Petrini. He is the founder of Evive Station, a sustainable water kiosk company which offers a convenient and environmentally-friendly way to clean, sanitize, and fill your reusable bottle with filtered water. While many knew the severe impact of water bottle waste, many of my classmates were shocked to find this added up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. After hearing about these effects, several of them commented on the possibility of installing Evive Stations at Fuqua and Duke.
We are so proud of the work we’ve done this year, and the awareness we have been able to bring to these important topics. Our hard work was recognized at the end-of-the-year banquet, when MMS Net Impact received the Club of the Year award. In addition to this accolade, our president, Andrew, also received an award for his work on founding the club.
If you are interested in continuing our work in your upcoming class, please contact the MMS program at firstname.lastname@example.org.