Leeds MBA students enjoy an end of summer networking event organized by Michelle Lishnevsky (MBA'23) and Sonya Query (MBA'23) on behalf of Naturally Boulder as part of their Board Fellows internship with the organization.
Leeds students interested in environmental and social impact intern with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking organizations. For both undergraduates pursuing the Social Responsibility and Ethics Certificate (SRE), and MBAs, these internships build on their courses and on their co-curricular engagement with the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibilty (CESR), and provide valuable opportunities that advance their careers.
Every year the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibilty (CESR) at Leeds works with students who are focused on business responsibility for environmental solutions, ethical leadership and postive social impact. We support students through programs that build skills and knowledge, encourage networking, and offer career advice. Learn about how some of our students spent their summer, and how Leeds classes and experiential learning programs support their success.
Maddie Barrett (BS'23, SRE Certificate), Product Circularity Intern, Seagate Technologies
Seagate's Product Circularity program enables end-users and large business like OEMs and CSPs to recycle, dispose of, and re-new hard drives so their product life cycle can be extended.
The most challenging part was creating marketing materials and campaign materials for a competitive market. I wrote a positioning framework by conducting a SWAT analysis and orienting the program towards large B2B organizations.
My project ran through multiple organizations and I collaborated with different teams. Leeds has prepared me to function in a team, overcome problems, and face challenges. Consistent group work is what the business world will look like no matter where you end up.
Product marketing enables me to work on materials that can predict the success or the failure of a product. I love writing and organizing case studies, solution briefs and developing relationships with partners that make all of that possible. I will be continuing with Seagate throughout my senior year and can’t wait to see what happens next!
Mikah Anderson (BS'23, SRE Certificate), Circular Economy and ESG Activation intern at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
This summer I created a gap analysis for my company's circular economy program. This project was inclusive of the internal circular economy programs and external opportunities for improvement from competitors. I also worked on a geo-specific materiality project to determine geographies with high feasibility of increasing sustainability solutions. The last major project I worked on was creating talking points about the company's sustainability strategy for customers, investors, and other stakeholders.
My biggest learning was about how geographies impact and interact with the ESG strategies, practices, and material topics a company may be interested in.
Leeds courses that improved my communication skills served me the best. There is a specific formality and vocabulary necessary in writing emails, investor documents, and internal documents that was required at HPE.
I learned that my career goals align with having both ESG reporting and more technical environmental work. I know that I want to woek at a high level in sustainability management and my experience at HPE opened my eyes to different avenues to making that possible.
Evan Anderson (BS'Winter22), Investment Banking Summer Analyst - Consumer Group, Piper Sandler
I worked on the Food & Bev industry as well as with the Agriculture Landscape group both of which were interested in sustainbility. I learned a lot in this role about professional communication and how to operate within the expectations set by a team. I also learned how to put together presentation materials from analytical and qualitative materials.
The hardest part was having to familiarize myself with a topic and then turning around to produce materials for it on a tight deadline. This taught me how to utilize my resources most efficiently, and how to identify crucial information quickly.
The extracurriculars at Leeds are very helpful for creating professional networks, gaining additional skills, and specializing in interests. I’ve had several roles within Leeds include serving as a student club executive and am in my second year as Research Assistant at CESR. These contributed to landing the internship and to my success. I also had the support of a mentor through Leeds who helped me prepare and made introductions.
The great part about an internship is being able to confirm your interests and career goals. As a student, you have to think about what you want to do in the future for a long time before you actually get there and try it out. It was good to know that I liked the job I thought I’ve wanted since the beginning of college. I also learned my work style, which I believe is a HUGE part of success in a job. This experience showed me that I can have high ambitions and achieve them..
Michelle Lishnevsky (MBA'23) and Sonya Query(MBA'23), Board Fellows, Naturally Boulder
Board Fellows is a student-run MBA club that pairs graduate students with nonprofit partners. As Naturally Boulder's Board Fellows we worked on optimizing the organization's social media accounts, including an audit of their current strategies. We presented our project to the board which allowed us to interact with them in a meaningful way, to see how the board voted on our recommendations, and then begin implementation.
Being a Board Fellow helped us get to know people in the industry at all levels. We sat in on board meetings as non-voting members, and got a look at the industry from the perspective of its leaders.
One of the biggest challenges was being on Zoom and it was interesting to see how board members interacted with each other.
This opportunity came through a strategic partnership between CESR and Naturally Boulder. Our classes helped prepare us to communicate effectively and present our work in a meaningful way. We will be Board Fellows for the remainder of the year.
Tyler Phillips (MBA'23), Summer Associate with General Motors Ventures, GM's Corporate Venture Capital Fund
My assignment was to assess the battery startup landscape from an investment perspective to aid in GM's overall EV Battery investment strategy.
I learned that even in large, established companies it's possible to make a strong contribution to a team in a short amount of time. However, I worked extra hard (some weekends) to make sure that I delivered real value throughout my experience.
Leeds - specifically Professors Gregg Macaluso and Chris Imamura of Supply Chain - gave me great practice building decks and presenting to a mock executive audience. I ended up presenting my research to the Chief Technology Officer at GM, who took it to Mary Barra, the CEO! I made sure that my presentation "hooked them in the first 30 seconds", as Professor Gregg would say.
My internship validated my passion for renewables, specifically around e-mobility and battery electric vehicles. I am hoping to continue the work I started in the battery space with an established OEM (or new EV maker) to help inform their battery strategy.
Zachary Salinger (MBA'23), David & Lucille Packard Foundation MBA Fellow at the Climate Breakthrough Project
My biggest learning this summer was that nonprofits are restricted in their ability to innovate because of funding. 80% of the time a nonprofit receives funding, they can only use it for pre-designated expenses. This eliminates their ability to pivot, which is needed for innovation and meaningful breakthroughs. Entrepreneurs know that the first idea is hardly ever perfect but nonprofits are being restricted.
The hardest thing about my position was wrapping my head around moonshot climate mitigation strategies. There is a disconnect between the private and public sector in how to address climate change. Creating solutions requires technological innovation and favorable policy that incentivizes entrepreneurs. In our current world fraught with energy, food, and supply-chain issues, it is difficult to find a balance between economic feasibility and sustainability.
The first year of my MBA gave me the project management skills needed to effectively work with my colleagues. Many classes in the first year required learning how to effectively run a meeting and finish deliverables in a short period of time.
This fellowship changed my perspective on the nonprofit and climate philanthropy industry, while also allowing me to see its immense complexity. It spurred an interest in the holistic ways the public and private sector can work together to tackle climate change
McKiernan Flaherty (MBA'23), Store Executive Intern, Target's leadership development program
My greatest takeaway this summer was how dynamic the retail industry has become. It is constantly growing and changing making every day unique. As for the most challenging part of my internship, it would have to be the rotational nature as it pushed me to assess situations, isolate complications, and then take actions to drive results quickly before moving on to my next project.
My first year at Leeds School of Business prepared me to succeed in this role by providing me with a strong foundation in business analytics, operations, accounting, finance, strategy, and marketing. Furthermore, I would say my ability to deal with ambiguity, build relationships and prioritize among competing deliverables enabled my projects to excel at Target. Along with these skills, maintaining a growth mindset and leading with enthusiasm allowed me to flourish professionally.
At Target this summer I learned that I am capable of supporting a growing multi-billion dollar business, influencing multiple levels of stakeholders, and managing teams on complex projects across the enterprise. Also, after this experience, I have ultimately come to realize that I desire to have a multi-disciplinary career in the retail industry, for a company that focuses on joy and families.
For more information on how to get involved with CESR just reach out!
Information on CESR affiliated MBA student clubs can be found on the website.
Undergraduates interested in the SRE Certificate, and how it can support your career goals, should set up time to speak with Taylor Dewitt.