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Mark Kleger '02: Business skills for the education sector
Mark Kleger has found his career to be full of surprises. After college, he worked as a middle school math teacher and nonprofit manager and never thought he would end up in business school. But a mentor convinced Kleger of the value of an MBA for nonprofit leaders, so he enrolled at Columbia Business School in the fall of 1999 to pursue a career in nonprofit management, with a focus on education.
Kleger’s MBA experience introduced him to opportunities that he had never envisioned before attending Columbia. He became actively involved in the Social Enterprise Club and acquired a wealth of information about the social sector from the dynamic members of the School community. “I found Columbia to be a vibrant environment for the discussion of business principles that could be applied to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations,” Kleger says.
Kleger did his summer internship at McKinsey & Company in its Boston office. He spent half of his time working on a nonprofit fund-raising study and the other half on an e-commerce strategy project. “The successful application of business principles to a nonprofit organization was incredibly exciting,” he says. “It validated my decision to attend Columbia and taught me that obtaining additional years of business experience would help me achieve my long-term goal of being an effective nonprofit manager.”
After graduating from the School, Kleger moved to Los Angeles, where he spent a year as deputy director of Project GRAD Los Angeles, an education reform nonprofit. “My year at Project GRAD sealed my commitment to a career in the nonprofit sector,” Kleger says. “But it also made me realize that McKinsey would help make me a more successful nonprofit leader.” Kleger returned to McKinsey in Los Angeles in October 2003 and looks forward to working on a nonprofit study and volunteering for local nonprofit organizations.
Social Enterprise Summer Fellows
“My experience working with communities in India and Africa, as well as on developing public-private partnerships with government and non-profit agencies, convinced me of the need for innovative approaches to international development”
“I see entrepreneurs as the key leverage point in development, so interning at Ashoka made perfect sense.”
Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy
“This internship matched my interest in harnessing the power and resources in the for profit sector to effect social change.”