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Summer Fellows 2011
Olivia Albrecht (MBA/MIA ’11) worked with CONNECT, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to preventing interpersonal violence and promoting gender justice throughout society. By building partnerships with individuals (both male and female) and communities, CONNECT strives to help change the beliefs, behaviors, and institutions that perpetuate violence and disempowerment. Olivia's work focused primarily on CONNECT's real estate needs — namely, the need for affordable New York City office space and a training center as its current lease expires. CONNECT's affordable office space needs are common among NYC nonprofits due to tight operating budgets. Olivia worked on a tactical level to find new affordable nonprofit office space for CONNECT and developed a visionary solution to help more nonprofits share building space in order to minimize operating costs.
Five students worked with Education Pioneers, a national nonprofit that aims to train, connect, and inspire a new generation of education leaders dedicated to transforming the educational system through placements at premiere education organizations:
Kirsten Anderson ’12 worked at Newark Public Schools as a part of the transition team developing strategic plans for improvement in the school system, which was recently placed under mayoral control. The project involved quantitative and qualitative research, benchmarking, and analysis to develop strategic recommendations. During her internship, Kirsten worked with professors and thought leaders at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University to benefit from leading research and draw on experts in education and public sector change.
Neeta Boddapati ’12 interned at the New York City Department of Education. She worked on a strategic communication initiative focused on gaining support for a new talent management system within key pilot schools. The project involved creating and implementing a branded communication campaign using various channels to motivate school leaders and teachers within pilot schools to adopt a new performance-based teacher evaluation system. It also included a proposal for improving the DOE's ability to communicate with teachers system-wide.
Jessica Harrison ’11 worked at Uncommon Schools as an operations fellow. She worked on a project that focused on improving the data management and data analysis capabilities, systems and processes at the network level for twelve Uncommon New York City schools. She also helped drive the way Uncommon Schools uses and stores data at the school level and how the organization surfaces critical student achievement trends and insights across their schools.
Luke Justice ’12 interned with Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS). INCS works to strengthen charter schools and the communities they serve in a number of important ways, including: public policy leadership, political and community advocacy, and school support services. During his internship Luke helped INCS develop its school support services for managing outside vendors. First, by building a more robust system for tracking and publishing vendor performance, schools are now able to make more informed purchasing decisions. Second, by leveraging INCS ability to reach many schools at once, the organization was able to create a marketing model for vendors while also generating revenue for INCS.
Aaron Scheinberg ’11, a West Point graduate and Iraq War Veteran, worked with Wireless Generation, an innovative education technology company that provides products and services to more than 200,000 K–12 educational institutions and 3 million students. Wireless Generation is partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's "Intensive Partnership for Effective Teaching" program, which invests $290 million into four school districts. Aaron's team worked with these sites to build their data capacity and develop a new data "Dashboard" software program to easily display school data. These "dashboards" will help to implement bold reform plans over the next several years to better recruit, retain, and reward effective teachers and ensure that the highest need students are taught by the most effective teachers.
Two students interned at Services for the Underserved (SUS), a New York City nonprofit that provides housing and support services to economically disadvantaged New Yorkers, individuals with special needs due to a mental, developmental, or physical disabililty, HIV/AIDS, inadequate education, substance abuse, or a history of institutionalization:
Elizabeth Farjardo Butler ’12 interned as the business development director. She researched and identified potential social ventures for SUS. Elizabeth also created financial models, business plans, and funding pitches for the selected ventures, which were presented with the CFO to the executive committee. In addition, Elizabeth indentified potential private stakeholders to back the long-term sustainability of the project for deeper analysis.
Emily Richardson ’12 worked on developing a strategy for the accelerated expansion of SUS's real estate portfolio. SUS owns 600,000 square feet of residential real estate in New York City. An additional 700,000 square feet is leased. Using its entire real estate portfolio, SUS operates programs that support more than 4,000 individuals. Most of SUS's real estate portfolio is dedicated to supportive housing where the residential component is complemented with counseling, therapy, and life skills services. Emily conducted site visits, interviewed multiple internal and external stakeholders including areas of government and in the New York City real estate community, and researched best practices in the field.
Agustin Danza ’12 interned with the NYC Department of Education at the Strategic Incentives Office in the Teacher Recruitment and Quality Department. Agustin worked for Tania Shinkawa ’04, the director of this office. The project's objective was to understand why teachers move from one school to another. Agustin identified movement patterns to gain insights to help the office develop and improve incentives to allocate teachers to where they are most needed.
Katie Field ’11 interned at Dance/NYC, the largest branch office of the national dance service organization, Dance/USA. Dance/NYC's mission is to strengthen the professional dance field in New York City through advocacy, guidance, and developing infrastructure for local dance artists, audiences, and managers in this field. As part of an institutional grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Katie led a communications team to develop a long-term marketing plan focused on measuring and analyzing audience engagement and integrating social media outlets. This project was part of the grant's overarching vision to centralize dance communications with Dance/NYC to maximize the impact of a single, coherent voice in the field.
David Goldberg ’12 worked for the Guggenheim Foundation, a preeminent institution for the collection, preservation, and research of modern and contemporary art. The Guggenheim Foundation oversees the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and a global network of other distinguished cultural institutions in Venice, Bilbao, Berlin, and Abu Dhabi. David interned in the Executive Office, where he contributed to the Helsinki Project, a feasibility study that assessed the possible mission and structure, exhibitions and programs, economic impact, and other elements of a potential Guggenheim-affiliated museum in Helsinki, Finland.
Sarah Kafka ’12 spent her summer in northern Washington state working for the National Park Service in the Business Plan Internship Program. Stationed at North Cascades National Park, Sarah worked on a five-year strategic business plan for the Park. As the Park faces budget cuts, the business plan will help to refine its goals and desired outcomes, using financial planning tools. The resulting business plan will be used to track the Park's progress, create annual work plans for park divisions, and support requests for funding.
Two students interned at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH), one the most comprehensive university hospitals in the world, with leading specialists in every field of medicine:
Manmeet Kaur ’11 worked with the Community Health Department to help launch the NYPH Patient Centered Medical Home Care Coordination Model. The Model is a new way to deliver better quality primary care in a more affordable and effective way, targeting people with chronic health conditions. The goal of her work was to help the hospital develop care management strategies to improve continuity of care as patients transition from the hospital to the home, assess the cost-effectiveness of the model, build community partnerships, and investigate factors that influence rehospitalizations of patients in the Washington Heights Community.
Jennifer Doorly Magaziner ’12 spent her summer working on a Patient Access Initiative with the Patient-Centered Care Division of its Columbia campus in New York. The Patient Access Initiative is a joint project with the NYPH strategy team and Columbia Doctors aimed at using infrastructure, programs, tools, and best practices to improve the patient experience at Columbia Doctors practice sites. Jennifer helped launch a customer service improvement effort in collaboration with Columbia University Medical School's partners to improve patient satisfaction in the University's many medical practices. She also helped to set up the infrastructure to achieve this, including data reporting, staff mobilization, and project coordination.
Three students interned with Endeavor, a global nonprofit that aims to transform emerging countries' economies by supporting high-impact entrepreneurship:
Krishna Bhat ’12 worked in San Francisco with Yola.com — a website builder and hosting service that helps small businesses stand out on the web — to create a business case that will help entrepreneurs raise funding for specific strategic initiatives, growth, and expansion. In particular, Krishna's duties included: financing strategies, honing a business plan, and company growth options.
Shobhit Datta ’12 spent his summer working in Amman Jordan with Jeeran.com, a leading website in the Arab world. Jeeran.com had recently introduced Jeeran Places, a service to help users discover new businesses in their city. Shobhit helped analyze various monetization options available to Jeeran Places and how the company could utilize the current payments infrastructure in the region.
Ana Luiza Reis ’12 interned in Monterey, Mexico, with Imagen Dental, a health clinic offering world-class dental, vision, and hearing care. Ana Luiza conducted an in-depth analysis of the dental and financial markets while completing a business plan for the future growth of the company, and she presented this to potential financing candidates.
Laura Goldman ’12 worked in Nairobi, Kenya this summer for Fanisi Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa. The fund targets high-growth businesses in a variety of sectors with the goal of supporting East African entrepreneurs to build competitive and sustainable businesses that have significant development impact in the region. Laura helped expand the fund's portfolio by conducting research on new markets as well as due diligence on potential portfolio companies. She also reviewed Fanisi's transaction processes to help identify opportunities to strengthen operations.
Stephanie Harvell ’12 interned this summer at ThinkImpact, a social enterprise that inspires innovation to end poverty through the Innovation Institute. The Innovation Institute is a curriculum-based immersion program in rural villages in Africa for the next generation of social entrepreneurs. ThinkImpact's approach to poverty alleviation utilizes an asset-based community development philosophy to fuel social innovation at the base of the pyramid by creating jobs, products, and services that change lives. Stephanie worked as an advisor to a team of six scholars in rural Kenya, where they worked with local community members to promote a mindset of innovation, self-sufficiency, and entrepreneurship rather than dependency and aid.
Marin Kaleya ’12 served as a communications associate at Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Marin was responsible for creating the organization's 10-year report, a written and visual representation of what Acumen Fund has accomplished and learned in its 10-year history and what the future holds for this innovative organization as it works to create a new and pioneering model of philanthropy. Marin also worked closely with the Communications and Business Development teams in its broader efforts around the 10-year anniversary celebration, including content development, investor relations, and media outreach.
Nunzio Digiacomo ’11, Benjamin Kanner ’12, Aleksander Karlsen ’12, and Ron Stimmel ’12 worked with Professor Bruce Usher, former CEO of EcoSecurities Group, at Qualitative Alternatives, a renewable energy start up social venture with the mission of aggregating and analyzing operating data on renewable energy projects in the United States.
The actual cost of renewable energy electrical generation is unclear, as is the relative impact of different project types, technologies, locations, and developers. Supporters of renewables are making decisions based on theoretical guesses, rather than actual operating data. This social venture has a double bottom line objective of making a profit, while simultaneously supporting action on climate change by improving the information available to and thus the effectiveness of policy makers, developers, and investors focused on renewable energy.
All four summer interns worked on determining data sources for renewable energy generation; assisted in negotiating agreements to source data; collated, analyzed, and transferred data to the venture's database; evaluated potential data users; and explored potential business models.
Andrew Jacobi ’12 interned with Wild Idea Buffalo Company, which raises and sells 100 percent grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free, free-range buffalo. The company owns a ranch in Rapid City, South Dakota, and sells to restaurants, retailers and directly to consumers through Internet sales. Andy's primary responsibilities for the summer included developing a retail market for Wild Idea in New York City — the largest market for meat in the country — and analyzing the company's shipping costs to find a more cost-efficient way to ship products while still meeting the needs of customers.
Ted Maa ’12 interned at Hinge Networks, a Boston-based technology startup focused on developing software solutions for energy efficiency project management. Hinge's software platform will help customers reduce the administrative burden in managing an energy efficiency project, thereby freeing more capital to devote to the development of the project itself. Over the summer, Ted focused on building out the finance and accounting functions for the Hinge organization and assisted in raising capital to fund future growth.
Two students interned with BBMG, a marketing and branding organization focused on integrated sustainability, technology, and a social purpose to both for-profit and nonprofit client branding:
Emily Sweeney ’12 divided her time between brand innovation assignments and business development. As such, she was an integral part of the BBMG strategy engagement team including on-boarding clients and discovery through strategy and implementation, and providing strategic and creative thinking on branding and marketing projects. Emily also played a key role in BBMG's business development planning and execution.
Kate Szostak ’12 was part of the strategy team and worked with clients across a diverse range of industries, from retail to financial services. Kate's responsibilities included issuing research and developing client deliverables such as presentations and research briefs. Kate also assisted in business development efforts for prospective clients.
Andrew Yarbrough ’12 interned with Karbone, a firm specialized in renewable energy and environmental markets, offering project finance, environmental brokerage and Carbon research, and advisory services. Karbone helps renewable energy technologies compete alongside traditional sources of energy and electricity. The company focuses on enabling renewable energy developers to reach their financing objectives and offers comprehensive services in environmental markets to structure environmental credit transactions. Andrew was responsible for working within the research and project finance groups as a summer analyst. His role included analyzing projects by way of modeling their financials and analyzing the technology and the teams for all solar, wind, and biofuel projects. He also assisted the publication group to work on augmenting content and researched regulations within the United States that affect the renewable energy field.
David Basile ’12 interned with B Lab, an organization whose mission is to create a new sector of the economy that harnesses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The organization certifies B Corporations, creates standards for impact of business and for transforming corporate accountability, and promotes public policy and capital markets innovations that will accelerate the growth of beneficial business. David worked on B Lab's two key initiatives: the further development of the B Corporation community of business; and the launch of the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS).
Aaron Burakoff ’12 interned with Holiday Hill Enterprises, a children's entertainment company that creates books, movies, and other content based on Spookley the Square Pumpkin and all of characters that live on Holiday Hill Farm. Holiday Hill Enterprises' content is embraced by educators across North America because it helps convey important messages about issues such as tolerance, diversity, and self-respect. Holiday Hill Farm is also adored by farm owners who incorporate its characters into their on-site school field trips programs. As Project Director over the summer, Aaron worked closely with farmers and helped them leverage Holiday Hill Enterprises' content to educate and entertain their vistors. He also oversaw operations and logistics for distributing merchanise and content to the farms.
Two students interned with NYC Seed, a venture fund that helps to build a sustainable ecosystem for entrepreneurship in New York City:
- Victoria Cheng ’12 and Matt Puzio ’12 divided their time between the Investment Fund and SeedStart.
For the Investment Fund, they evaluated companies seeking funding, built financial models, analyzed market opportunities, conducted due diligence, and participated in closing new investments.
For SeedStart, a start-up boot camp that provides funding and mentorship to early stage companies, Victoria and Matt completed business development projects to support the launch and growth of very early stage companies in order to stimulate economic growth and employment opportunities within New York.
Andrea Davila ’11 worked with the Blue Ridge Foundation, a social innovation fund that operates as a seed funder and incubator, identifying ideas with high-potential social impact and helping transform them into institutions that demonstrate practical, effective solutions to social problems. Andrea worked with the Foundation's portfolio organizations alongside the portfolio manager to help focus their missions and on implementation by engaging in short-term consulting projects on areas including: financial modeling, strategic planning, organizational development, and marketing.
Nicholas Java ’12 joined Glovico, a social enterprise and online service that offers real-time language courses with native-speaking teachers. Nicholas served as the US head of business development and developed a strategy to penetrate the US market. The strategy incorporated business-to-consumer activities and targeted public and private institutions for business-to-business contracts. He also assisted Glovico in recruiting Arabic teachers from Iraq, where he served with the US Army for nearly three years. Nicholas's contributions advanced Glovico's efforts to offer entrepreneurs from developing countries the opportunity to earn additional income through teaching their native languages.
Kristen Keating ’12 interned at Agora Partnerships, an organization that supports impact entrepreneurs by improving access to knowledge, capital, and networks, with a goal of facilitating economic progress in developing countries. Kristen worked closely with senior management on refining overall firm strategy and enhancing business development and cross-country communications. Kristen also helped with the execution and expansion of the Accelerator — a formal development program for Latin American entrepreneurs. This involved contributing to the design and launch of an online investing platform for the Accelerator, as well as consulting support to entrepreneurs.
Owen Lau ’11 interned at the Altura Capital Group, a women- and Hispanic-owned investment advisory and research services firm in the emerging and diverse managers field. He reported to the chief investment officer and worked within the Asset Management Division to select undiscovered and under-utilized investment managers through the proprietary database. This project involved researching the performance record of managers among various asset classes, including the typical excess returns of managers, "batting averages" across asset classes, and sizing the manager universe. Owen used statistical tools to create and automate procedures, and developed documentation for update processes.
Mindy Lin ’12 interned at Jalia Ventures, an investment firm that provides growth capital to minority-owned businesses across all industries with a focus on healthcare, education, information technology and environmentally friendly innovations. As a summer associate, she reviewed business plans, met with entrepreneurs, performed due diligence, and conducted financial analysis. She also worked with select portfolio companies to develop human capital strategies that were aligned with their business strategies. Mindy also helped develop the Jalia MBA Fellowship Program.
Lisa Williams ’11 interned with both Jalia Ventures and Imprint Capital, an impact investment management firm, working on their impact investing activities and portfolio investments.
Nikki Roco EMBA ’11 interned with Beyond Capital Fund, a nonprofit foundation that invests in high potential social entrepreneurs with innovation business models providing basic services to the poor. The investment pipeline focuses on addressing the pressing basic needs of the poor such as healthcare, water, housing, and energy in India and East Africa. In order to accelerate the fundraising, marketing, and due diligence capabilities of Beyond Capital Fund, Nikki engaged in communications with donors, created marketing materials, and researched potential donors in support of the fundraising strategy. Research focused on client motivations and goals, and ongoing developments in the social entrepreneurship sector.
Jeff Volinski (MBA/MIA ’13) worked at Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX Asia), an organization that works to provide social enterprises in Asia with greater access to capital by connecting them with impact investors. IIX Asia is working towards establishing a fully functional social stock exchange based in Singapore. Jeff worked for Shujog, IIX Asia's nonprofit subsidiary that provides pro bono business consulting services to social enterprises looking to list on the exchange. Jeff also worked with investors to structure deals using IIX Asia's Impact Partners platform, an exclusive network that matches investors to vetted social enterprises.
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.”