Summer Fellows 2014

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Nonprofit and Public Management

Julia Arnhold ’15 interned with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in the organization’s Strategy and Business Development group. Located in NYC, Lincoln Center is the premier producer and presenter of high-quality performing arts events and is also a leading arts educator. As a 2014 Summer Fellow, Julia explored new marketing initiatives, especially those involving new media and technology, built business plans for new sources of earned income, examined financing related to the redevelopment of their campus, developed a new fundraising strategy, and pursued creative means to attract new demographics to Lincoln Center. Additionally, Julia worked with her team to develop and facilitate external relationships with consultants, brand managers, financial services firms, and other professional services firms.

Catherine Chao ’15 worked at the Heketi Community Charter School in the South Bronx via an Education Pioneers Summer Fellowship placement. As the Facilities Project Manager, she helped transition the school to its new permanent space, developing a new Operations and Safety Handbook and acting as liaison to the Civic Builders Project Manager. She also supported the school in identifying community partners and recruiting community members.

Wanessa Ferreira ’15 interned as an Education Pioneer at Uncommon Schools, which starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college. Her work focused on building a managerial dashboard with school data for their regional team, and starting a pilot of an operational playbook for major operational best practices in schools, which addresses compensation/benefits, teacher satisfaction, and retention benchmark analysis with other charter networks.

Nikhil Kumar ’15 worked with Teach for America (TFA), a nonprofit focused on lowering the achievement gap for low-income students in public education. TFA achieves this goal by recruiting, training, and placing top graduates from top universities as teachers in public schools throughout the country. Nikhil worked with the Managing Director of the Enterprise Data Services team to develop a business case for improving data quality across the organization. The long-term impact of this project would be to help different divisions of TFA (e.g., recruiting, training, alumni services, etc.), better use data to guide their strategy moving forward.

Kristin Lewis ’15 interned at the Partnership for a New American Economy, a political advocacy coalition of more than 500 Republican, Democratic, and Independent mayors and business leaders united in making the economic case for streamlining, modernizing, and rationalizing the US immigration system. Her work focused on developing and implementing a membership engagement strategy, as well as contributing to the development of an organizational strategy to expand the core mission of the Partnership. She also supported the Partnership in identifying unique marketing opportunities, potential funding sources, future research initiatives, and new community partners and advocates.

Elise Miller ’15 worked at the Robin Hood Foundation, a nonprofit that fights poverty in New York City by identifying, funding and partnering with over 200 of the most effective schools and programs in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Robin Hood applies investment principles to philanthropy and philanthropic ideas to investment practices, attacking poverty at its root causes and rigorously evaluating programs to measure results. Elise interned with the Jobs and Economic Security Portfolio, where she analyzed the business models of direct service grantees engaged in start-up revenue-generating activities.

Jennifer Rhodes ’15 worked with NewYork-Presbyterian in the Weill Cornell Operations department. Her work focused on implementing strategies to improve the scheduling process and to optimize hours of operation in the Electrophysiology Labs. As part of the implementation, she gathered data from current users in other departments, documented workflow, made recommendations for the redesign, trained staff and managed the roll-out of the operating room manager scheduling system, including monitoring progress and task completion.

Teresa Ripamonti ’15 worked with Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing housing insecurity across the US, creating and advocating for affordable homes linked to jobs, good schools, health care services, and transportation. Enterprise lends funds, finances development, and manages and builds affordable housing. Teresa worked with the innovation team, researching and evaluating alternative impact investing vehicles and tools which can complement Enterprise’s current financing strategies, and attract a larger group of investors and resources towards affordable housing and community development.

Natalie Rubin ’14 interned with Community Wealth Partners, consulting with social organizations to improve their operations and increase their impact. Community Wealth Partners collaborates with nonprofits and foundations to help them develop strategic plans, identify long-term goals, assess and develop new opportunities, and track progress. Natalie worked with an engagement team and was responsible for producing a part of the deliverables for the client. CWP’s past clients have included the Anne E. Casey Foundation, Kaboom, and City Year.

Stephanie Sherline ’15 worked with Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), a nonprofit performing arts venue whose mission is to be the home for adventurous artists, audiences and ideas. Stephanie worked in a strategic planning role within the Project Management Department. Throughout the summer, Stephanie assessed the financial performance of BAM’s new performance and event space, the BAM Fisher, and conducted research around the industry’s best practices to offer recommendations and innovative solutions on how to meet and exceed the space’s initial financial projections. 

Tina Shyuan ’15 interned at Techbridge, a 25-person nonprofit organization that aims to expand the academic and career options for girls in science, technology, and engineering. Tina worked with Techbridge executives to use data analytics to measure the success of the organization against industry benchmarks. Tina also reviewed and finalized Techbridge’s Computer Science curriculum, integrating her own lesson plans. Prior to this internship and business school, Tina had been a volunteer and Role Model at Techbridge.

Sarah Sung ’15 worked with the National Park Service, an agency of the US Department of the Interior. The National Park Service preserves the natural and cultural resources and values of the United States for the enjoyment and education of its people. The Service also partners with nonprofits, Native American tribes, and state and local governments to promote local history and preserve historic landmarks. Sarah worked as a consultant for Antietam National Battlefield and developed a 3-5 year business plan to support the park’s operational and management decision-making in the future. 
Matt Torell ’14 worked with the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) this summer on their Pre-K for All Expansion team within the Division of Early Childhood Education. Matt had two primary responsibilities during this time: managing the walkthrough process to ensure that all sites would be suitable for occupancy by children in September, and building a web-based database to help the department manage their data and workflow. The former project required ensuring that 20 case managers scheduled 100 DOE representatives to visit over 1,100 sites in three weeks.

Sheila Zeidman ’15 worked at Relay Graduate School for Education, a nonprofit graduate school with a mission to teach K-12 teachers to develop in all students the academic skills and strength of character needed to succeed in college and life. Sheila worked on the National Principals Academy Fellowship (NPAF) at both the New Orleans and New York City summer program sites. Sheila supported all daily operations of the New York site while collecting data and feedback to improve supporting systems. She also developed a playbook for future expansion of the program and built a multi-year financial model aimed at financial self-sustainability for the program.


International Development

Julia Barmeier ’14 worked with mSurvey, a technology and data analytics start-up based in Nairobi, Kenya, that has developed a survey platform operable via mobile feature phones. mSurvey’s technology enables individuals, businesses, and governments to collect and analyze data via SMS surveys that are specifically useful for gathering information from difficult-to-reach, rural populations. Julia worked with the CEO to develop a customer acquisition strategy and assess product pricing approaches.

Chris Cugliari ’14 interned with Strong Bodies Fight, a nonprofit seeking to drive reform within Bangladesh’s readymade garment sector in light of the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse. Strong Bodies Fight helps drive more sustainable reform by working with factory standards that elevate human dignity while focusing on practicality. Chris interviewed relevant stakeholders within the industry to better understand reform challenges and drafted a revised set of standards for sourcing and factory inspection that was presented to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Additionally, Chris ran a feasibility assessment for launching a social enterprise that provides ethically sourced garments.

Jorge Dominguez ’15 worked at Potencia Patagonia, a program led by Technoserve. This business accelerator platform helps small business in the Chilean Patagonia with workshops and training programs for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, as well as giving them access to seed funding. During his internship, Jorge helped the second cohort of entrepreneurs to fine tune their business plans and prepare them for their final presentations. He also assisted the general manager with the third cohort, getting involved in the diffusion of the program throughout Patagonia while also advising in the selection of the candidates.

 Adaobi Kanu ’14 worked with Faire Collection, a socially responsible retail company that reduces poverty in disadvantaged communities in South America through the creation and sales of jewelry. Faire Collection supports several social development programs with scholarships and small business assistance in the communities where they work. Adaobi worked closely with the company’s founder and president and the director of business development on E-commerce & digital marketing strategy, retail market analytics, and a strategic growth plan for the company’s intended expansion into European Markets.

Youngmo Koo ’15 worked at International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank. IFC is a global investor and advisor to governments and businesses and promotes investments in its developing member countries that are economically beneficial, financially sound, and environmentally and socially sustainable. Youngmo worked at the IFC’s Beijing Office, focusing on business development in Korea, building and maintaining relationships with potential and existing clients, conducting industry and company due diligence, and building financial models for potential investment opportunities.

Brian Lo ’14 and Scott Miramontes ’14 worked for Tugende, a for-profit social enterprise in Kampala, Uganda. Tugende assists reliable local taxi drivers who rent-to-own their motorcycles, allowing these drivers to begin a path to financial independence. Brian focused on structuring the internal operations of Tugende in preparation for the company’s anticipated scale increase. Building upon the impacts of prior Columbia MBA projects with Tugende, Brian also helped the CEO market Tugende to specific investors interested in social as well as financial returns. Scott helped with implementing technology to increase efficiencies and standardize operations.  He also worked on developing their fundraising strategy by measuring impact, developing marketing communications, and identifying potential investors.

Debby Man ’14 and Lauren Ryan ’14 worked at salaUno, an eye clinic in Mexico City that contributes to the eradication of unnecessary blindness in Mexico by offering affordable and high quality eye care services focused on low and mid income populations. Debby worked on a pricing strategy project that included: analyzing the current pricing structure of salaUno and its competitors, researching best practices in pricing strategy for the industry and proposing and piloting the new pricing strategy in selected clinics. As a summer associate, Lauren helped develop a strategy for incorporating private insurance patients and designed a strategy for improving salaUno’s doctor and nurse recruiting efficiency.

Elena Mayer ’15 interned with USAID’s Global Health Bureau in the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact (CII). CII aims to accelerate the development, introduction and scale-up of priority health interventions by promoting and reinforcing innovative, business-minded approaches and solutions to some of the world’s most important health challenges. Elena’s main project was to assist with the go-to-market strategy for the “BD Odon Device” (in which USAID was a seed funder), for which she conducted bottleneck analyses on potential supply and demand hold-ups. She also worked to hone an introduction to scale guide to help private sector firms successfully launch and scale new health interventions in low-resource settings.

Jon Saunders ’14 worked for the PanAfrican Investment Co. (PIC), a patient capital fund based in New York City. PIC’s mission is to identify, invest in and provide solutions that affect growth and development in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that are solving some of the continent’s most complex problems. PIC’s current portfolio includes investments in the healthcare, education, transportation, and technology sectors. Jon’s projects included budget forecasting, country reporting and deal structuring.

Amritha Subramanian ’15 worked with a unique partnership program between the United Nations and the World Bank group. Better Work Indonesia is a coming together of the International Labor Organization and the IFC, and aims to improve compliance with labor standards and promote competitiveness in Indonesia’s apparel industry by assessing current workplace conditions and offering advisory and training services to factories. Amritha worked with the Chief Technical Advisor in the Jakarta office to lead the program’s social impact assessment projects. This involved field visits to factories, data analysis, project management, and the provision of advisory services to clients.


Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility

Hisham Araji ’15 interned at Jonathan Rose Companies, a socially responsible real estate firm that works with cities, towns, and nonprofits to revitalize communities by planning, developing, and financing green urban solutions. He worked with the city of Norwalk, CT on a neighborhood revitalization program intended to develop cost-effective and replicable designs and construction solutions for homebuyers and lenders to use as a roadmap. This included conducting market research, inspecting target properties to rehabilitate and underwriting the renovation and mortgage for low-income buyers. He also led efforts to install solar panels on a low-income apartment building, which involved analyzing the financial implications of different capital structure arrangements for the investors in the project.

Patrick Crosby ’14 interned with BlocPower, a social venture founded by
Donnel Baird ‘13, which aims to provide clean energy technology to underserved communities by connecting institutional capital with micro-portfolios of “shovel-ready” projects. As a Project Finance Associate, he worked on building investor relationships by creating financial models for existing and new projects and developing project-level analyses of financial, environmental and social benefits for investors through web-based tools and crowdfunding platforms. He also worked on sales optimization processes, aggregated customer data tools and creating sales and marketing collateral.

Meri Crowther ’14 worked for Community Energy, a clean energy company that builds solar and wind energy projects by engaging customers through products and services that make these projects possible. Meri worked for the company’s new operating unit, Community Solar. There she conducted policy and market research and financial analysis to develop a business plan for the division.

Alex Ellis ’15 interned with CommonBond, a peer to peer lender geared towards disrupting the student loan industry by connecting alumni investors with student borrowers and offering low-cost loans. In addition, for every student loan funded on their platform, CommonBond fully covers the cost of a child-in-need’s education at the African School for Excellence for one year. Over the course of his internship, Alex developed a graduate refinancing tool to help educate borrowers about refinancing and assist them in making better-informed decisions. This involved the design and implementation of the tool, while working across teams to make the product fully operational.

Paula Klein ’15 interned with Clean Power Finance (CPF), an online business-to-business marketplace that connects the solar industry with capital markets and provides residential solar professionals with access to financing for distributed solar PV systems available to qualified employees through their CPF Tools software platform. CPF also helps solar professionals win more deals and grow their businesses faster and more profitably than ever. Using these strategies, Clean Power Finance allows for renewable energy technologies to compete alongside traditional sources of energy and electricity. Paula worked as a summer analyst with the corporate development group. Her responsibilities included creating financial models and identifying new channels and structuring partnerships within them to speed the deployment of residential solar.

James Nouss ’14 worked with One Degree Solar, a triple-bottom-line technology company that designs and manufactures solar products that provide light and power for base-of-the-pyramid consumers. Typically sold in emerging markets where modern infrastructure is unavailable, the company’s product line improves the lives of users while eliminating emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels to light households. James worked in Kenya and China to analyze the company’s supply chain. He implemented standardized procedures in all aspects of the business, from manufacturing and inventory management to sales and end-user engagement.

Seema Balani ’15, Kash Patel ’15 and Jennie Goldstein ’15 worked for the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing as the inaugural Sustainable Investing Fellowship summer associates. This program was announced as a joint partnership with Columbia Business School by James Gorman ’87, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley on campus last fall. They worked on innovative financing and risk management transactions and initiatives that contribute towards sustainable solutions. This involved building financial models, performing strategic business analysis and industry research including emerging trends in various industries, and executing initiatives that support firmwide initiatives on sustainable investing.


Social Entrepreneurship

Two teams of four Columbia Business School students participated in MBAs Across America. Team one consisted of Jasmine Ainetchian ’14, Atif Qadir ’14, Guillaume Cazalaa ’14, and Elizabeth Pfeiffer ’14. Team two was made up of Renee Frantz ’14, Annie Koo ’14, Sam Wollner ’14, and Scott Miramontes ’14. MBAs Across America is a national movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs working to revitalize America. The teams each spent six weeks on the road, tackling pressing challenges with six different entrepreneurs in communities outside traditional hubs such as Cleveland and Detroit. In intensive weeklong engagements, the team collaborated with entrepreneurs and their communities to deliver lasting impact and help create from the ground-up an MBAs Across America network of ongoing support. They were especially excited to work with entrepreneurs and communities linked to their interest in social impact real estate, including neighborhood developers in former rust belt cities.

Caleb Ballou ’15 worked with Inspiring Capital, a social enterprise that helps nonprofits and other socially-conscious ventures develop sustainable, mission aligned business strategies and provide philanthropy and impact investing advice to individual and corporate donors. As a summer fellow at Inspiring Capital, he worked with Kin Hotels, a chain of social business hotels that builds net zero properties in eco-hotspots, connects customers to an extraordinary travel experience, and invests in local partners addressing each region’s most pressing social and environmental problems. He worked directly with the founder/CEO to develop a complete business plan to market during the company’s first round of seed stage funding.

Clara Colina ’15 worked at Inspiring Capital, a B-Corp that aims to revolutionize philanthropy by aligning incentives among donors and nonprofit organizations. Inspiring Capital works with donors and nonprofits to diversify nonprofits’ revenue streams so they are not solely dependent on charitable contributions. Having earned income, rather than relying on donations and grants, allows high potential nonprofits to improve and grow their work and achieve the vision they share with donors. Clara was paired with Girls Rising, a leading nonprofit focused on girls education in developing countries, advising as a consultant on their strategic plan and business development. Her project work included problem solving and analysis as well as project management.

Adrienne Frieden ’15 worked at Dakorum, a social enterprise focused on the home-d├ęcor market. Dakorum is a newly developed vertically integrated e-commerce brand that is seeking to fill a market gap while promoting and protecting traditional artisanal crafts. Dakorum’s mission is to seek out and bring exclusive and beautiful objects made by designers and artisans around the world to new markets at approachable prices. Adrienne managed Dakorum’s marketing and customer acquisition and helped develop their social impact measures.