You are here

Social Enterprise News

September 23, 2009

Summer Fellows lend essential business skills to organizations in NYC

More than 50 MBA students spent the summer working with socially engaged organizations in NYC. Here's a recap of some of their work.

More than 50 MBA students spent the summer working with socially engaged organizations in NYC. Here's a recap of some of their work.


  • Gabrielle Breslow '10 (Robin Hood Foundation) interned in the Jobs and Economic Security Portfolio. Gabrielle worked to institutionalize a workforce development initiative to train low income women for jobs in the cosmetology field. She performed due diligence on potential project partners, developed a budget, and created policies and procedures for the program.
  • Kim Smith '10 (Robin Hood Foundation) worked jointly with the Development Department and Program Department to develop a program-related investment fund that will focus on job creation across New York City, in for-profit and nonprofit entities.
  • Jazmine Leon '10 (NYC Department of Education) interned with the Office of Student Enrollment. This Office was created as part of the Children First reform to be a strategic, data-driven organization that manages the enrollment, registration and transfer of students citywide. During the summer, Jazmine developed a strategic communications plan to address the needs of a variety of stakeholders, including internal staff, students, parents, guidance counselors, principals and community organizations. Her work is part of the organization’s mission to increase equity and transparency in all enrollment and admissions processes.
  • Heather Feinstein '10 (New York City Department of Corrections) worked in the Financial Operations and Analysis Unit (FOA). The FOA functions as an internal operations consulting group for the New York City prison system. Heather improved the efficiency and wait time of inmate visiting hours at Rikers Island through statistical and operational analysis. She also implemented best practices in the Application Investigation Unit by studying process and workflow. Additionally, she researched and optimized staffing for inmate transportation to and from court.
  • Wesley Flamer-Binion '10 (New York City’s Department of Small Business Services) interned in the Business Express unit on the Strategic Operations team. Wesley played a key role in the development of Business Express, a Mayor Bloomberg priority project that will culminate in a one-stop online portal where businesses interact with the city for a number of activities ranging from permit and license applications to cost-reduction consultancy and technical assistance.
  • Rebecca Holden '10 (New York City’s Department of Small Business Services) worked in the NYC Business Solutions Training Funds agency, which awards small business with funding to subsidize the cost of training and performance development programs. Rebecca researched the strategic question of why some businesses ultimately withdraw from the program after receiving an award from the Agency. Through interviews with staff and businesses as well as reviewing qualitative and quantitative information about past awards, Rebecca analyzed information about the cause of award rescissions and issued a set of recommendations to mitigate the drop-off of award recipients.
  • Shauna Grob '10 (The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) interned with the Chief of Capital Planning. The Port Authority is charged with coordinating regional transportation and furthering economic development of the New York metropolitan region, as well as managing reconstruction of the World Trade Center and related facilities at Ground Zero. Shauna worked on two main initiatives for the summer: an assessment of alternative financing approaches for certain Port Authority capital projects and an evaluation of current capital program management processes. These efforts Shauna identified opportunities to increase funding capacity for public infrastructure and improved the effectiveness of ongoing capital program work.
  • Erica Lock '10 (Mayor's Office for Long-Term Planning and Sustainability) worked on the GreenNYC initiative. She researched and supported the development and execution of campaign messaging, media strategy, licensing deals and corporate partnerships. She also implemented large, complex public awareness campaigns – in coordination with City and non-City agencies and private entities – and created a scorecard system to benchmark and measure achievements.
  • Patrick Ondoa-Fouda '10 (Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York) investigated cases of people who die in any suspicious or unusual manner. The OCME has developed leading technology for DNA testing in forensic investigations. As part of the Finance Division, Patrick provided a cost analysis to investigate the possibility of using the technology for outside jurisdictions on a fee-for-service basis.
  • Katrina Simon-Agolory '10 (Harlem Children’s Zone) interned in the Human Resources Department. HCZ encompasses a multi-year comprehensive community building initiative. The organization’s mission is to create significant, positive opportunities for all children living in a 100-block area of Central Harlem by helping parents, residents, teachers and other stakeholders create a safe learning environment for youth. Katrina led the effort for the second annual employee satisfaction survey and tracked employee turnover rates to create strategies to increase employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Peter Tong '10 interned with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) one of New York’s oldest not-for-profit local real estate development corporations. GJDC is focused on transforming downtown Jamaica, Queens through revitalization and economic development with a community-building mission. Projects include mixed use hotels, affordable housing, retail complexes, office facilities and parking garages. Peter is responsible for detailed reports and analysis identifying strategic acquisition, expansion and development strategies throughout the downtown area.
  • Ginger Elsea '10 (ABC Home & Planet Foundation) through a process of intensive research, commitment, and development, the Foundation inspires people to embrace a deeper spirit of giving through gifts that will be memorable and meaningful for a lifetime. Ginger helped manage the Gifts of Compassion program, which allows customers to purchase gifts that provide targeted services to heal our planet and its communities. Examples of gifts include bed nets to protect pregnant women in Africa from malaria and math and literacy classes for Afghani girls. She also developed a business plan for expanding the work of the Foundation through developing new brands.
  • Rachel Feinberg '10 (New York City’s Office of Management & Budget) worked on the Housing and Economic Development Task Force in the Housing Unit. Rachel helped research the cost to construct a unit of housing in the NYC private market as part of a larger initiative to establish a construction cost index as the basis for determining and evaluating affordable housing projects throughout the City. In addition Rachel tracked changes in the private market’s underwriting and lending standards and tracked City intervention in a random selection of HPD (Department of Housing Preservation and Development) buildings.
  • Jim Lindstrom '10 (Office of Strategy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital) contributed to the development of the Comprehensive Center for Digestive Diseases by designing metrics for evaluating its operational, quality, and financial performance. Jim also completed several internal consulting projects including an evaluation of the recession's impact on the hospital and the formulation of strategies to fund innovation at the hospital.

Continue to visit the summer fellowships web site to learn more about the work performed by all of our students.

Sign Up for Updates

Keep up to date with what's happening by signing up for the Columbia campus-wide Social Enterprise mailing list, the quarterly newsletter and joining the Spark Mailing List.

Columbia Social E-Resources >Tamer Center Newsletter > SPARK >


Center Brochure

View the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise brochure, Empowering Leaders to Change the World