Elsbeth Grant ’18

Elsbeth Grant ’18

Student Profile: Summer Fellowship at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia Law School

As a former middle school teacher in a South Bronx public school, Elsbeth Grant ’18, used the experience gained as an MBA student to work in an education policy context for her Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship. Grant interned at the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia Law School, where she conducted research on children of military families and their experiences in transitioning to different schools. She conducted interviews with current students, parents, teachers, and school administrators to determine what major issues the students face and what changes could be implemented to alleviate these difficulties.        

Grant also drafted a report to be presented at a conference at the end of the summer for a nonprofit to use the conclusions she drew to target their efforts to help children of military families. As a side project, Grant conducted research on the web resources available to families in transition and how these can be streamlined to provide better access and revised them to take the unique challenges of special needs students into account.

While she found it difficult to hear the problems that students face without being able to personally or immediately fix them, Grant saw the importance of her work and learned about how the military operates as an organization, how to dive head first into a project, and how to develop policy recommendations.

Grant sees the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise as playing an important role in her MBA experience and in Columbia Business School at large: “It opened up a lot more doors for me” she said.  She thinks the center helps people in other fields learn about socially-motivated models and projects a “change the world” attitude that is important today. Grant sees the Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship program and the auction that makes it possible as creating camaraderie among the fellows, within the clusters and in the School as a whole.

Through her internship, Grant learned that education policy can take many forms and, she plans to work in the field after graduation, continuing to make a difference in students’ lives on a macro level. 

By Sophie Drew