Tomorrow’s leaders should define and deliver value to all stakeholders. To prepare them for that responsibility, we need to remake business education. We show students the critical role that business plays in addressing the world’s problems by providing hands-on, thought-provoking, and distinctive learning experiences.
Impact Fellows Program:
To address the world’s wicked problems, we must engage talented and passionate people from all backgrounds and support their development into changemakers armed with skills, knowledge, and experience. The Impact Fellows Program, a two-year, cohort-based undergraduate program, will respond to the needs of students from populations not typically represented in business - this includes those who are the first in their family to go to college, from lower-income families, disabled, or from underrepresented-minority groups - by providing a unique learning environment focused on social impact issues. Students will learn about the UN Global Goals and the role of business in achieving them, social enterprises, and social entrepreneurship and will explore their own passions and purpose through project-based and experiential learning.
Impact Fellows will:
- Move as a cohort through the Business and Society curriculum (Business and Society and Global Environment of Business). These courses uniquely blend business and the liberal arts to students can contextualize their knowledge of business thereby preparing them to address complex problems in a diverse and changing world.
- Participate in co-curricular activities like private opportunities to engage with speakers, site visits to impact organizations, and earning the Global Engagement badge.
- Enjoy the support of peer, faculty, and professional mentors as well as an academic adviser assigned to the cohort.
- Experience complex challenges in context in different regions or cultures through a domestic or international residency at the end of their first year.
- Engage in project-based learning experiences including a student-driven social impact initiative in their second year that will earn the Mason Impact designation.
- Work in a mission-focused organization through the Impact Internship Program at the end of their second year.
Our experiences educating our 40 percent first generation and 33 percent Pell Grant recipient undergraduate population affirm the maxim that talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not. A significant gift over 5 years for the Impact Fellows Program will guarantee access to some of the best and brightest young people by enabling us to hire key personnel, provide summer housing, offer travel support, support real-world learning opportunities, and offer scholarships.
Internships have become increasingly important gateways to employment post-graduation. Additionally, they offer our students an invaluable opportunity to further refine their interests, and develop confidence in themselves. However, as these opportunities are often offered without pay, they remain out of reach for many. To address the barriers underserved populations may face in accepting internships, the Center offers support in two ways through its Impact Internships Program.
- Many mission-focused organizations focused are not able to pay interns or cannot pay at a competitive rate leading some students interested in pursuing an impact internship to seek other better-paying opportunities due to financial constraints. Through the Impact Organization Internship Award, the Impact Internship Program will provide a stipend to students who would not otherwise be able to accept low-paying or unpaid internships.
- Even when an internship comes with compensation, some students cannot accept the position because the internship is in another city and the student would incur both travel and duplicate living costs thereby wiping out any earnings from the internship. Through the Internship Opportunity Award, the Impact Internship Program will provide stipends to students with financial need to help offset travel and living expenses.
Structure and mentorship are important elements of getting the most from experiential learning opportunities like internships. In addition to providing monetary support, we will provide an Impact Internship course through which students will earn course credit for their internship and receive guidance from a faculty member. If the student does not already have one, the Impact Internship program will provide a professional mentor to each student during the period of the Impact Internship.
Global Study Abroad:
Challenging yourself, expanding your worldview, learning a new language – these are just a few reasons why study abroad opportunities are an important part of a modern education. Through our own work establishing a trip based on our Honey Bee Initiative, and by collaborating with faculty that develops programing, the Center supports the Business School’s many study abroad offerings.