Follow Your Heart: Smith Students Network with Impact-Driven Professionals

While it’s safe to say that MBA students at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business are shooting for careers with big salaries, many also want a job that doesn’t compromise their values and supports a cause they feel passionate about.

During the Social Impact Career Workshop series co-hosted by Center for Social Value Creation, Office of Career Services, and co-founder of More Than Money Careers, Mrim Boutla, Smith students learned how to translate experience and education into a career path aligned with their moral compass.

Workshop 3, “Get Networking,” was the capstone event to this three part series that gave Smith students the opportunity to meet and network with alumni who are now impact-driven professionals. Following workshops 1 and 2, which blended practical exercises and mobile technology to strengthen students understanding and help them engage with career resources at Smith, Workshop 3 began with two short panels highlighting alumni from the for-profit and non-profit sectors. All of the alumni seemed to share a common motivation in pursuing social impact work: a belief in the power of business to address social or environmental issues.

Following the panel, students spoke with the alumni in a speed networking adaptation– an alumnus was placed at each table in the room and groups of students rotated among the tables during three networking sessions. Students tried out their new ‘impact elevator pitches’ they had worked on in previous workshops and alumni provided them feedback. Ultimately, what began as simple pitch feedback often became great conversation.

“I loved hearing about the paths the alumni have taken to get to where they are now,” said Smith student Kushaan Shah after the event. “It really makes me hopeful that I can take what I’ve learned at Smith and do something I love.”


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