At Chicago Booth, a number of students each year show an interest in pursuing careers in social impact. As Booth’s hub for people tackling complex social and environmental problems, the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is working to help these Booth students positively impact humanity and our planet. Together with Career Services, the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation helps students explore careers in the social sector.

The Rustandy Center reached out to Haven Leeming, MBA ’18, MPP ’18, a program officer at Walton Personal Philanthropy Group, to learn about her Booth experience and some of the programs and resources that helped her pursue a career in social impact.

Why did you decide to come to Booth to pursue a career in social impact?

I looked for an MBA program that was strong both in managerial decision making and in how the firm operates in society. As a professional in philanthropy, I think about how—or if—business can advance social change. Sure, many people will argue that corporations only report to their shareholders, but I thrive at the intersection between policy and business. I knew Booth would provide me with both a background on the market and a strong curriculum on the non-market environment, and a joint degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy would provide me with a background on policy. It also helped that in both campuses I could tailor-create my curriculum to focus on classes that would augment my career in philanthropy.

From the first day I stepped into Booth’s Harper Center, as soon as I mentioned that I was interested in social impact, everyone from second years to professors to staff to fellow first years suggested I spend time at the Rustandy Center. It was terrific advice!