Andrew Granatstein, MBA Class of 2023
I spent this past summer working at the NC IDEA Foundation, a private foundation focused on fostering equitable economic development in the state of North Carolina by way of entrepreneurship. As a Summer Graduate Fellow, most of my time was devoted to supporting entrepreneurs who have received NC IDEA grants with key projects to help them grow their businesses. This amounted to 14 different external projects for 14 different startups/founders, across an array of industries, company stages and geographies within the state. NC IDEA’s organizational mandate is to devote at least half of all resources towards underserved founders (in reality, this number is much higher), and I am happy to have spent over 90% of my time as a Fellow directly serving underrepresented founders. The future success of these entrepreneurs will have a direct and positive social impact on their local communities and the entire state, through job creation and reinvestment in those communities.
My experience at NC IDEA helped solidify the role that social impact can play in my career journey, while also providing unique founder-side experience I was looking for to better myself as a venture capital investor. The Social Impact Summer Grant allowed me to pursue a non-traditional MBA internship experience in my own local community without any added financial stressors. I am grateful to donors of the Stacia L. Wood Social Impact Summer Grant program and the team at the Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability for their support.
Naz Shakib, MBA Class of 2023
I Interned with the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) this past summer as a Technology Commercialization Consultant and worked with two startups as clients. My first client was a DEI Tech startup, Diviscy, with an all-female founding team. Diviscy aspires to minimize micro-aggression in communication, specifically eliminating communication biases toward minority employees. I helped them do market research to identify 25 large corporations as potential customers. My other client was a real estate due diligence SaaS company named SWIFT Sites that aims to eliminate the high level of complexity that real estate developers face due to varied local government policies and restrictions. I worked to develop a financial model encompassing their different growth scenarios, which enabled them to make a market expansion decision based on effective financial projections.
The SISG grant was very helpful to me since I was not paid at a typical MBA market rate during the internship. I am appreciative for the support, which allowed me to focus on the tasks at hand without stressing about my finances.