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Internships help MBA-SEE graduates launch meaningful careers

Campus and Community

By Susan White

Alumni of a Faculty of Business Administration graduate program are developing successful and diverse careers, thanks to its mandatory internship.

To date, 24 people have graduated from the master of business administration in social enterprise and entrepreneurship (MBA-SEE) program, now in its third year.

‘Our graduates are doing impressive things’

“We’re so pleased with the type of students who’ve been attracted to the program so far, and our graduates are doing impressive, game-changing things,” said Dr. Tom Cooper, interim director of the master of business administration in social enterprise and entrepreneurship degree program at the Faculty of Business Administration.

“We began this program to help create change-agents, and the type of work that our graduates are doing is having exactly the kind of positive, societal impact that we hoped they would achieve.”

Where are they now? Check out the full feature here.

Internship supports immediate impact

Jamal Ali wears a white collared shirt. He has black curly hair that is close cropped.
Jamal Ali (MBA-SEE’21)
Photo: Submitted

A key component of the program – its four-month, mandatory internship – is critical in helping program alumni step into new careers and achieve that immediate impact.

Jamal Ali (MBA-SEE’21) of St. John’s completed his internship at ClearRisk Inc., a local technology company, where he developed corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and helped the company apply for B Corp certification.

ClearRisk owner Craig Rowe also sits on the board of directors for the World Alliance of YMCAs. Mr. Rowe connected Mr. Ali with the global organization, who developed several business plans for potential social enterprise initiatives that it can use to amplify its impact through new and sustainable revenue streams.

“To say I was satisfied with the MBA-SEE program would be an understatement,” said Mr. Rowe. “Jamal is an important member of our team now, and our CSR program, charitable partnerships and B Corp status are game-changing to ClearRisk. And what we’re doing with World YMCA could change that organization in a positive way forever.”

“What I did not expect was that the MBA-SEE internship would undoubtedly be the most personally compelling and transformative component of my entire academic path.” — Jamal Ali

Mr. Ali’s work continues at ClearRisk as its CSR co-ordinator, a position he’s held since graduation.

“Going into my internship, I anticipated a work opportunity that would draw upon my newly developed skills and concepts, and cement the “why” of formal studies with the “how” of practical implementation,” said Mr. Ali.

“What I did not expect was that the MBA-SEE internship would undoubtedly be the most personally compelling and transformative component of my entire academic path.”

Passion for social enterprise

Mariana Jiménez Ojeda from Mexico City graduated from the MBA-SEE in 2021. She completed her internship at Buy Social Canada in Vancouver, B.C.

Pictured left to right are MBA-SEE graduates Garrett Melee, MMariana Jiménez Ojeda. They are seated on a boat and wearing yellow lifejackets.andy Penney and
From left, MBA-SEE students Garrett Melee, Mandy Penney and Mariana Jiménez Ojeda are pictured during a class trip to Fishing for Success in Petty Harbour. The class cohort were part of the same COVID-19 bubble.
Photo: Submitted

Buy Social Canada is a social enterprise with a mission to advance and grow social procurement by redefining how goods and services are bought and sold and building relationships between social suppliers and purchasers. It’s leading the movement for community capital creators across Canada.

Ms. Jiménez Ojeda, who has a background in engineering and social responsibility, oversaw a digital audit, provided social media management support and completed an analysis of the company’s processes and operations during her internship.

“Mariana accomplished a lot during her time with us at Buy Social Canada,” said Niamh O’Sullivan, operations manager. “Her passion for social enterprise and building healthy communities clearly shines through her work. She was a wonderful addition to our team.”

Becoming social entrepreneurs

Since graduating, Ms. Jiménez Ojeda has been accepted into the Social Ventures Incubator at Memorial’s Centre for Social Enterprise, where she is developing a company called Howby with fellow MBA-SEE graduate Garrett Melee.

Howby seeks to provide safe, long-term homes to rescue dogs by providing value-added training, while also positively influencing the mental well-being of participants.

“My professional goal is to advocate and facilitate strategies and activities toward a multi-stakeholder, holistic well-being,” said Ms. Jiménez Ojeda. “The MBA-SEE reinforced my belief that this is possible and necessary, and provided me with the tools to conceptualize and communicate the process and impact of doing so.”

All students in the MBA-SEE program must complete a four-month internship, which may include developing their own social venture.

Applications for the program are now being accepted.

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