Welcome, Wharton MBAs! 5 Ways to Get Involved in Social Impact This Semester

MBA candidates at pre-term
MBA candidates at pre-term


You’ve already had a blast at the Wharton Olympics and started networking with your cluster. You’re working your way through the student onboarding checklist. Maybe you’ve even found your favorite new coffee shop in Rittenhouse Square.

Now it’s time to really get started. Welcome to Wharton!

Every year, we see incoming students arrive on campus hungry for the knowledge and specialized skills to make a difference in their careers and in the world.

After seven years of growth and innovation at Wharton Social Impact Initiative, we’re listening and taking an approach to social impact that’s distinctly Wharton.

Our focus: building the evidence base for social impact with industry-shaping research, and growing the talent pipeline for future—and current—social impact leaders through training and outreach.

So here are five ways to get involved right now.

1. Enhance your MBA with social impact courses.

Explore one of many social impact courses, such as Impact Investing, Environmental Sustainability and Value Creation, Social Entrepreneurship, and Social Impact of Marketing. In addition, field-based courses allow you to explore societal challenges and potential solutions from the ground up. Read some previous course suggestions from students and browse a list of 30+ graduate-level courses.

2. Become a Fellow.

The Social Impact Fellowship provides a framework for understanding and experiencing social impact. Through the Fellowship, you’ll strengthen your research, strategy, and operational skills in projects that have real-world impact. Browse current openings and apply.

3. Apply to WIIP or WAGP

What are those acronyms? Just some of the most in-demand student experiences on campus—and you can apply to join now.

  • The Wharton Impact Investing Partners (WIIP) is an award-winning student investment group. WIIP sources and conducts diligence on early and expansion-stage companies with intentional social or environmental impact. Each year, the group’s work results in at least one $50,000 investment.
  • The Wharton Africa Growth Partners (WAGP) is a student-led program designed to foster inclusive social and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Following the example of WIIP, this group sources investment opportunities, conducts due diligence, and provides technical assistance to promising companies.
Student Perspective: Divinity Matovou, WG’17, was a 2016-17 co-president of WIIP. Hear her story about going from entrepreneur to investor.

4. Go clubbing.

The Wharton Social Impact Club, that is. Or one of the many professional, social, or special interest clubs available on campus. WSIC is the premier MBA student club for social impact, and regularly hosts events (like the Impactful Thursdays lunch-and-learn series) and opportunities to connect outside of the classroom.

Student Perspective: Mary Gamber, WG’17, wrote about her top five ways to get involved at Wharton. (Spoiler: student clubs are #1.)

5. Stay connected.

The first few weeks of your MBA experience can be like drinking through a firehose. There are so many opportunities to explore!

Want an easy way to find out what’s coming up? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and we’ll send you upcoming events, fellowship positions, updates on the latest social impact research, and interesting stories in one convenient package.

[Download our slides from the 2017 Pre-term Info Session]

What’s out there for undergrads? See at our top five picks.