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WISE Fellowship Projects

Projects for the spring 2020 semester.

Questions about WISE? Read the FAQ or contact Yuri Seung, Program Manager.

Wharton Social Impact Initiative: Racial Equity and Impact Investing Research Project

Commitment: 8-10 hours/week for 10 weeks from February 17, 2020 – May 1, 2020

Keywords: Analysis, Data, PE/VC, Racial Equity, Research

Background

Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) is interested in researching private equity, private debt, or venture funds with an explicit racial equity lens. Fellows will collect data on these funds and conduct analysis of findings, which will include summarizing trends, key data points, and data visuals. Fellows will also have an opportunity to create one-page profile summaries on funds of their choosing, based on their analysis. The Fellows’ deliverables will be used in a future report to be published by WSII. Please see our Project Sage reports as an example.

Project Description

Fellows will work together to complete the following project deliverables:

  • Master spreadsheet of all funds and data that have a racial equity lens
  • Report with a summary of findings
  • 3-5 one-page profiles of funds

Activities will include:

  • Conducting secondary research
  • Collecting primary research in the form of interviews (via phone)
  • Synthesizing and analyzing data
  • Creating spreadsheet(s) and written reports with findings

Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) will hire up to two Wharton Impact Student Experience (WISE) Fellows for this project. Project scope activities will be completed remotely, with weekly check-ins with WSII staff.

Qualifications: We are seeking a diverse range of candidates that meet most/all of the following attributes and skills:

  • Current Wharton/Penn graduate student or highly qualified undergraduate student
  • Must be able to work independently to complete the project scope
  • Strong research skills with an ability to think through new avenues of research
  • Passion and excitement for understanding the landscape of impacting investing with a racial equity lens
  • Knowledge and experience with PE/VC and/or racial equity and related topics is a plus

Fellowship Award & Requirements:

  • Fellows are eligible for a taxable Fellowship award
  • $1,000/semester for graduate students
  • $12/hour for undergraduate, with a maximum of $1,500/semester

Participation in the WISE Fellowship and receiving the financial award is contingent upon the following:

  • Successful completion of the project activities listed above
  • Participation in WISE Fellowship programming
  • Completion of the end-of-semester survey for each semester participating in the WISE Fellowship, and a 500-word blog post or other form of media on any social impact topic, to be potentially published on the WSII website

To apply: We will be accepting applications and conducting interviews on a rolling basis.  Submit your resume via this application by 11:59pm on Monday, January 27th.  Only candidates moving to the interview round will be notified.

Questions: Contact Yuri Seung at syuri@wharton.upenn.edu.

About Wharton Social Impact Initiative

Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) is Wharton’s cross-disciplinary center for research, training, and outreach to strengthen business-based solutions to social and environmental challenges. Our mission is to build the evidence, talent, and community to advance business solutions for a better world.

Philadelphia Zoo: UNLESS Project

Commitment: 8-10 hours/week for 10 weeks from February 17, 2020 – May 1, 2020

Keywords: Business Planning, Impact Competitions, Strategic Growth, Program Design, Philadelphia

Background

Since 2011, the Philadelphia Zoo has been running the UNLESS contest. This is an annual environmental challenge for grades K-12 in the Greater Philadelphia area. The contest incorporates project-based learning, which encourages pro-environmental behaviors and action for wildlife. Projects have been submitted by over 17,000 students and reached over 12 million people in the Delaware Valley.

The Philadelphia Zoo intends to scale the UNLESS Contest, and has begun reaching out to other zoos across the country about implementing a version of the UNLESS contest in their regions. Philadelphia Zoo staff have considered a range of expansion options, but they are seeking a team of entrepreneurial Fellows to evaluate these options and recommend the best approach for scaling the competition regionally (in Philadelphia schools) and in zoos and aquariums nationwide.

Project Description

Fellows will work together to complete the following project deliverable:

  • Strategic expansion plan for the UNLESS contest that may include a timeline for implementation, checklist and/or a toolkit for future “partner” zoos.

Activities will include:

  • Growth strategy consulting
  • Creating presentation(s) on findings
  • Providing strategic recommendations to the client

Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) will hire up to two Wharton Impact Student Experience (WISE) Fellows for this project.  Fellows will have ample opportunity to interface with the Zoo’s Director of Strategic Initiatives as they complete their project.  Project scope activities will be completed remotely, with weekly check-ins with WSII staff and the Zoo (“the client).

Qualifications: We are seeking a diverse range of candidates that meet most/all of the following attributes and skills:

  • Current Wharton/Penn graduate student or highly qualified undergraduate student
  • Must be able to work independently to complete the Project Scope
  • Strong research skills with an ability to think through new avenues of research
  • Ability to organize work product and deliverables so they are client ready
  • Growth strategy consulting and/or education development experience preferred
  • Knowledge and experience with impact measurement a plus

Fellowship Award & Requirements:

  • Fellows are eligible for a taxable Fellowship award
  • $1,000/semester for graduate students
  • $12/hour for undergraduate, with a maximum of $1,500/semester

Participation in the WISE Fellowship and receiving the financial award is contingent upon the following:

  • Successful completion of the project activities listed above
  • Participation in WISE Fellowship programming
  • Completion of the end-of-semester survey for each semester participating in the WISE Fellowship, and a 500-word blog post or other form of media on any social impact topic, to be potentially published on the WSII website

To apply: We will be accepting applications and conducting interviews on a rolling basis.  Submit your resume via this application by 11:59pm on Monday, January 27th.  Only candidates moving to the interview round will be notified.

Questions: Contact Yuri Seung at syuri@wharton.upenn.edu.

About Wharton Social Impact Initiative

Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) is Wharton’s cross-disciplinary center for research, training, and outreach to strengthen business-based solutions to social and environmental challenges. Our mission is to build the evidence, talent, and community to advance business solutions for a better world.

About the Philadelphia Zoo

The region’s leading family destination and one of the area’s foremost conservation organizations, Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. Leveraging its platform as America’s first zoo, Philadelphia Zoo is working double-time to educate more than 1.2 million annual visitors about animal and environmental conservation via a first-in-the-world animal travel and exploration trail system, called Zoo360, that offers animals more room to roam, and KidZooU — a new KidZooU children’s zoo and education center that serves as a model for children’s zoos nationwide.

WIRED: Impact Investing Legal Research Project

Commitment: 8-10 hours/week from February 10, 2020 – May 01, 2020

Keywords: Database, Impact Investing, Legal Research Private Equity

Background: Impact investing is the practice of making investments with the dual objectives of generating financial return and creating tangible benefits for society and the planet. Since the term was coined in 2007, impact investing has inspired significant interest, debate, and capital commitment. Current estimates place expected growth as high as $1 trillion in the coming years.

The Wharton Social Impact Initiative is conducting research on data from impact-focused private equity funds to explore their financial performance and social impact. For the past several years, the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) has been hiring JD, JD/MBA, and LLM students to assist with a qualitative review of impact investing private equity legal documentation. Penn Law students have examined the ways in which impact investors embed a commitment to social impact in their transactional documents.

For Spring 2020, WSII is seeking 1-2 law students to continue this work.

Project Description: Wharton Impact Student Experience (WISE) Fellows will join a team of Wharton-affiliated researchers collecting survey and document-derived data on impact investing funds.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Evaluating transactional and investor documents, including private placement memoranda, limited partner agreements, private equity term sheets, operating agreements, etc.
  • Building a database of impact terms about strategy, management accountability, fee structures, executive compensation requirements, social impact measurement, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned by faculty

The WISE Fellows will work closely with WSII and will be expected to commit to on-site meetings/activities and regular team check-ins. The fellowship term is one semester, but a two-semester commitment is preferred.

Qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled at Penn Law
  • Strong analytical ability and attention to detail
  • Interest in social impact and impact investing
  • Ability to adhere to strict confidentiality protocols

Fellowship Award & Requirements: Fellows are eligible for a taxable Fellowship award:

  • Award will be at least $1,000/semester with potential supplementary award. Details will be finalized at time of hire.

Participation in the WISE Fellowship and receiving the financial award is contingent upon the following:

  • Successful completion of the project activities listed above
  • Participation in WISE Fellowship programming
  • Completion of the end-of-semester survey for each semester participating in the WISE Fellowship, and a 500-word blog post or other form of media on any social impact topic, to be potentially published on the WSII website

To apply: We will be accepting applications and conducting interviews on a rolling basis. Submit your resume via this application by 11:59pm on Monday, January 27th. Please submit your application as soon as possible. Only candidates moving to the interview round will be notified.

Questions: Contact Michael Brown at maozbro@wharton.upenn.edu

Expand your skills in research, consulting, and social impact.