Heller Profiles

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Sherria Saafir


MBA '15

Standing at the intersection of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors

Sherria Saafir's goal is to take the strategies often employed by corporations and apply them to the nonprofit world

Sherria’s interest in the Heller MBA Program stemmed from her desire to obtain the necessary management skills to run a nonprofit organization. She envisioned a learning experience where she could relate business skills to social issues, and she found that at Heller. “The class discussions can bounce from finance issues to social issues, connecting these often disparate entities,” Sherria notes.

Sherria comes to Heller with both domestic and international business experience. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, Sherria consulted to women’s groups and special interest groups in her community on business strategies, including creating micro-businesses and receiving low-interest rate government loans. Building on this experience, she then worked as an associate for the National Council for Economic Education. In this role she gained vital project management experience as she helped manage the National Economics Challenge.

For her TCP project, Sherria served as a consultant for the Boks Foundation. This experience gave her particular insight into the role of stakeholders in an organization’s growth. Her team designed a growth strategy for the school-fitness program, taking into account both stakeholder needs and the local volunteer logistics that were necessary for program implementation.

Currently, Sherria is directly applying skills learned at Heller to her role on the advisory board for the Women of Means organization. Particularly useful in this setting is the Fundraising and Development class, where she has learned practical skills to raise money for women served by the organization.

Her prior work experiences, combined with her TCP, have given Sherria a fond appreciation of for-profit and nonprofit relationships. After graduation, she hopes to continue working at the intersection of these sectors through Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) initiatives on the for-profit side or managing a nonprofit’s corporate sponsors. “Throughout my courses, I really learned the meaning of ‘shared value’ and how corporations do not have to be the enemy,” says Sherria. Ideally, she would like to take the strategies often employed by corporations and apply them to the nonprofit world.

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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