Social Impact MBA

Heller MBA Careers

As a Heller student, you will work closely with the Career Development Center to define your professional goals and build strategies to achieve them. Beginning with the online Career Academy the summer before orientation, MBA students meet with career advisors, attend professional development workshops and employer events. You will be supported at every stage, from initial career visioning through resume development, networking training and practice interviews.

Upon graduation you will know how to create and implement strategies, improve operations, compare the financial implications of different programs, measure impact and know how to act as ethical, inclusive leaders among a variety of stakeholders. Our MBA students land great jobs through our alumni network, their Team Consulting Project, the Board Fellows Program, career treks, and information sessions with employers. In a recent survey of 2018 MBA graduates, 100 percent were employed or continuing their education a year after graduation.

Meet our alumni:

Emilia Dunham, MBA/MPP'15 in a black suit

Emilia Dunham, MBA/MPP’15

Manager of Special Projects, MassHealth Office of Behavioral Health

From budget and contract management to meeting with sheriffs and corrections officers, Dunham’s responsibilities at MassHealth are broad and no two days are the same. Fortunately, she says, her Heller experience prepared her with the transferrable skills and resourcefulness needed to establish and grow a new program. “As an MPP/MBA dual degree student, I had to learn to be adaptable, to pick up a broad skillset that enabled me to take on this project and do whatever was needed for it.”
Brian Schon, MPP/MBA'11

Brian Schon, MPP/MBA'11

Co-founder, True Colombia Travel & Cannúa

"One of the best things that comes out of a school like Heller is the network and the depth of knowledge that you can get from other people connected to the school. We constantly sort of just bounced ideas off of each other. Over the years, we've gone to each other's weddings, seen each other’s children. In addition, it’s been great watching my classmates’ career development. A few years after graduation, these people are directors of departments for state and federal level or different agencies and it's neat to see them grow and have these tools that none of us had before."

Learn more about Brian's work.

Brenna Schneider, MBA'12

Founder and CEO, 99Degrees Custom

Schneider founded 99Degrees to manufacture athletic apparel in Lawrence, Massachusetts, shortly after earning her MBA at Heller. But in response to the COVID-19 crisis, her company is now producing isolation gowns—employing 150 workers as U.S. unemployment rates skyrocket and providing critical PPE to hospitals dealing with an influx of COVID-19 patients. 

"We asked, what is the product that addresses the most urgent need? That’s when we settled on isolation gowns for the medical community. We’re trained at Heller to not just pursue business opportunities, but to take on the harder challenge, which is always to look at the social impact of business on our team, on our community, on our economy."

Learn more about Brenna's work. 

Maryse Pearce, MBA/MPP'18

Maryse Pearce, MBA/MPP'18

Program Manager, Stonewall Community Foundation

“I was drawn in by Heller’s social justice focus. I didn’t want to have to do a more traditional graduate program and translate that to the work I wanted to do. I wanted to be around people who cared about the same things I cared about.”

Pearce still draws on her classes, such as fundraising and development, practicing philanthropy, and financial management, as well as her fellowship experience at the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy, in her work today.

Learn more about Maryse's work.

Kelly Axtell, MBA'05

Deputy Town Manager, Lexington, Massachusetts

After attending a conference for municipal leaders, Axtell realized that the management skills she’d gained through the MBA, particularly from the Team Consulting Project, could make her a good fit to become deputy town manager in Lexington, Massachusetts. She juggles the constant influx of people coming through her door with the long-term work on town policies.

“I’m just one person, but if I can guide the town and help people make informed decisions, it’s very gratifying. You can see the benefits for years.”

Learn more about Kelly's work.

Fran Hodgins, MBA/MPP'18

Fran Hodgins, MBA/MPP'18

Program Associate, Health Policy Commission

"I've always been interested in public policy and public sector work because of the potential to bring positive change to some of societies most pervasive challenges. However, before coming to Heller, I wasn't sure exactly what my focus would be. Through a combination of academic and real-world experiences during my time at Heller, I became more attuned to the role that government can play in addressing social determinants of health and other upstream factors that can improve population health and reduce inequities. The combined MPP/MBA program has given me the content knowledge and management skills to understand and analyze these issues."

Learn more about Fran's work.

Kate Barrett, MBA'12

Director of Development Strategy, Upstream

"The frameworks that I learned during my time at Heller, I still use today in managing projects, diagnosing an issue and charting strategy. I also have found my ability to read, analyze and interpret financial statements to be a key skill across different roles (in my experience as funder, but also as a fundraiser). And finally, while fundraising and development are very much an art, I learned the science and process behind the work that made a topic that can be overwhelming ("no money, no mission!") much more formulaic and approachable."

Read more about Kate's work here. 

Roger Perez, MBA/MA SID'16

Senior Associate, Nonprofit Finance Fund

"Heller's curriculum, faculty, staff, and students prepared me well to work directly with senior-level financial and strategic decision makers. From the Team Consulting Project to accounting classes to the focus on social justice and equity, Heller bolstered my technical capacities as well as refined the interpersonal skills needed to help mission-driven organizations achieve their outcomes. The transition to my current role was smooth, as I was able to hit the ground running and contribute immediately to team efforts."

Heather McMann, MBA'12

Heather McMann, MBA'12

Executive Director, Groundwork Lawrence and Board President, Groundwork USA

"I purposely chose to do the MBA, it is a type of degree people understand. Now, as I sit on a board with bankers and other professionals with technical backgrounds, what I have learned really matters. It helps me lean into my own voice."

Read more about Heather's journey here.

Siiri Morley, MBA'09

Executive Director, Strong Women, Strong Girls

"As a leader/activist/advocate who has now run two start-up social enterprises and is bringing new life to an established nonprofit, I have been using all of the skills that I learned at Heller on a daily basis in every role that I've had since leaving Heller. The MBA helped me build skills to dream big and create a vision while also giving me the day to day management skills to make things happen - all while thinking deeply about how to create a world with more social justice."

Isaac Rothbart, MBA/MA'09

Director of Finance and Administration, NYC Police Foundation

"The nonprofit world changed from a generation ago. Now, many nonprofits are large organizations with multi-million-dollar budgets and projects. So financial acumen has become essential for professionals in the field, and Heller provided that training for me."

Read more about Isaac's work. 

Jackie Hodgson, MBA'15

Director of Consulting, Common Impact

"The Heller MBA program uniquely exposed me to both the for-profit and nonprofit business worlds so that I can speak both sectors' languages and understand their different operating models. This cross-sector knowledge, coupled with the real time consulting experience I gained during the Team Consulting Project, set me up for success for my current role in which I lead Common Impact's consulting team."

James Miller, MBA/MPP’11

James Miller, MBA/MPP'11

Former Executive Director, LGBT Center of Raleigh

"Heller stepped up with a way I could conduct my own education and research that was relevant to the queer rights movement and HIV policy. I’ll be honest: the dual MPP and MBA was extremely difficult but so rewarding, because I learned more than I ever thought I could have. How can we fundamentally change policy using the capitalist system as it exists currently? That was super powerful for me."

Read more about James' work. 

Nicole McCauley, MBA'16

Human Capital Analyst, Deloitte

"As a consultant now, having the Team Consulting Project experience was immensely valuable. I'm very confident interacting with clients, meeting tight deadlines and working with a diverse set of colleagues to provide high quality work. Heller taught me to be bold in my thinking and ideas, giving me the confidence to push for change in the workplace as much as in my personal life."

Read more about Nicole's work. 

Sam Watson ’01, MBA’06

Founder, the SamFund

She was one of 70,000 young adults diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S. "After I finished treatment, I decided to put together a fundraiser with some friends and donate the proceeds to a group that was helping young adults after cancer treatment, but we didn’t find any organizations that did that. I was 25 at the time, and I was professionally equipped to do nothing. That's when I decided to apply to Heller."

Read more about Sam's work. 

Kristen Whited Beals, MBA/MPP'15

Kristen Whited Beals, MBA/MPP'15

Asylum Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

"Heller is a great place for people who would like to be bridges. To get the tools you need to better communicate in an area you're already passionate about. So, save all your research papers, your TCP (Team Consulting Project) paper and proposal writing projects."

Read more about Kristen's work. 

Josh Cramer-Montes, MBA/MA SID'17

Communications and Engagement Director, Sustainable Business & Innovation at Nike

"The pressing environmental, economic and social issues of today are all interconnected and will become more so in the coming decades. Approaching them holistically will be key. Both the SID and MBA programs mix the theoretical with the practical but for me, the SID program heightened my awareness of social injustice while the MBA program gave me the hard skills needed to develop strategies to work against it. Together, these programs—along with the Heller staff and faculty—built upon my previous professional and educational experiences and positioned me well to get to where I am today."

Andrea Hayes, MBA'15

Account Executive, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

"I provide oversight and manage risk for FHA insured and/or HUD assisted multifamily housing for disabled, elderly, and low-income individuals. The Heller MBA prepared me to add value in non-traditional business fields where those skills are highly coveted. It's gratifying to know that the business decisions that I make create a social impact."

Jesse Mattleman, MBA'15

Executive Director, Hope and Comfort

"My education at Heller provided a well-rounded foundation for the strategic, financial, and leadership skills required to lead in the nonprofit sector. Hope and Comfort is a relatively young organization with ambitious plans for growth - so I enjoy the opportunity to wear many hats, hustle in an entrepreneurial environment, and pull upon learnings from my diverse Heller courses. Not to mention, I got connected to this opportunity in the first place because someone in my Heller cohort made an introduction!"

Stephanie Hurley, MBA'17

Manager of District Partnerships, Transforming Education

"I facilitate the integration of social-emotional learning initiatives into schools and districts across the country. I work directly with district leaders to manage a change process in which they plan, test and implement research-based strategies."

Ricky Ochilo, MPP/MBA'15

Ricky Ochilo, MPP/MBA'15

Relationship Manager, Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency

"Sometimes policymakers don’t understand the contextual issues at the community level. That's why I wanted to focus on the role of policy analysis and research. How do you craft policy to change the situation and the negative aspects of policymaking to address the challenges in the community that you’re witnessing? I realized, to shift paradigms we were witnessing with respect to economic fragmentation, I needed to have the tools to champion all the outcomes I'd like to see and that's what led me to Heller."

Read more about Ricky's work. 

Mary Casady, MBA'15

Project Manager, Executive Office for Administration and Finance at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

"I help bring efficiency improvements and cost savings measures to administrative policies for the 42,000 employees of the Commonwealth. In my role, I also serve on the board of MassVentures, which is a quasi-public private Venture Capitalist organization focused on the Massachusetts economy. My Heller education prepared me very well for the diverse responsibilities of this role."

Jason Lynch, MBA'15

Executive Director, Charity Defense Council

"Our mission is to reverse misconceptions about charity in order to drive faster social progress. As executive director, I'm responsible for strategy, fundraising, and building our member base. Without going to Heller, I'm not sure I would have had the confidence to assume an executive director role at a young age. Earning an MBA demystified the world of management, budgeting, and financial statements. It also connected me to a talented group of likeminded peers, many of whom I expect will be lifelong friends."

Afsana Jahan, MBA'17

Senior Analyst, Boston Impact Initiative

"Heller introduced me to impact investing and taught me the financial skills to be successful in my current role. At Boston Impact Initiative, I identify potential social enterprises, analyze their business model and financials, and then help prepare them to present to our investment committee. Later in the process, I also negotiate deals for both financial and non-financial covenants."

Analissa Iversen, MBA/MPP'16

Consultant, ORS Impact

"The most important thing I took away from Heller was the way I approach my work. As someone passionate about social change, I bring a much stronger equity lens to every aspect of my work as a result of my time at Heller. I also feel more confident, more organized, and generally more impactful in my work processes."

Sho Garland, MBA/MPP'15

Sho Garland, MBA/MPP'15

Boston Community Programs Manager, Keshet

"I manage, support, and implement all of Keshet's community building work in Boston by creating and running programs for LGBTQ Jews. I also support Keshet's education and training work by building relationships and working with Boston-area Jewish institutions. Heller's MBA program gave me financial acumen for budgeting and the knowledge to think strategically about my programming long-term."

Eliza Chard

Eliza Chard, MBA/MA SID'16

Technical Services Manager, Making Cents International

"If you care about your cause, get a management degree. I'd never have guessed that I'd be pursuing an MBA, but after many years in the field I realized that I couldn't get my work done when the management of the organization wasn't functioning properly. Our work needs passionate people with tangible skills in order to make the impact we envision."

Sylvia Murray, MBA/MA COEX'18

The founder of nonprofit organization Sarus explains why she chose to pursue the dual degree MBA and master's in conflict resolution and coexistence.