Social Impact MBA

Leah Sakala, MBA/MPP'17

Leah Sakala, MBA/MPP'17
Leah Sakala, MPP/MBA'17

State Policy Manager at Alliance for Safety and Justice

What one piece of career advice do you have for future Heller MBA students?

Decide what's most important for you to get out of your grad school experience for your personal and professional growth and then prioritize accordingly. There's an enormous amount of opportunity at Heller, and nobody can do everything!

How are you using your Heller MBA degree in your workplace today?

I work on multi-state policy development and advocacy as part of a small team in a growing nonprofit, so my dual MPP/MBA degrees are relevant to everything I do. My time at Heller helped me understand how to be a more effective actor and problem solver on the macro level (policy work) and on the micro level (within my organization and team). It also helped me find some unexpected parallels and connections between the two.

How are you advancing social impact in your career today?

I support campaigns to improve public safety through policy development, research, and advocacy. We work on a wide range of issues, including supporting survivors of violence, replacing outdated criminal justice policy with more effective safety solutions, and reducing barriers for people with old criminal records. Everyone deserves to be safe from harm and to have the resources they need to heal and thrive. My work bridges policymaking, organizing, research, and communications, and I'm constantly learning something new.