Social Impact MBA

Student Profiles

Heller MBA students are a special crowd. We believe that our program attracts people who are uniquely innovative, hardworking, collaborative, warm and dedicated to social change. Our students hail from diverse backgrounds and professional experiences but all of them cultivate the skills and professional relationships here at Heller to graduate and manage for a mission. 

Oliver Torres

Oliver Torres, MBA’24

Recipient of the Heller Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship

After graduation, Torres hopes to use his MBA to continue his leadership in community-centered impact. He is exploring career options in impact investing, philanthropy, and non-profit consulting in order to bridge gaps between grassroots movements and newly emerging financial advocacy spaces. He aims to transform non-profit funding structures so that impacted community voices will lead movements and advocacy. 

“Heller is perfect because the Social Impact MBA couples quantitative skills and management skills with a social impact lens, and to me, that helps to answer the question of how to be a community-centered leader,” he says.

Luca Procaccianti

Luca Procaccianti, MBA'24

Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) Fellow

Procaccianti enrolled in Heller’s Social Impact MBA program in fall 2022, where they’re focusing on labor and workforce issues. “I never thought I would have ended up in a business program, ever, and as someone who’s anti-capitalist it was really hard for me to grapple with that. But for me, business school was the answer.”

Procaccianti wants future students to know that a business degree can absolutely be the right choice for many people who might otherwise not seriously consider it. “As somebody who did not feel that they were meant for business school or the business world: I am. Just because the world might not be ready for that, doesn’t mean that I’m not going to make it happen. Just because you might not fit the mold for what a business student is, doesn’t mean you shouldn't come. In fact it’s probably the reason why you should.”

Adriana Neira Caamano

Adriana Neira, MBA/MA SID’24

Neira is interested in exploring topics like income disparity, access to healthcare, access to education, and human rights in general. With the skills she is gaining through the MBA and MA SID programs, she hopes to be involved in working with these issues after graduation, and wants to have an impact on international policy. Neira is still exploring the options available to her at Heller and beyond, but she is happy to dive head-first into projects that make a positive difference in the world.

“I knew I wanted to work in policy, because policy affects every aspect of every person’s life. And once I started looking at Heller, I realized the school’s values aligned with mine,” she says.
Monique DeSimone, MA SID/MBA’23

Monique DeSimone, MA SID/MBA’23

Recipient of the Reaching Out MBA Scholarships (LGBTQ+)

DeSimone came to Heller eager to build off her financial services expertise and learn more about program management and equity-centric frameworks. She is pursuing dual master’s degrees: an MA in Sustainable International Development and a Social Impact MBA with a concentration in social entrepreneurship and impact management.

“I hope to redirect funds from traditionally capitalist institutions back into Black and indigenous communities of color,” she says. Leveraging those resources to address and adapt to the climate crisis will not only increase local climate resilience but will also help address historic inequity.
Ashley Brown, MBA'23

Ashley Brown, MBA'23

Recipient of the 100% scholarship for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs)

Brown is pursuing a social impact MBA with a concentration in social entrepreneurship. She says she is interested in creating her own non-profit, but is also intrigued by all the other avenues for social entrepreneurship she is learning about in the program.

“It’s given me different things to consider that I was unaware of but that have also piqued my interest,” she says.
Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumnus, Recipient of the Heller Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship

“Shirley Chisholm said, ‘Service is the rent you pay to live on earth.' I want to support communities that are disenfranchised, under-resourced, taken advantage of—the people experiencing cyclical poverty and hunger. We have come too far for people to still suffer from things they don’t have to.”

That's why Havercome has dedicated her life to service, from distributing canned goods and school materials in her grandmother’s home country of Guyana as a child, to working for AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps after graduating from college.

Tori Lee, MBA/MS GHPM’22

Tori Lee, MBA/MS GHPM’22

“Heller is one of the few institutions where I saw an equal marriage of hard, corporate skills but also social justice values. I could learn to manage people and practice health equity in the same school.”

“I’m really interested in expanding what health care as a human right looks like in the United States, and for all people,” Lee says, referencing ideas such as Medicare for All. She hopes to help unite different institutions to create policy, “marrying my organizing background with more of the strategic project management that I'm learning here at Heller.”

Charlie Stoever, MBA'22

Charlie Stoever, MBA'22

“I want to empower people, especially LGBTQ folks, people of color, to dive into finance and learn about financial literacy. When COVID caused the stock market to dive, people like me who were financially literate could take advantage of lower-priced stocks, while millions were applying for unemployment.”

Looking for a way to increase their financial knowledge and go beyond one-on-one financial advising, Stoever found Heller, drawn to its Social Impact MBA and Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowships, as well as the opportunity to learn more about social entrepreneurship and socioeconomic disparities.