Social Impact MBA

Max Brodsky, MBA'20

Max Brodsky, MBA'20
Max Brodsky, MBA'20

AmeriCorps*VISTA alumnus

Max Brodsky’s career working in child and family services has taken him around the world, from teaching in South Korea to traveling through the Himalayas, to charter schools in New York City, and most recently to Waltham, Massachusetts.

Prior to enrolling in the Heller School’s Social Impact MBA program, Brodsky decided to leave the classroom in an effort to have a larger impact on problems facing low-income children and families. 

He says, “I took a service year with AmeriCorps*VISTA and ended up being placed at Brandeis to help oversee programs that work with low-income community centers here in Waltham. Serving with VISTA is something I found to be incredibly important. I was able to fine-tune more of what I hope to be as a leader.” While serving with VISTA he also took a director role at the Chesterbrook Community Foundation, a Waltham nonprofit engaged in similar work. 

“I learned while I was running the nonprofit that there’s so much I don’t know,” he says. “I’d already earned a master’s in education while I was in New York City, but that only teaches me how to convey information, to help children achieve their learning goals and understand educational standards. It doesn’t help me run a balanced budget, or manage operations, or build formal HR structures.” 

In the year ahead, Brodsky says he’s most excited about Brenda Anderson’s financial accounting course. “It’s a puzzle with numbers, and it’s fascinating to play with. I have no experience with it, and as a hard skill it’s very important to me.”

In terms of first impressions, Brodsky describes his initial weeks at Heller as an incredibly welcoming and warm place. “What I’ve been most struck by was the range in experiences from the rest of my classmates in the MBA cohort, and how much I can learn from all of them. It’s a great opportunity to work with such an interesting and diverse group of people.”

After finishing the Social Impact MBA degree, Brodsky hopes to continue his work with organizations that serve children in poverty, perhaps at an organization that provides education for children of migrant workers and/or transient youth. “We need to have support structures for these kids, some of whom come in at age 18. We need to figure how to best help them before some of the federal funding dries up. I want to be working on those problems.”