A welcome breath of fresh air. A tall, cool glass of water. The early summer’s sunshine on a pale and sallow cheek. How else to describe the most refreshing and inspirational experience of my professional career?


(Love these!)

Last Monday, I started work as an MBA Fellow with Inspiring Capital, a New York-based social venture focused on pairing professional business perspectives with growing social enterprises. By 10:00 am that morning, I had deduced that my previous internship experience, a 2007 slog through the “middle” office of a law firm, was unlikely to provide much useful precedent at Inspiring Capital –

Colleagues – Law Firm, 2007:

-       Khakis a popular choice

-       Constant coffee, bathroom breaks

-       Bosses balding, vaguely damp-smelling, “hilarious”

-       Preferred quitting time: On time

Colleagues – Inspiring Capital, 2014:

-       Hail from five countries

-       Speak six languages, including Kannada and Swahili.

-       Constant probing, questioning

-       Bosses young, fashionable, hilarious

-       Preferred arrival time: Early

My fellow Fellows seem, in short, DYNAMIC, DIVERSE, MOTIVATED!! And highly so. This optimistic and enthusiastic bunch would brighten the darkest cubicles, let alone the bright, sun- and purpose-drenched space we inhabit at 7WTC.

But the most compelling aspects of orientation week were visionary leadership and the exciting promise of what’s to come. CEO Nell and COO Yael organized a week packed with stimulating speakers from every corner of the NYC social enterprise universe, and outlined a summer curriculum that emphasizes Fellows’ practical personal and professional development – pragmatic training for a fruitful and impactful career.


Limitless possibility: The view from 7WTC

Over the ten-week program’s course, MBA Fellows will build a portfolio of financial, strategic and impact analysis, gain on-the-ground experience with burgeoning social ventures, and develop a robust network of contacts in New York. Come next year’s MBA recruiting season, Fellows will have a major head-start in their job search, thanks to our bosses’ thoughtful, sensible, and just plain hard work.

I am blown away by the dedication and ambition of our fearless leaders, and can’t wait to see what comes next.

Motivation, Inspiration, Ambition, Connections, Vision, Orientation, Summer Internships, MBA Internships, Social Enterprise Internships, Professional Development, Leadership, Business School, New York, Nell Debevoise, Yael Silverstein, Swahili, 7 World Trade Center, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Oxford, NYU, Social Enterprise, Nonprofit, Not-for-profit, Innovation

-Caleb Ballou