THE INSPIRING CAPITAL SUMMER FELLOWSHIP
First, to fully understand our model, it's important to know how it started. Here's some IC folklore for you:
In May of 2012, we posted an opening for a single MBA intern for the summer, and realized, after receiving 72 applications in just 10 days, that one internal position was not enough to take advantage of the wealth of enthusiastic, purpose-driven talent emerging from business schools.
So, we built a fellowship program around nine of those initial MBAs, outsourcing them on summer projects for consulting clients around NYC. The model worked beautifully, and has become the cornerstone of our unique blended training/consulting structure.
Each year since, we've spent the fall and winter recruiting students who are looking to spend the summer between their first and second years of their MBA program leveraging their business acumen for good, and consider career opportunities in social impact. We put applicants through a four-round selection process to select for the qualities we think will make them most successful working with our clients, and then we pair them with an impact-driven organization for the summer.
What's in it for our fellows?
100+ hours of training, in the form of guest speakers from across the social impact sector, IC-facilitated training modules on topics like Earned Income for Nonprofits, Design Thinking, and Technology for Good.
Hands-on consulting experience working directly with a mission-driven client on a strategy, finance, or operations project.
Network connections -- last summer's fellow's reported a 150% increase in the size of their professional networks after the fellowship.
What's in it for our clients?
Curated access to top business-school talent, whom we also vet for characteristics like comfort with ambiguity, ability to work in resource-constrained environments, and genuine commitment to integrating purpose and profit.
Facilitated networking with other clients and members of IC's network community, including investors, funders, service providers, and additional talent.
Outsourced, actionable project outcomes - we work with each client to scope a consulting experience that results in useful tools, templates, reports, or strategies that they can employ to accelerate their impact and profitability.
What makes the model different?
Our training programs are directly informed by our consulting work with clients from across tax-status, industry, and issue area, and our consulting work similarly draws from the wealth of sector knowledge and expertise we develop in our professional network. We're stubbornly committed to maintaining a blended model, and both sides provide enormous value to the other.
Our network-based approach fully leverages the collective intellectual and social capital of our community to the mutual benefit of all parties involved.
We take our work seriously, but don't take ourselves too seriously. We're stubbornly optimistic, enthusiastic about learning and social change, and love the people we work with.