Kellogg is thrilled to announce that five students have been named 2017 Siebel Scholars.
Jonathan Goldstein, Bo Gustafsson, Jackie Laine, Iris Tian and Austin Vanaria will each receive a $35,000 award for their final year of graduate studies.
The awards recognize top students from the world’s most prestigious business, computer science, bioengineering and energy science graduate programs, and scholars are chosen based on outstanding academic performance and leadership. On average, Siebel Scholars rank in the top 5 percent of their class, many within the top 1 percent.
The five Kellogg students inducted into the Class of 2017 Siebel Scholars demonstrate this academic rigor, as well as a commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact.
By Linnette Lam
I first visited Haiti in 2014. At the time, I was a management consultant based out of Los Angeles, California working with Fortune 100 executives from some of the most well-known companies in the world. While I really enjoyed the novelty of my work, I believed that my business knowledge could serve an even higher purpose beyond entertainment, high-tech and consumer goods.
When I traveled to Haiti — a land of beautiful, grassy vistas that is home to some of the most welcoming people I have ever met — I witnessed extreme poverty. Haiti was one of the most gorgeous places I’d ever seen, but it was also the most destitute place I have ever been. While many charities supplied food and clothing to help the poor in Haiti, I wondered if there was a way that I could help the poor in a realm that I had more expertise in: business, change management and people management.
By Joe Verde
It took just a few days in Evanston to realize my path to Kellogg was unique, and so were those of each of my 491 classmates. Everyone has a story, and at Kellogg, I’ve learned to embrace mine and welcome others.
My single mother always instilled the merits of discipline in me and my brother Ralph and routinely preached the importance of education as our “saving grace.” She never juggled fewer than three jobs at a time to support our home, which meant that whenever I needed guidance, I turned to Ralph, who ultimately became the father figure I never had.
Tragedy struck my family when Ralph was diagnosed with, and later passed away from brain cancer while I was in college — all within the span of 10 months. He was only 23. An aspiring lawyer at Yale, my brother had a mission to serve the public’s interest. It was a dream that simply vanished. Inspired by Ralph’s unfulfilled aspirations and support from the community, I decided to turn negative thoughts into positive action by starting a nonprofit in Ralph’s honor. Continue Reading
I co-founded Kheyti in May 2015 with the vision of helping smallholder farmers overcome poverty using the right combination of technology products and services. We designed a “Greenhouse-in-a-box”: an affordable, modular greenhouse bundled with services that can help farmers earn a steady weekly income.
By February 2016, the results of our fundraising efforts through competitions had been mixed. While we had some success with NU Pitch Night, Wharton India Startup Competition and Kellogg Business Plan Competition, we lost 20 other competitions in the previous six months. Kheyti straddled the fine line between social impact and business, making it too risky for pure business plan competitions and too for-profit for social impact competitions. Our team was seriously considering bootstrapping Khetyi until we gained enough traction to approach social impact investors. So when a classmate suggested that I apply for the CommonBond Social Impact Award, I added “apply to CommonBond” to my to-do list with mixed feelings.
However, when I started reading about the CommonBond Social Impact Award, I discovered that the competition was aligned to our team’s unique perspective. Like Khetyi, CommonBond believed for-profit businesses could be a positive force for change at the local and global levels. Upon learning this, I decided to apply for the competition.
This year I was honored to be one of five students named Kellogg Youn Impact Scholars, and earlier this month we had the incredible opportunity to sit alongside 17 other Youn Impact Scholars and discuss the opportunities and challenges present at the intersection of social impact and business.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to engage in two events that allowed me to fully appreciate the plethora of opportunities available for MBA students interested in the social impact space – first at the 2012 Net Impact Conference and then at Kellogg’s Innovating Social Change Conference.
Net Impact is an organization that brings together students and professionals determined to use their business skills to tackle the world’s toughest problems. Kellogg has an impressive track record with Net Impact – our chapter has over 500 members who participate in at least one of the many clubs that falls under the umbrella of our Net Impact Community, and Kellogg was named Net Impact Chapter of the Year in 2011 and 2009.
Having missed our 2011 crowning due to midterms (we do take classes here, don’t forget), I was determined to attend this year’s conference and bought a ticket promptly after receiving my first paycheck this summer. The 20th annual Net Impact Conference was in Baltimore, and I was lucky enough to attend with several fantastic Kellogg students in the full-time and part-time programs. Highlights from the conference include a panel on improving access to healthy foods that featured representatives from PepsiCo and General Mills and a keynote address by the CFO of UPS.
Kellogg at the Net Impact Conference in Baltimore
Exactly a week later, I attended the Innovating Social Change Conference, organized entirely by 2nd year Kellogg students. As the first conference of the year, the ISC Conference had to hit the ground running, and they met the challenge head on, digging into the conference topic of “Profit and Purpose: A 360° View on Stakeholder Engagement.” From a design thinking workshop at which we brainstormed innovative ways to improve transportation issues in downtown Chicago to a closing keynote address by an executive at the recently beleaguered LIVESTRONG, the conference did not disappoint.
ISCC Design Workshop
Photo Credit: Amar Shah
Conferences are an interesting mixture of academic, professional and social engagement, and I encourage you to attend, plan and enjoy as many conferences as you can find time for in your business school career – in Baltimore, at the Allen Center and beyond.