Connie Meltzer is a rising MBA2 and a Graduate Fellow at Cause Strategy Partners. Connie serves as the Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee for Student Government and VP of Allies for the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students (AHBBS). She is specializing in Leadership and Change Management and Strategy.
NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds light into Sternies’ internship experiences. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.
I found out about the Social Impact Internship Fund (SIIF) fellowship through the Office of Student Engagement pretty early into the fall semester and knew it would be a good fit for me. SIIF helps fund MBAs who want to work at a social good organization (impact investing firms, solar energy companies, nonprofit organizations, and more) for their summer internship and beyond. Since I am interested in nonprofit consulting in the future, I ended up participating in traditional management consulting preparation, recruitment, and interviews, but didn’t land a summer internship at the firms I interviewed with. And to be honest, I couldn’t be happier.
I spent most of my career prior to Stern working for education nonprofit organizations, but I wanted an opportunity to still work for social good but not at a nonprofit. In the Spring, I started scouring Career Account, Stern’s career portal, for anything in the social good sector. After sifting through amazing opportunities that weren’t a good fit for me, I found the Cause Strategy Partners Graduate Internship.
This summer, the SIIF Fellowship has allowed me to work at the intersection of nonprofit organizations and the corporate world. Cause Strategy Partners (CSP) is a benefit corporation (B-Corp) that through its signature program, BoardLead, matches Fortune 500 employees to nonprofit organizations to serve on their boards and trains them in how to be an impactful board member. CSP is a small company with fewer than 10 full time employees but they deliver a lot of high-quality work. Since their founding in 2015, they have placed over 400+ professionals on nonprofit boards in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. And they have big plans – they are ramping up their signature program to 20+ cities in the next two years.
My three main projects for the summer are administering a program evaluation for a round of BoardLead in collaboration with another graduate fellow from NYU Wagner, designing and implementing an employee engagement and culture assessment for CSP, and consulting with two nonprofit clients around their board practices. I have been particularly proud of and challenged by my work on the employee engagement and culture assessment project.
One reason is that org culture and employee engagement are things I really care about in a workplace. Another is that I used a lot of takeaways, and even specific curriculum material, from my Leadership in Organizations course with Dolly Chugh. After a lot of research, I have sent out two surveys to the team to begin CSP’s employee engagement feedback practice and gain insight into how community members (current employees, former employees, and board members) understand the company culture. I was working as an “external” consultant for the company on this project, which I found both exciting and challenging. At Stern and in my other projects at CSP this summer, I’ve been able to ask for feedback and collaborate with other team members. With this project, since everyone I am working with was going to take this survey, I didn’t feel like I was able to collaborate as much; to maintain data integrity, I wanted to ensure everyone was seeing the questions for the first time when they took the survey. As I look to my future career opportunities, I definitely want to work in a collaborative environment and on a team where feedback is encouraged – as it is at CSP with my other projects!
Cause Strategy Partners has a history of including summer interns right into the heart of the family this summer is no exception. We eat lunch together in the park regularly, we have participated in bake-offs, and we attended a panel on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Boardroom at the Ford Foundation (pictured) with most of the team at the time. I’ve learned so much in the first half of my internship at CSP and I’m looking forward to the next four weeks.