Social Impact: A New Addition to the CCD

Photo Courtesy: Babson

At Babson, the Center for Career Development (CCD) advises and guides students on potential career paths or employment opportunities, providing support at almost any stage of the career search process. Whether it may be a question about which field or school interests a person or professional reviews of a resume or preparation for an interview, CCD is always happy to help. However, according to the Assistant Director of Career Advising, Amanda Solomon, over the years, there are fewer students interested in only sustainability and more eager to find career paths with social impact. As part of this shift, Amanda Solomon is the new advisor for students seeking a focus on social impact. Beginning this year, Assistant Director Solomon will teach students to utilize their own emotional intelligence when deciding on career paths, partnering with the Lewis Institute for more targeted programs. Often, people debate over the exact definition of social impact, attempting to pinpoint specific criteria a business or company must incorporate into their operations. Students fail to understand that social impact varies from field to field and pertains to multiple activities rather than an exact checklist.

Donna Sosnowski, Director of the Center for Career Development, offers a general description of what social impact entails, defining it as “how an organization or individual has an effect on the well-being of a community.” Therefore, students arriving at the CCD with questions about how to improve a community through their future ventures want some form of social impact. Director Sosnowski and Assistant Director Solomon note that the new programming resulted from quantitative and qualitative data collected from years of surveying Babson students, indicating that rather spotlighting sustainability, students would rather direct their attention to social impact. While sustainability involves an organization’s ability to maintain resources over time, the new sector encompasses any change in a community’s operating efficiency. Overall, social impact allows students to consider how to incorporate their personal values and beliefs into their career plans. Since the definition is broad and dependent on each person’s beliefs, social impact carries different value to each student. Reflecting this personalization, the new addition to the CCD serves to discover an individual student’s standards and map out a career path they will enjoy. As part of the flexible and adjustable nature of this new addition, Assistant Director Solomon would appreciate hearing more from students to craft a helpful system for the undergraduate population.

Thus far, the CCD is contacting student organizations, faculty, alumni, and professional employers or organizations to gain more understanding and expand the programming to educational events. For example, in partnership with the CCD, Net Impact, a student organization focused on the education of social impact to future generations, hosted a career trek for socially responsible businesses on March 6th. The Career Trek highlighted three startups: Spare-it, a venture attempting to analyze food waste; Cambridge Crops, a startup attempting to solve food waste; and SolarOne, a solar plant company increasing the accessibility to sustainable energy. Director Sosnowski and Assistant Director Solomon recognize that students just want to work with organizations, much like the three mentioned, “doing good.” The Center for Career Development has hope for their new sector and plans to expand the size and number of social impact programs, initiating change when needed to maximize benefits for the student population. Most students visit the CCD with uncertainty in their career paths, so the department emphasizes the significance of career exploration. The CCD welcomes uncertainty and, very much like their flexibility to the rising interest in social impact, they accommodate each student and their indecision.

Article by Noorjahan Mezrouh

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