A Summer with Inspiring Capital: Insights from MBA Fellow Ben Bradley

Apr 20, 2017
Inspiring Capital MBA Fellowship
Inspiring Capital MBA Fellow Ben Bradley

The Inspiring Capital MBA Fellowship is a summer fellowship for top MBA students who are between their first and second years of business school. This unique, hands-on consulting fellowship offers students over 100 hours of Inspiring Capital workshops, while simultaneously carrying out an 8-week project. Here, students use their skills to work with a high-performing non-profit or social enterprise client on a marketing, finance, strategy, or operations project.

We spoke to former Inspiring Capital MBA Fellow, Ben Bradley about his experience with IC this past summer and his advice for interested applicants. 

1. What inspired you to apply for the Inspiring Capital MBA Fellowship?

Much like many students in business school, I began my MBA weighing my different options for future careers. What drew me to Inspiring Capital was the exposure to the different trainings and speakers that covered a great variety of topics. I knew that spending a summer learning the details of different roles and organizations within the social sector would help me narrow down my search and get a better glimpse into my future.

Inspiring Capital MBA Fellowship

2. What is a typical week like for an Inspiring Capital MBA Fellow?

Our week started with a full day of training each Monday. These days were always unique in topic and structure. One day we would be learning more about finance in the social sector and the next, environmental policy and law. We’d get to see all of our cohort members for the entire day and catch up on how everybody’s project was going. We’d have to travel to a new location each Monday for this training but it always provided a great opportunity to explore the city and see new places.

After our training days, we made an effort to go out together as a cohort and spend time talking about our lives outside of the fellowship. We quickly became a tight-knit group that spent our Monday evenings doing Karaoke or Trivia as a group.

Tuesday through Friday were spent working directly on-site for our client. Here, we’d get the chance to dive deep into a particular issue that they wanted us to address by the end of the summer. Usually, our projects required us to meet with many different team members of the nonprofit or social enterprise we were working for, which provided a great glimpse into their roles and day-to-day responsibilities. On top of all that, most MBA Fellows had an undergraduate intern to help them with their project, so a good chunk of the day was also spent managing and motivating the undergrad, as well as keeping them informed on the progress of the project.

Inspiring Capital MBA Fellowship

3. What tips would you give others applying to the Inspiring Capital MBA Fellowship?

My biggest piece of advice to applicants is to show your true colors and highlight what makes you different. One of the most amazing parts of the cohort is the variety of backgrounds, interests, and experiences that each MBA had. I know that IC looks for applicants who aren’t afraid to express themselves, speak up, and question things when they have hesitations. Nothing is more imperative to your success over the summer than communication.

On top of that, expect the unexpected. There is no standard interview with IC and you’ll likely be forced to think on your feet quite a bit. Own up to any mistakes or goofs and be yourself.

Interested in applying? Bookmark the Inspiring Capital MBA Fellowship to your ProFellow acount.

Ben Bradley has spent the last ten years as a serial starter and consultant within the social sector. He has vast experience working with non-profit and public organizations, primarily through his two years of national service with AmeriCorps NCCC. Ben started on an entrepreneurial path at a young age, starting his first business at the age of 17. He is a second-year MBA student at North Carolina State in Raleigh, NC, and has a BS in Entrepreneurship from Rowan University.

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