Bridget MiskellFull-Time Social Impact MBA, Concentration: Leadership & Organizational Transformation Falmouth, MA
Bridget earned her undergraduate degree from American University, where she studied history, French, and dance before she decided to make the leap from working in the arts to attending business school full-time.
Despite her uncommon background, Bridget is familiar with the business world—her parents own a business that’s become a cornerstone in her hometown. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact you can make by being involved in a community and understanding its needs,” she says. “I want to drive social change and I want to work on connecting communities with funders, nonprofits, and the government so that we can understand the communities, lift them up, and improve them.”
That passion led her to work for a large foundation that is dedicated to supporting exceptional nonprofit organizations. “I supported and managed the portfolios of our grantees, organizations that ranged from health and human services organizations to education organizations and even community based food and fuel organizations.”
It was that intrigue that led her to Questrom; more specifically, to the Social Impact MBA. “The Social Impact MBA definitely brought me to BU. Through early conversations with David Stolow, the director of the program, it was clear that the program has a clear and distinct role. It’s reach goes far beyond Boston.” Upon leaving D.C., Bridget was hoping to find a place in New England where she could make a change, and Boston was a perfect fit.
She’s familiarized herself with the city through a number of projects, all of which she says focus on the relationship between nonprofits and systemic change. “I specifically think about how programs, foundations, and nonprofits all work together to evaluate and share impact. There are definitely connections to be made between funders and nonprofits, and I hope to bridge the gaps within that space.”
Her internship was with a small, 15-member foundation. She worked with them on three main projects; her role in all of them centered around program strategy. “I did a landscape analysis of the community which means I figured out the community’s needs and how well they were being met,” she explains. “In another project, I helped evaluate the success of a student program, and in the third project, I looked at funding and researched other models that might be implemented. I really enjoyed the problem solving while learning about the community and its varying challenges and opportunities.”
Her additional extracurricular activities also center around making a positive difference—she’s been really involved in the Social Impact and Nonprofit Club, holding the title of Grad School Council Representative, and helped plan forums to discuss what social impact really means. “I think it’s really important not to think about social impact too narrowly—it crosses all sectors. It can be in a for-profit setting, a nonprofit setting, in healthcare, in education, and beyond.”
One of the assets of Questrom that Bridget finds the most valuable is the community. “Coming from a non-traditional business background, I was worried about business school and whether or not I would be able to keep up with my classes, bring much to the conversation, and make friends—but I felt like I was in the right place from the very beginning, thanks to the collaborative environment fostered by my classmates. I’ve built a network that I’ll have forever.”
As for her future plans, she hopes to end up at the intersection of all of her passions. “I believe in equity—racial equity, healthcare equity, educational equity, and more—so I’m really passionate about walking towards that lofty and important goal. I think I’ll end up somewhere in the philanthropy education sector.”