“I wasn’t interested in business for business’s sake, but rather in how business could be used as a force for good,” Cohen says. She had done her research and discovered that Questrom was the first school in the world to launch a social-impact MBA program and one of only three in the United States to offer such a program.
As a first-year MBA, she found herself taking required classes with all of Questrom’s full-time MBA students. Her search to find a social impact community led Cohen to join the Social Impact & Nonprofit Club (SINC), a student-run organization that fosters community and educates MBA students about management issues and opportunities with nonprofits, government, and social-purpose businesses. The club hosts a series of networking, volunteering, and career development activities. Cohen says she immediately loved being part of SINC and joined the executive board as a representative before becoming president this year.
“Having a networking event geared toward social impact across sectors provides a space and an opportunity for people to see that social impact can be embedded in any career, whether in the for-profit, non-profit, private, or public sector,” Cohen says.
As president, she has overseen a number of changes to the club. Previously, members met in classrooms, but Cohen says she and her colleagues spend so much time in classrooms that she wanted to find a more relaxed, fun atmosphere. So the club now meets weekly at the BU Pub where they plan professional and social events over drinks and snacks.
Throughout the past year, she’s presided over a restructuring of the club to include not only social and professional networking events, but community engagement as well. This past fall, the club hosted a clothing drive to benefit St. Francis House, New England’s largest daytime shelter for homeless individuals, and volunteered at the shelter. More recently, they took part in a cleanup sponsored by the Charles River Watershed Association.
Cohen says that serving as president of the club has given her an opportunity to hone her own leadership and management skills. When she graduates later this month, she will join Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the global pharmaceutical firm. She says she was drawn to the company because of its commitment to serving patients. After interning with the company last summer, where she was encouraged to pursue her interest in incorporating health equity initiatives into the business, Cohen will join the company’s commercial leadership development program for recent MBA students, where she’ll have a chance to work in several positions.
“I love the idea of being able to try on several hats,” Cohen says.