Postgraduate Study Options

I left university three years ago and have completed a grad programme with a top management consulting firm.

I’m now at a stage that I’m considering options for post-grad study. I am interested in learning about how commercial operations can make a social impact. Which Masters Programmes should I consider?

I think the most logical choice for you is most certainly a top MBA program.

One of the absolute best options in the world would be Stanford Business School’s MBA program. They have an extremely well regarded centre for social innovation and many coursework options on social impact orientated start-ups and corporates that help train future leaders interested in this space.

Having participated in a top management consulting firm (I’m hoping Bain, McKinsey, BCG, Oliver Wyman etc or at a second tier Strategy&, Deloitte, Booz Allen etc), there’s little value in going back to university and studying at a program that isn’t globally ranked and reputable (Global Top 30 MBA, US Top 20, UK Top 10, Australia Top 2) kind of thing.

Go to a top business school where you will be surrounded by many sharp minds who typically have a deep socially driven purpose who can challenge your thinking in the presence of amazing professors (Stanford Business School basically only takes people with a very strong social element to their candidacy so the intimate class is carefully screened to have some interest in this).

There are some more fringe programs like this:

This is designed for people with more professional experience than you, however, typically later in their careers.

I would also consider going for a PhD in the field of social innovation if you are fascinated by it as research into this space is still undersaturated.

If you are specifically interested in learning about how commercial operations can make a social impact, you could look at Cambridge University Judges Business School Master of Studies in Social Innovation.

A small cohort (24-30) from around the world participate in a part-time programme over two years. Students study innovative solutions to pressing social issues. The structure of this programme means that a student can continue to work while they are studying.

seeing as your desire is to make a social impact with commercial operations I would echo the suggestion of the Masters in Social Innovation at Judge Business School.

As a current student, we are learning the skills needed to be able to run a social venture (strategy, change, leadership, social finance) in order to ensure it is sustainable for the future which means earning a economic return combined with a social return.

We also look at creating social impact from many different perspectives, including for individuals looking to make change from within larger institutions by leveraging their outreach and scale. It is here where the diverse student body bring together different experiences which make for some great discussion that stimulate a lot of good ideas.

Finally, I liked the course because I didn’t have to give up my current role to due to it being part time. This meant I haven’t suffered any loss of income but have been able to take on a stimulating course.

I have to echo all of the above! There are some excellent conventional choices out there and doing an MBA can offer fantastic links that will get you thinking. However, if you’re looking for something that’s specifically MA or on a similar level, a number of well-regarded institutions will be able to accommodate your particular interest in social impact.

You didn’t share with us if you’re based in America or not? I understand that Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University provides courses specifically focused on this that might be worth checking out: as well as Hass School of Business at Berkeley University:

As mentioned above, there are some outstanding opportunities based in the UK too, such as Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. I had the opportunity to go on a taster course of this and can vouch for the opportunity to connect with some incredible lectures as well as others on a similar trajectory. While, there is also the Said Business School over with Cambridge’s arch-rivals, Oxford University!

Goodluck with selecting - there are so many brilliant choices out there for you.