Earning big in social enterprise

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Peter Roberts, professor of organization and management

Peter Roberts, professor of organization and management and academic director of social enterprise at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, was recently featured in a US News and World Report titled “Make Money in Social Enterprise with a Business School Degree.”

The article defines social enterprise as a newer area of business used to address shortcomings in society, such as environmental challenges or education disparities.  Social Enterprise often pays less than traditional fields and is a potentially detracting consideration for business school graduates seeking to earn more.
Referencing examples such as TOMS Shoes, the successful company that seeks to match every pair of shoes sold with a new pair to a child in need, the article argues that

“MBA candidates shouldn’t assume a career in social enterprise won’t pay six figures.”
The article references Goizueta’s Marissa Mahoney 13MBA as an example of a student who made a successful career for herself in the social enterprise field. Working in investment banking and real estate private equity, Mahoney started on a career path generally considered financially lucrative. She did not, however, find the work fulfilling. Not until she became a social enterprise fellow at Goizueta, from which she graduated in May, was Mahoney able to satisfyingly incorporate her “business skills in a way that made more social impact more directly.”  She adds that not only is her salary on par with what she used to make, but the emerging industry also provides her with ample growth opportunities.

Roberts advises students interested in the “emerging and fluid sector” of social enterprise to be proactive in their job search, and not assume that they can simply slide into the field if working in a more traditional career, such as investing, doesn’t work out. In his words, “That’s a recipe for getting a lousy job in the nonprofit, social sector.”

Roberts’s research relates to how the behavior and performance of organizations evolve over time. This incorporates related interests in innovation and entrepreneurship; reputation, status and identity; and industry evolution. Roberts has studied these issues in diverse settings, including the pharmaceutical, hotel, wine and restaurant industries.

Click here to read the full US News and World Report article.

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