Most people pursue an MBA to learn more about leadership and business and to become a more competitive asset when looking for a high paying job in a prestigious position. And getting an MBA will certainly help people achieve such goals.
But getting an MBA doesn’t have to be about getting a higher paying job or career advancement. Successful MBA graduates aim higher and sometimes even contribute to creating meaningful impact in the world.
Want a quick glance into how some MBA graduates are making a real impact? Here are five people that are changing the world with their MBA.
1. Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is known for her work in high-profile positions at Google and Facebook. She attended Harvard Business School in 1993 and graduated with her MBA in 1995.
Despite achieving remarkable success in business, Sandberg’s original intention for going to business school was to gain a better understanding of how organizations function so that she could create real change in the world. Prior to attending business school, she had worked at World Bank, at which she got to tour a village where people were infected with diseases like leprosy.
Sandberg founded the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation and funded it (and other charitable causes) with nearly $100 million in Facebook stock. The organization helps women deal with workplace issues and create meaningful change in the world.
At Google, she spent six and a half years on the online sales and operations team and became a vice president at the company. In 2008, she joined Facebook and became Facebook’s chief operating officer (COO).
At Facebook, Sandberg’s focus was to figure out how to make Facebook profitable and Facebook’s leadership decided to sell advertising as its primary business model. Facebook became profitable in 2010 and continued to grow. Sandberg’s estimated net worth is over $1 billion.
Carlos Carrazana is the chief operating officer and vice president of Save the Children. Carrazana got his MBA from the Kogod School of Business of American University and started off his career in banking.
He later transitioned to a career in global development and eventually focused on nonprofit work. For four years, he worked with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to help eliminated HIV and AIDS in children and later joined Save the Children in 2012.
In 2017, Save the Children reached more than 155 million children worldwide including over 230,000 in the United States providing protection, hunger assistance and educational opportunities to children in need.
3. Phil Knight
Phil Knight is the co-founder and chairman of Nike and was listed as one of the top 50 highest net worth individuals in a 2018 article in Forbes with an estimated net worth of $34.7 billion. He graduated from Stanford Business School with an MBA and later co-founded Nike with his track coach, Bill Bowerman.
The idea for Nike shoes began when Knight wrote a paper about Japanese sports shoes in business school. He later visited Japan and was surprised to find high-quality shoes at a low price.
In 1964, Knight partnered with Bowerman to launch their shoe company and under Knight’s leadership, Nike grew to become the most prominent brand or sneakers in the 1980s. Nike’s success has continued to grow and its dominance in the marketplace continued for decades.
Asides from success in business, Knight was also known for his charitable work. In total, he has donated over $2 billion to the universities he attended as well as the Oregon Health and Science University. Some of his contributions went towards funding cancer research and providing scholarships for students.
4. Jon Huntsman, Sr.
Jon Huntsman, Sr. graduated with an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at USC in 1966. He founded Huntsman Chemical Corporation in Utah, which became the world’s largest privately held chemical company. Huntsman Chemical produces most of the world’s polystyrene, which is used in products like McDonald’s burger containers.
Huntsman has also donated over $1.5 billion to charity, which constitutes over 80% of his wealth. He’s donated $1.2 billion to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, a cancer research facility at the University of Utah. He’s also donated millions to the University of Utah’s business school and earthquake relief for the 1988 disaster in Armenia.
5. Bharath Maguluri
You don’t have to take part in creating a billion-dollar company to make an impact. Bharath Maguluri graduated with an MBA from EMYLON Business School in France and is working on creating better educational opportunities for people in India.
In India, only 58% of children make it through primary school and only 10% attend college. Many of the schools in India are in poor condition and it is hard for some students to travel to the schools because they are too far away.
Maguluri is working on an online education system that makes it easier for students to gain access to a proper education, regardless of their location or social status. His MBA leadership gave him a fresh way of looking at things and ideas on how to approach the problem.
MBA Leadership and Creating an Impact
Completing your MBA education is an important milestone in your life, but it is just the beginning of your journey. As you continue to grow, you can use your knowledge and skills to make the world a better place.
What is your big dream and how will you change the world?