Summer 2023

Martha Buckley MBA’23: Commitment to Social Impact

Martha Buckley smiles for a portrait on campus

By the time Martha Buckley MBA’23 started the second year of her graduate degree at Babson, she was chief of academic affairs at the Graduate Student Council, had created a Food Insecurity Task Force on campus, and started working at Sunwealth, a clean energy impact investment company.

That was on top of co-leading an intensive, eight-month impact investment competition, a competition that focuses on a growing field where investors back businesses achieving certain social and environmental benefits in addition to generating financial returns.

“It was definitely a challenging juggling act,” Buckley says. “But it’s easy to dedicate that kind of time and energy when you’re very moved and passionate about what you’re working on.”

Her personable, high-touch style garnered acclaim across campus, and she was named to Poets & QuantsBest and Brightest MBA list.

Before Buckley decided to get her MBA, she was the director of development at Heading Home, a nonprofit in Greater Boston helping those experiencing homelessness. A native of Essex, Massachusetts, Buckley had also worked at small startups and at corporations such as Staples, working in the company’s social impact programs.

“I’ve kind of been dancing around impact my whole career, sitting in a whole bunch of different roles around social impact,” Buckley says. “One of the things that I felt in every single one of those seats was that there is still a lot of gray space between the for-profit sector and the public sector that just seemed really ripe for innovation.”

She also noticed that social impact had become far more important in the private sector. No longer were corporations dedicating a small portion of their profits toward social causes, but businesses were seeking to create profit and social good at the same time.

“I feel like we’re at the dawn of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight for our climate. When you have that kind of opportunity, you don’t let it pass you by.”
Martha Buckley MBA’23

Buckley reached out to Cheryl Kiser, executive director of Babson’s Institute for Social Innovation, to discuss those trends, an engaging conversation that further cemented Buckley’s commitment to attend Babson.

“It was really my conversation with her, and getting clear and specific about what I wanted out of my MBA career, that made Babson seem like the right fit for me,” Buckley says. “There’s definitely a lot of great opportunities for somebody who’s very passionate about using social impact as a catalyst for good in the business world.”

Buckley said the opportunities to expand her knowledge of impact investing, both in and out of the classroom, came thick and fast after her first semester. She spent the summer as a solar impact fellow at Sunwealth in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which asked her to join part time then offered her a full-time job after graduation.

“I feel like we’re at the dawn of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight for our climate,” Buckley says. “When you have that kind of opportunity, you don’t let it pass you by.”

More Graduate Standouts

Santucee Bell MBA’23, a Butler Institute for Free Enterprise Through Entrepreneurship Student Scholar and co-president of the Babson Black Graduate Club, worked with the Butler Launch Pad to create a panel of diverse funders and founders to help historically underrepresented entrepreneurs learn about funding options.

Rodrigo Custódio MBA’23, alongside several of his Blended Learning MBA Miami colleagues, participated in the Startup Showcase x Showdown competition at eMerge Americas in Miami. He worked to further connect Babson’s Wellesley and Miami campuses, particularly as a class representative in Babson’s Latin American Club.

Michael Hasibuan MSEL’23 and Omkar Vijayanand MSEL’23 reached the final round of the 2023 Boston Inno Madness competition with their hot meal vending machine startup, minute kitchen.

Deeksha Khanna MBA’23 served as president of the Graduate Healthcare and Life Sciences Club, helping to introduce new graduate electives. She also was a graduate student communications assistant for the Kerry Murphy Healey Center for Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship, launching its newsletter.

Rohit Nayak MBA’23, a Social Innovation Scholar and Olin MBA Scholar, was a Business & Social Innovation Intensity Track graduate, where he worked on technology to turn air into water. He also was accepted as a fellow at the Clinton Global Initiative University in March, along with Sonal Dalvi MBA’23 and Kengo Yasue MBA’22.

Ellana Stinson MBA’23, an emergency medicine doctor and president of the New England Medical Association, served as medical director of the vaccine administration site at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Boston at the height of the pandemic.

Kristin Wendell ’07, MSBA’23, who received the Abdul Ali Award for the highest GPA in the MSBA program, won Babson’s second annual GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) Data Hackathon.

Kevin Wong Wong Keet MBA’23 served as vice president of finance for the Out Network, Babson’s LGBTQ+ graduate student organization, and graduated magna cum laude from Babson’s rigorous One-Year MBA program.

Read more stories about the Class of 2023.

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