The Daniels chapter of Net Impact recently received gold status as a result of its efforts over the 2017-18 academic year. Chapters receive gold status for going above and beyond in providing their student members with opportunities for professional development, positive community impact and engagement with the larger Net Impact network.
Last year, students in Net Impact were able to consult on three projects. One was for a drone company called Juniper Unmanned, where students researched how to create a positive corporate culture that is sustainable even in the face of the company’s growth. According to Christine Sanwald, president of Daniels’ chapter of Net Impact, students were also able to conduct a data project with the indoor farm GrowHaus, and perform an electric vehicle charging station feasibility study with the National Park Service. Additionally, they had the opportunity to visit Curecanti National Recreation Area and Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park.
“These were really great opportunities for students to gain experience as consultants in the social and environmental space,” Sanwald said.
Sanwald, a professional MBA student at Daniels, was able to leverage her experience with Net Impact to land a position in the impact investing space prior to graduating. While she was working in the travel and events industry, Sanwald is now the senior operations manager for the Impact Finance Center, a nonprofit academic center that identifies, trains and activates philanthropists and investors.
“I was able to switch industries and land a leadership position,” she said. “I’m thrilled and it’s wonderful to get my dream job before graduating!”
Lowell Valencia-Miller, teaching assistant professor in management, is the Net Impact faculty adviser.
“From lunch and learns with invited community speakers to quarter long consulting projects designed to provide students experiential learning opportunities, Net Impact is a student-run organization, which focuses on out-of-classroom experiences that help foster innovative and ethical leadership and a culture of sustainability in our communities.” Valencia-Miller said.
Before graduating in November, Sanwald is hoping to hand over Net Impact to a new group of students.
All Net Impact students, including those new the group, are invited to attend the NI18 Conference Oct. 25-27, in Phoenix this year. Enterprise Ethics sponsors students to attend and sent seven DU students last year. Net Impact also hosts events nearly every month. Last year’s activities included a sustainability tour of Ball Corporation and Coors Brewing Company.
“This is such a good way to meet fellow students and industry professionals,” Sanwald said. “If you have a desire to work in the sustainability or social impact space, I’d highly encourage you to get involved.”