When I interviewed for the Part-time Professional MBA program at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, I was concerned about the ROI of an MBA degree. The logical side of me wanted to know that my time and money spent on my MBA would be worthwhile. I asked my admissions recruiter what she felt the ROI of an MBA was, and she replied, “What you put in is what you get out.” I really tried to apply that philosophy to my program.

I wanted to get an MBA to launch my career in the social impact sector. My goal was to focus my energy at a company that does work for good, not just for profit. During the first few quarters, I was adjusting to working full-time while going to class and completing assignments. I started to feel like the transformation that drove me to get my MBA may not happen if I am not getting exposure to the social sector.

But then I remembered what my admissions recruiter said: “What you put in is what you get out.”

I realized that I needed to actively seek out opportunities to get involved. I saw a flyer for Net Impact on the student organization board and decided to reach out. Net Impact is an international organization made up of young business professionals who are committed to using the power of business to improve the world. I was thrilled to learn that the Daniels College of Business had its own local chapter. This was the perfect opportunity to get exposure to the socially- and environmentally-conscious business community in Colorado.

Since then, I attended the annual Net Impact conference, which was graciously funded by the Daniels College of Business. The conference was truly inspiring. One of the biggest takeaways was a quote from keynote speaker Derreck Kayango, “Failure is telling you, that you are not ready”. To me, this meant that I don’t need to wait until I’m in a new career to work in social impact; I can make an impact and start fulfilling my purpose now. I was also able to leave the conference with some future career prototypes to test out, providing me with direction on my career path in the social impact sector.

I also joined the leadership team of Net Impact where we work to identify social impact consulting projects with local Denver organizations. We have three consulting projects starting in the winter quarter, and I’ll be working on one to help a start-up company that is scaling fast to create a culture strategy to support their growth.

I’m truly thankful for all of the extra-curricular opportunities Daniels provides, and have found a lot of value taking apart of them. I’m well on my way to turn my passion into a purposeful career.