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First Year Perspectives: Exploring Social Impact at Anderson Academically and Professionally

About Imran: Imran’s journey spans various locations before settling in California. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, he studied Finance and Accounting at Wash U in St. Louis. His career journey shifted towards social impact, starting with Michigan Women Forward in Detroit, where he managed microfinance loans for local businesses. Transitioning to roles at high-growth consumer tech companies like On Deck and Branch, he explored innovation in the impact space. Now at Anderson, Imran is dedicated to a career in social impact, drawn to UCLA for its robust network and resources in the field, aligning perfectly with his goals.

I was first inspired to pursue my MBA while I was working for a local microfinance nonprofit in Detroit, supporting local small business owners. Throughout that experience, I was exposed to several inspiring social impact leaders who had all pursued their MBA and used it as a platform to launch a career in making meaningful, systemic change. I knew I wanted to follow a similar path and set out to find the MBA program that I felt would not only best equip me with the skill for a career in social impact but would give me the direct sandbox environment I wanted to be able to build these skills in.

I looked at several programs and was seeking a combination of academic and professional experience in and out of the classroom. Driven by its Center for Impact, Anderson has been able to curate a robust array of courses, programs, and external offerings that supplement the strong opportunities for an impact-focused education that already exist at UCLA and the Los Angeles community at large.

The Classroom: At Anderson, my impact-focused education started from day one. Even in the early core (required) courses such as Managerial Economics, Data & Decisions, and Operations Technology Management, my professors have exposed me to different ways I can leverage the foundational skills we are learning to create impact in spaces like economic development and affordable health care. With those as a launching pad, I was then able to take several impact-oriented Anderson electives such as Topics in Impact Investing and Affordable Housing Development where I am now able to learn practical applications of these skills from industry professionals who have successfully produced impact in those spaces. Anderson has also been incredibly supportive in guiding me to courses in other areas of the UCLA system such as Welfare Reform and Poverty & Inequality, which I am able to take through the Luskin School of Public Affairs. This ability to leverage UCLA’s incredible subject matter experts to support my Anderson education has been critical to the social impact education I was looking for.

The Opportunities: Outside of the classroom, Anderson has given me multiple opportunities to apply my social impact education in a practical setting. As a Director for Anderson Venture Impact Partners (Anderson’s impact investing fund), I have been able to build my career as an impact investor by searching for impact-oriented startups and conducting due diligence on their potential financial returns and social impact with the end goal of investing funds directly from Anderson into them. On top of that, the Net Impact chapter at Anderson and the Center for Impact have hosted several incredible speakers that I have been fortunate enough to connect with and establish valuable professional relationships that will be critical to my career search. In the coming months, I am also excited to participate in Anderson’s Social Impact Consulting Corps, where I will be able to work directly on real-life, mission-critical consulting projects for nonprofit organizations and social enterprises.

The Possibilities: Something that was very important to me in picking my MBA program was to be in a city where I could be at the forefront of innovative social impact work and curate a network of industry professionals in order to most practically build a career in this space. Because of the different challenges that Los Angeles is tackling and the breadth and diversity of institutions that are working to solve them, I have been able to connect with so many incredible individuals and expose myself to so many current, real-world solutions being applied. Organizations like Slauson & Co. and Inclusive Action for the City, among others, have been just a handful of the ones that I have been able to directly connect with in person, and those interactions have been a reaffirming catalyst for the already incredible social impact experience I have internally at Anderson.

So, as you think about pursuing social impact as a career post-MBA, I strongly encourage you to consider Anderson. It truly provides the most incredible combination of academic offerings, practical opportunities, and overall environment to create impactful change.

  • Student Blogger: Imran Mumtaz FTMBA ‘25
  • Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis ‘17
  • Pre-MBA: Sr. Reporting Analyst at Branch
  • Leadership@Anderson: Section A Executive Vice President, Anderson Student Association; Education & Workforce Vertical Director, Anderson Venture Impact Partners; Director of Yield and Special Projects, Admissions Ambassador Corps; Riordan Scholars Mentor
  • Instagram: @imrxnmmtz

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