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Meet our Impact Fellows and see what they've been working on:
Empowering future leaders to make a positive impact.
The Impact Fellows program provides unparalleled opportunities (both paid and unpaid) for undergraduate and graduate students of all majors interested in working in the social impact space. Students develop a unique skillset that prepares them for cross-sector, cutting-edge careers.
Specifically, students have the option to work on projects within four different tracks: impact investing, data science, policy innovation, and graphic design + communications. Impact Fellows gain experience working with firms, funds, governments, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits from different sectors and regions around the world.
Impact Fellows are primarily University of Utah students; however, outstanding students from other universities are encouraged to apply. We recruit during the fall, spring, and summer semesters and require a two-semester commitment. Ideally, the Center seeks students interested in working for the remainder of their college careers.
Impact Fellows hail from various majors, backgrounds, and levels of study.
Four tracks, one mission:
Impact Fellows interested in finance can participate in our student-run venture fund (UVFII) and the fixed income impact fund (FIIF). Impact Fellows receive Wall Street-style training (with access to Bloomberg Terminals and other investment software) and collaborate with leading social venture funds, banks, foundations, consulting firms and social entrepreneurs to perform due diligence, to identify and recommend investments, and to grow businesses that have a social impact. Students also have an option to work with the University Venture Fund II, which will invest in companies that are seeking positive social and financial performance. UVF II’s network will provide best-in-class deal flow of impact investments for the Fund. It builds on the learnings from the original University Venture Fund to provide an unparalleled experiential education for students interested in impact investing, while providing professional governance and investment rigor that sophisticated investors require. For more information on UVF II, e-mail us.
Impact Fellows interested in social issues and public policy have the opportunity to work on a variety of government and nonprofit consulting projects. Our fellows receive exposure to the most innovative tools being used to address social issues today, including Pay for Success projects, place-based initiatives, data-driven decision making and performance-based contracting. Issue areas addressed include homelessness, criminal recidivism, public health, early childhood education, and more.
Data science Impact Fellows work alongside the data science team to provide customized data diagnostics for clients, write code, learn best practices around data sharing and security, as well as create data visualizations and dashboards. They are exposed to cutting-edge practices around impact measurement for both public and private sector projects and investments.
Communications and graphic design Impact Fellows work to share innovative ideas and stories in a quickly-expanding space by building web, video, and print content with the Center. Students have the opportunity to work with all focus areas in the Center to connect with impact investors, governments, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and students.
graphic design + communications
Applications for Spring 2020 will open soon.
Our applications for the Fall 2019 semester are now closed.
If you are interested in getting involved or have questions about the Center, please email us.
Student impact fellows are expected to be enrolled in school for the duration of the program and to commit to the following:
20 hours of work per week.
At least two semesters (e.g., Fall and Spring).
Friday morning meetings from 9:30 am to noon.
Undergraduate and graduate students from all majors are eligible to apply.
Still have questions on our student program?
Investing in the next generation.
Sorenson Impact is housed within the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. As such, we work to insert social impact into the academic curriculum at the University of Utah. Our focuses are on academic research, publications, and teaching in the areas of social impact and entrepreneurship within various departments and colleges across campus.
The following Center faculty and staff teach a variety of courses:
- Paul Brown, James Lee Sorenson Presidential Endowed Chair for Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing
- Jack Robinson, PhD, Director and adjunct professor, City and Metropolitan Planning
- Fraser Nelson, Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships
Current course offerings:
Business 1051—Honors Foundations of Business Thought
city & metropolitan planning
CMP 3400—City & Metropolitan Economics
CMP 6322 / REDEV 6322—City & Metropolitan Economics
Entrepreneurship 2020—Entrepreneurial Finance
Entrepreneurship 2030—Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Entrepreneurship 4999—Honors Thesis
Entrepreneurship 5000 (both live and online versions)
Entrepreneurship 5850—Social Entrepreneurship & Impact Investing Seminar
Entrepreneurship 5910—Independent Study
Finance 5881 Managing the Venture Process
Finance 6881 Venture Planning
Management 6780—Social Venturing: Consulting to Not-for-Profit Organizations
Strategy 6910—Special Study for Master’s Students
Student Project Hours Form
Please fill out the project hours form so we can coordinate staffing and planning.
Stay updated on ongoing events at the Center!