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Q&A with Dr. Crystal Neumann: Serve, Lead and Achieve with an MBA in Social Impact

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With American College of Education launching its first MBA program – an MBA in Social Impact – we spoke with Dr. Crystal Neumann, assistant provost of business professions, to learn how ACE is approaching this new and unique degree.

ACE: Why is ACE launching an MBA in Social Impact?

Dr. Crystal Neumann (CN): The MBA in Social Impact is an emerging degree that’s not widely offered online at an affordable tuition. Additionally, a degree specifically tied to social impact serves ACE’s mission to help graduates serve, lead and achieve personal and professional goals in diverse, evolving communities. This program allows graduates to serve others and promote businesses as a force for good. There’s an increasing need for professionals with the skills to lead people effectively, to advance the management needs of a global business community, but also use business as a source of good.

ACE: How does this program retain the elements of a traditional MBA while adding in knowledge about using business as a force for good?

CN: This MBA still has courses any other program would have to ensure success when running and leading a business, such as finance, accounting, human resources, marketing and others. The main difference is that in addition to learning how corporations, LLCs and other types of companies work, students also learn how good business includes benefitting society. They’ll do an in-depth exploration of businesses for good, meaning ones that balance purpose and profit.

ACE: How would you define social impact in the context of our program?

CN: Social impact is often referred to as the ability to make a positive change. We’re taking it a step further in defining it as doing business for good, which includes concern for the community, stakeholders, employees and workers within the organization and the environment.

ACE: What are the advantages of pursuing an MBA in Social Impact over a general MBA?

CN: Students will gain the skills needed to bring on positive social change through business, while still getting all the technical skills one needs to run, lead and maintain a business. Our students will be business leaders and use their knowledge to also be agents of change.

ACE: What kind of career opportunities are available to someone with an MBA in Social Impact?

CN: This degree will develop business professionals who are also socially responsible leaders, ones who strive to make an impact in the world that goes beyond the bottom line. Our graduates can pursue all manner of opportunities in business – project managers, marketing managers, financial analysts, human resource managers or consultants. Leadership roles – president, chief officer positions, executive director – are also possible, as well as entrepreneurship and starting your own business. Aside from careers in traditional business, our graduates can also pursue opportunities in sustainable finance, impact investing, nonprofit work and B Corporations.

American College of Education offers fully online degree and non-degree programs that help students develop the skills needed to succeed in business. Explore all of our online business programs.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.

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