For the past few months, a group of five students from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management have participated in Turner MIINT, a hands-on, impact investing program offered to graduate students across the country. Turner MIINT, co-sponsored by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative and the Bridges Impact Foundation, is a unique experiential learning opportunity for students interested in intimately understanding the perspective of investors in the social impact sector.
Throughout the program, team members completed a series of modules focused on various aspects of impact investing, from sourcing to investment strategy to the due diligence process, after which they pivot to apply their learnings in the real world. Following the modules, students begin the sourcing phase, searching for a company to pitch to the Turner MIINT Investment Committee in the spring as part of the Turner MIINT finals. This year’s Turner MIINT team chose to pitch RingOn, a company dedicated to helping parents protect their children through an innovative ring-shaped GPS tracker, applying the skills they learned in company sourcing, due diligence, and underwriting.
Caleb Petersen (MBA ’23) reflects on the sequence of the program, appreciating that “as students, we got to put on our “investor hats” and try our hand at sourcing, underwriting, and pitching early-stage social enterprises.” This year’s Turner MIINT team also included Dasha (Dariia) Berezenska (MBA ’23),
Campbell Goodman (MBA ’23), Sumit Kar (MBA ’23), and Ethan Tang (MSF ’22).
Ethan Tang, adding to Caleb’s thoughts, shares that:
“Being on the Vanderbilt MIINT team was one of the best decisions I made while at Owen. Not only did I gain exposure to the world of impact investing, but I also expanded my professional network. Participating in MIINT showed me the high level of commitment necessary for a proper sourcing and diligence process, and through this experience I hope to apply this knowledge towards my future work and career goals.
As the only MSF on the team, I was initially a bit hesitant about joining an all-MBA team, but that anxiety quickly subsided. I was paired with a group of extremely talented and thoughtful individuals, where I learned to step out of my comfort zone and adapt to the workstyles of my new peers. Perhaps one of my most impactful takeaways from this experience was seeing leadership in action, as demonstrated by so many of my teammates. Seeing us come together in this process and focusing our energy towards helping innovative change-making startups will always be one of my best experiences at Owen.”
Team member and 2022-2023 TFC Impact Investing Chair Dasha Berezenska is already in the planning process for next year’s Turner MIINT program, eager to determine how to continuously improve the program for Vanderbilt graduate students in the years to come.