NYU Stern Students Use Their Business Educations to Effect Positive Change

Mckenzie Love
Rebecca Malz in front of the KMEC building
Social impact is at the heart of the NYU Stern Undergraduate College education, and the required four-course social impact curriculum, initiated in 1998, was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a model for undergraduate business education. 

Outside of the classroom, students find inspiring ways of using business to make a positive impact on people and planet, from volunteering abroad to founding nonprofits.

We sat down with five NYU Stern undergraduate students to hear more about what social impact means to them: 

Rebecca Malz Headshot
Hometown: Mahwah, NJ
Major: Business and Political Economy
Minor: History

How are you using your time at NYU Stern to make social impact?
"Through Stern Cares, I found out about a Stern alumnus's nonprofit called Trip of a Lifetime, which empowers low-income high school students to become community leaders through travel opportunities. I applied as an intern and have worked there ever since. It's really amazing work, and something I would never have gotten involved in without this network." 

Raghav Saraogi Headshot
Co-founder of Jazz Hands and Co-president of the Social Impact Council
Hometown: Chennai, India
Concentrations: Finance, Statistics
Minor: Mathematics

How are you using your time at NYU Stern to make social impact?

I am co-president of the Social Impact Council (SIC), and I am also a co-founder of a nonprofit organization called Jazz Hands, which aims to improve English education access in India through a drama-based curriculum.

What advice do you have for other Sternies who want to make social impact during their time at NYU Stern and beyond?

I would encourage all those interested in social impact to make the effort to find each other. There are many of us, and the collective power of this community is immense and waiting to be unlocked.

Rachel Funderburk Headshot
Hometown: Edmond, Oklahoma
Concentrations: Marketing, Management

How are you using your time at NYU Stern to make social impact?

I attended NYU's Project OutReach, a pre-orientation camp where 100 freshman worked with Friends of Rockaway, the Bronx Defenders, Saint John's Bread & Life, and at a local park. We spent time volunteering and discussing important social issues. I chose Stern in large part for the Social Impact Core, and I've already met so many Stern students passionate about changing the world!

Pooja Vittal Headshot
Co-President of Stern’s Social Impact Council
Hometown: Albany, NY
Concentrations: Economics, Management
Minor: Social & Public Policy

What advice do you have for other Sternies who want to make social impact during their time at NYU Stern and beyond?

There's an amazing social impact community at Stern, so go to club meetings and events and meet people. And be ok with not following the norm!

What is your ultimate dream in relation to making a social impact after you graduate?

I'll be joining Teach for America after graduation so my immediate goal is to better understand the inequalities in the education system and to have a positive impact on my future students.

Maggie Paruta Headshot
Hometown: Fairfield, NJ
Concentrations: Sustainable Business, Finance

How are you using your time at NYU Stern to make social impact?

Through the SIV Social Entrepreneurship in Ghana trip, I learned that many girls in Woadze Tsatoe, Ghana, have to drop out of school because of unintended pregnancies. When I returned to the village as an intern for the Ghanaian-based nonprofit Adanu, I wanted to address this issue and pioneered a much-desired and needed sexual health education curriculum for the 4th-6th graders and the larger community.

What inspires you to make social impact?

Engaging and empathizing with others, immersing myself in new cultures, and working to ameliorate challenging yet solvable social problems invigorates me.


Inspired by these NYU Stern undergraduate students? Here are some more social impact and sustainable business resources at NYU Stern that you should know about:

NYU Stern Social Impact Core
Sustainable Business Co-Concentration
NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business
NYU Stern International Volunteers: Ghana
NYU Stern Social Impact Council (Student Club)
NYU Net Impact (Student Club)
Stern Cares (Student Club)
NYU 180 Degrees Consulting (Student Club)
NYU Stern Social Impact Stipend
NYU Office of Sustainability
NYU Project OutReach
NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program
NYU/D-Prize Social Venture Competition