Crafting Impact and Technology Strategies as a Quarterback

Headed into my MBA experience, I knew that my professional journey would be challenging.  In early 2013, I made the decision to leave a great banking career in order to try something that was non-traditional, impactful, and inspiring.  My dream was to become a facilitator of accessibility for underrepresented minorities within technology, but I had very little experience in this space and no idea where to start.
stefanie_quote

Before I could step onto campus to embark on my new career transition, I received information about a unique pre-MBA opportunity through an exciting organization called Quarterback.

…’Tackle Good’ deeply resonated with me as I sought to pivot into a profession that would intersect my purpose and passion for socially impactful work.

Its motto, “Tackle Good” deeply resonated with me as I sought to pivot into a profession that would intersect my purpose and passion for socially impactful work.  Quarterback did not simply provide me with the chance to have a meaningful summer before business school, it positioned me for an extremely unique experience to work with a highly successful social enterprise called CODE2040.

My project with CODE2040 allowed me a rare chance to see the inside of recruiting at some of the most prominent firms in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Jawbone, and Google.

The CODE2040 engagement was a match made in heaven.  The organization’s mission greatly aligned with my own aspirations to support and foster the growth of underrepresented minorities in the technology space.  My project with CODE2040 allowed me a rare chance to see the inside of recruiting at some of the most prominent firms in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Jawbone, and Google.  In addition, the project significantly broadened my own perspective on current initiatives related to diversity and inclusion that are occurring within technology.

My work involved quantitative and qualitative research that led to strategic recommendations for an online technology portal…

Throughout my summer, I was able to stretch myself in certain subject matter that I initially had very little exposure, and I received an incredible amount of mentorship and guidance along the way from both Quarterback and CODE2040.  My work involved quantitative and qualitative research that led to strategic recommendations for an online technology portal that is significant to CODE2040’s business development and included very senior level oversight.  As a result, I felt that my efforts to further enhance CODE2040’s proprietary technology platform were perceived as critical, directly impactful, and significant for the organization’s future growth.

Not only did this work allow me to connect with some of the most prominent organizations within the industry of my desired future career, but it also afforded me the chance to stretch my leadership capacity within a complex environment.

My Quarterback engagement over this past summer was truly an once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Not only did this work allow me to connect with some of the most prominent organizations within the industry of my desired future career, but it also afforded me the chance to stretch my leadership capacity within a complex environment.  This inevitably allowed me to build new skills while improving upon my existing strengths and expertise.

The CODE2040 opportunity has created inroads and extended networks for me within the tech sector that go beyond what I thought was possible so early in my MBA journey.  It has established a foundation for me to leverage my summer experience as a stepping-stone towards my long-term professional goals.  As an MBA student with a non-traditional path, I often look back and wonder about the risk of not taking on Quarterback’s amazing program.  Without it, I would not have so quickly gained the starting point that I’ve felt I needed to begin my career anew.

-Stefanie Thomas

About Stefanie Thomas:  As a Washington, DC native, Stefanie is ecstatic to transfer her Wall Street experience and non-profit skill set into impactful social-based contributions within technology.  Stefanie is pursuing her MBA emphasized in strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Post-MBA, Stefanie plans to manage business development for high-tech startups. She will then endeavor to facilitate minority-led tech entrepreneurship through grassroots resource accessibility initiatives.

The CODE2040 opportunity through Quarterback uniquely positioned Stefanie to obtain invaluable experience that aligns with her long-term goals. As a non-traditional career switcher, Stefanie regards her pre-MBA Quarterback experience as tremendously beneficial and a key influencer of her future professional success.

About Quarterback ReflectionsQuarterback, a social enterprise startup building the leadership of the impact economy, is participating in global Pro Bono Week 2013 (#PBW13).  In celebration of the pro bono ethic, alumni of Quarterback’s founding cohort are sharing reflections on their own high-impact, intensive engagements as part of the Quarterback program.

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One comment

  1. Ronnie T · · Reply

    Damn proud of you sis! You make the family so proud and are becoming an agent of change in your community and in others!

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