As part of our ‘Careers with social impact’ programme, LSE Careers hosted a panel of five alumni working in a variety of roles with social impact. Panellists discussed what it means to work in a role with ‘social impact’ as well as key things to look out for when considering entering the sector…
A snapshot of our speakers
Patricia Ollé Tejero
- joined All Survivors Project in December 2016 where she works as Project Coordinator and Researcher on conflict-related sexual violence against men, boys and LGBTI+ people, particularly in Colombia.
- also volunteers as an interpreter for medical teams in rural Guatemala and is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Bridging Education Costs for All (BECA), a scholarship program for Indigenous communities in Guatemala.
- received a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Richmond the American International University in London in 2016, then earned her master’s degree in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from LSE in 2019.
- is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of GraphoGame, an education technology company from Finland. GraphoGame is a suite of evidence-based literacy apps for five- to nine-year olds.
- holds a master’s in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship from LSE and is focused on democratising access to world class early literacy education by distributing free-to-download gamified literacy apps on behalf of governments, foundations, and corporate social responsibility programmes.
- can proudly say GraphoGame’s many language versions have been downloaded more than three million times and have 100,000s of daily users.
- currently works in the Partnerships team at Beam, where he manages relationships with government partners to grow the reach of Beam’s service.
- joined Beam after completing the MPA at LSE, where he had the opportunity to specialise in Economic Policy and the role of the so-called ‘third sector’ in advancing socially minded objectives.
- spent five years working in Hong Kong, where he grew up, as a Client Services Manager for professional services firm AlphaSights, getting the opportunity to build and grow teams to serve clients in India, China, and Japan, as well as serve on the management committee of the social impact division, Knowledge for Good.
- is an award-winning Gender Consultant, In-House Gender Equality Advisor to LSE Generate and Founding Director of Gender Rise, helping companies and organisations achieve sustainable gender equality and diversity through strategy, policy, and training.
- has a background in gender studies and international development, which allows her to see the private sector through a non-traditional lens and generate impactful ‘outside the box’ solutions.
- has been working in gender for 20 years and has collaborated with industry leaders such as The Guardian, Virgin, Amnesty International, UNDP, and GIZ, and was featured in BBC World News, Badass Women’s Hour, DiversityQ, and Start-ups, among others.
- completed his MSc in Social Policy & Planning at LSE, where his research focused on social enterprises in London supporting marginalised communities back into employment, and now works at Big Society Capital, focusing on widening access of social investment to minority-led networks and organisations and helping implement the EDI strategy.
- has a background in international development, working on various community projects in the Philippines, South Africa, Pakistan, China, and Iran.
- incubated a passion to address poverty, inequality, and social mobility in London through leading social action campaigns in Tower Hamlets and working on grassroots initiatives with charities, corporates, and local government.
- has previously worked across tech, advertising, and media driving youth engagement, digital transformation, and access to opportunities to upskill young people for the future of work and has recently joined the world of social impact investment to better connect under-represented groups to information, knowledge, and resources on impact investment opportunities.
How can business and impact intertwine?
The panellists discussed the ‘double bottom line’ facing those working in social impact roles: they are motivated by the pursuit of meaningful change and progress as well as the growth and profit of the business.
Jesper and Fayyadh applied a quantitative approach to this question, the former utilising data insights to see the reach of his work and the latter highlighting financial metrics as a key indicator of net social impact. Patricia also highlighted the current disconnect facing people working in careers with social impact where many are working online and do not get as many opportunities to see the social impact of their work first-hand.
What challenges do smaller social impact organisations face?
The panel was also asked about the challenges faced by smaller social impact firms, with one speaker explaining that there are smaller margins which means that you often work in a ‘leaner team’ but that this brings more responsibility and exposure. The panel agreed that working in smaller organisations was a great way to combat the feeling of disconnect from the impact of your work, as well as often bringing more opportunities to learn.
Tops tips for searching for jobs
When asked for advice when searching for jobs in social impact, the panel highlighted the importance of understanding where your specific values, passions and skills align and, if you’re not entirely sure what you want at this stage, to cast a wide net. They also agreed that LinkedIn was an asset when networking and researching company cultures.
Interested in a career with social impact? Book an appointment with one of our careers consultants to discuss your options.