We asked six of our 2019/2020 Executive MSc in Social Business and Entrepreneurship alumni about their experience with the EMSBE programme. This week we are sharing Maegan Lillis’ story.
What was your job before you started the programme?
Before beginning my graduate school experience, I worked in a range of programme and development roles in social change organizations in the philanthropy and workforce development sectors. I found my interest in social entrepreneurship, social justice, and economic inclusion during my undergraduate studies, so I never struggled to understand my career direction until I became mid-level. What pathways for advancement existed for me? How could I deepen my contributions to the causes I believe in while fostering a livelihood for the next chapter of my adult life?
What was your motivation for starting a programme like this?
After working at the helm of a work-integration social enterprise, I knew I needed to advance my understanding of economics and business to accelerate both my values-oriented goals and my professional success and opportunities. I wanted to do this through a graduate degree in the UK, which would reconnect me with a more global perspective that had waned during my years establishing life and jobs in California.
I initially began a typical full-time MBA programme. I knew right away that it was not the educational experience I was looking for – I was seeking a community of peers from a wider range of backgrounds; a more explicit academic focus on the social and environmental externalities of global economics; and the ability to maintain my career momentum by continuing to participate in the workforce.
With this new direction, I decided to spend more time looking for the right programme for me, and was drawn to the design of LSE EMSBE academics and experience right away.
Have you transitioned into a new role in your existing organisation / changed jobs or are changing jobs since the programme? What are your motivations for doing so? What is your new role and how do you hope to shape it to be the most impactful it can be?
One of my goals for the programme was to gain strategic insights about how to advance the work I had been doing as a freelance consultant. At the beginning, the independent consulting projects I had taken on focusing on helping organizations develop their theory of change was a way to support my studies and align with my lifestyle as a graduate student while I explored future pathways. Over the course of the program, I leaned heavily on my classmates, professors, guest lecturers, and LSE resources to help me understand where my strongest skills and opportunities were, and where I could focus my learning and effort to develop.
During the programme, I took on a new project with a global innovation agency that shares all of the traits I was looking for in a company; together we built a new impact measurement framework and digital tool for education, health, and social technologies in the youth wellbeing sector. I was able to engage with academic research content as well as technology design methodologies much more deeply thanks to relevant coursework in impact measurement, strategy, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
Alongside this social innovation design work that I will continue through my independent consulting, I am also now working on a new start-up with an amazing founding team called Made with Black Culture. This programme absolutely encouraged me to take on the entrepreneurial experience.