Duke’s Fuqua School of Business offers scholarships each year to individuals with social sector backgrounds who are looking to acquire business skills for use in their pursuit of social impact. The CASE Social Sector Scholarship brings in amazing students who add a richness to the Fuqua student body and bring their unique perspectives to the classroom. We are proud to announce our new CASE Scholars, starting with Sarah Martin!
Driven by a passion for tackling the root causes of poverty and inequality, Sarah has spent the last six years helping donors and social ventures maximize their impact. She began her career with a philanthropic consultancy in Washington DC called Arabella Advisors that advised wealthy individuals and donors on how to be more strategic with their charitable dollars.
Exposed through this work to the exciting world of impact investing, Sarah wanted to see firsthand how this new form of mission-driven capital benefited the social ventures receiving it, so she set off to India, a global hotbed for impact investments. After a short stint with a social enterprise consultancy there, Sarah spent 2 years with UnLtd India, a nonprofit that offers grant funding, coaching, and business support to start-up social ventures. Sarah led their expansion efforts, helping create a network of local UnLtd’s and grow it to four sites across the country. Through this work, Sarah discovered her love for the enterprise side of impact investing and for the scaling process.
When I decided that business school was the best next step for me, I wanted to find a well-respected program that also had a strong social impact focus, fantastic professors with a passion for teaching, and a strong sense of community. Looking at schools with these criteria in mind, Fuqua was the clear winner for me. On the social impact front in particular, the opportunities for learning inside and out of the classroom appeared endless. Considering the cutting-edge research at CASE, the new global health accelerator SEAD, the student-led Net Impact club, and the Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovations pro bono consulting group – just to name a few! – I knew that I would be exposed to countless new ideas and have ample opportunities to apply my academic learning to the real world.
What impact do you hope your Fuqua education will allow you to have on the world?
My experience at UnLtd India instilled in me a passion for helping organizations that are tackling the root causes of poverty to expand from reaching a few hundred to touching millions of lives. It also exposed me to gaps in my current skill set and experience that I believe are critical for achieving this goal fully. At Fuqua I plan to develop my finance and data-driven decision-making skills as well as my understanding of building, motivating, and leading a great team. With these learnings, I aspire to lead the scaling process for the next Teach for America or Habitat for Humanity and contribute more broadly to the sector’s thinking on how to scale mission-driven organizations successfully.
Share one of the 25 facts from your application essay
My family loves ice cream – both eating and creating it. Collectively we have developed 4 flavors that have been commercially produced by a local dairy company: Mocha Brownie Avalanche, Mango Madness, Internuttional Relations, and Graham Ole’ Opry.