For five years, Brian Gloede ran a startup that worked hand-in-hand with MBA students and recent business school graduates. The idea: Give them a way to devote their formidable business skills to a worthy nonprofit for three months of the year.
The irony: Gloede—the guy who founded the company, developed the business model, found the partners and recruited the fellows—didn’t have an MBA himself.
“I realized this is the right place to build some additional skills to reorient my career,” said Gloede, an incoming Consortium fellow in the midst of intense preparations for the Orientation Program & Career Forum in June while preparing to transition from his work with his startup. “It definitely took this experience to make me realize that.”
Gloede will attend New York University’s Stern School of Business in the fall.
The social enterprise Gloede founded is called Quarterback. The organization works to pair MBAs who want to take a quarter of a year off with nonprofit organizations that can use some high-octane business savvy. It’s a concept Gloede himself stumbled upon when he was seeking another direction for his career after four years as an investment banking professional.
He spent time working on a nonprofit organization’s junior board on a part-time basis, then asked the organization’s CEO how they might use Gloede if he donated three months of full-time, pro bono assistance. Gloede ended up working on a strategy for corporate relations and engagement for the organization and found himself energized by the experience.
“At the close of the three months, I had a lot of colleagues reach out to say, ‘I’d love to do that at some point, how did you find it,'” Gloede said. From there, Quarterback germinated.
Five years later, the company has a new group of 10 fellows preparing to take a quarter this summer and work for eight different nonprofit organizations. And Gloede himself is preparing to commence his own graduate business education.
In fact, he’s gotten a great deal of encouragement from another Consortium fellow, Stefanie Thomas (Michigan ’15). She was a Quarterback fellow in 2013—the summer before starting her MBA program—and joined Gloede to help run Quarterback in 2015 before moving on into impact investing.
“She spoke incredibly highly of her experience with The Consortium,” Gloede said. “That was one of the things that got me interested. She was really key in coaching me to get Quarterback to the program it is now.”
Now he’s engaged in the “drinking from a firehose” experience that is OP preparation: Meetings with representatives from NYU; a Chicago-area meetup with Consortium students and alumni from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Indiana University-Bloomington and NYU; getting his resume up to snuff; and conversing with career coaches.
“I’ve been counseled that the best thing for me is to know thyself as you head in OP,” he said. “Now I’m in the same boat as all my Quarterback fellows this summer. I can gather a lot of viewpoints. There’s a lot of shared excitement going around.”
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