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Corporate Impact Careers: Networking your way to your dream job

Corporate Impact Careers: Networking your way to your dream job

People around a table

Transitioning to your dream job 

Getting into a niche field like CSR (corporate social responsibility) & ESG (environmental, social, and governance) can seem intimidating, but small steps and big dreams will take you there. My transition from a career in traditional business to purposeful business was backed by incredible mentors whom I met one coffee chat at a time, skill-building opportunities that got my foot in the door, and unique leadership and learning opportunities from volunteer roles. Now I have the opportunity to continue to sharpen and share my skills at the Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility as Senior Program Manager for the Baumhart Scholars MBA, a 100% impact-focused MBA program.   


The power of networking 

For me, the journey begins with networking. Networking is key to building a career in any field, but I find it particularly important in

niche fields like CSR & ESG. My two key approaches to networking are informational interviews and events.  

Informational interviews 

One coffee chat could have the power of transforming your entire career (it did for me)! Here are a few tips I have learned about informational interviews: 

  • Time it right. 

  • Meaningful networks are built over time and relationships form because you genuinely have an interest in learning about someone’s work and want to stay in touch with them.  

  • Be prepared. 

  • Do your research first. Where do they work? What interests you about their role? What are you hoping to gain from the conversation and how can this person help you in your career? What might you be able to offer them in return? 

  • Make the ask. 

  • If there is something specific this person can help you with, don’t be afraid to ask. Do it before the conversation closes. If nothing specific, ask them if they have any resources to share with you that have been helpful in their career. And, always ask if they have anyone in mind that they could connect you with next. 

  • Stay in touch. 

  • Thank them for the conversation and follow up afterward. Keep them posted once you’ve landed your dream job. Let them know you completed a certificate program. Invite them to join an industry event with you. They want to hear about your progress! 

Industry events 

Industry events are a great way to meet people in the field and build your list for future informational interviews. Here are a few event resources I have found helpful: 


What’s next? 

This series of articles about corporate impact careers will explore the path to a career where doing well is doing good, getting there by networking, professional development, graduate school, and volunteer opportunities. Stay tuned for the next article on professional development. 


About the author 

Madeline Stanton

Madeline Stanton is a values-driven leader, employee motivator, and risk manager with experience leading social and environmental impact initiatives that bring people, planet, profit, and purpose together. She currently manages the Baumhart Scholars MBA at Loyola University Chicago, preparing impact leaders to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world. Connect with her on LinkedIn here


Explore Impact Careers 

Visit Net Impact’s Career Resources page for tips and tricks for your impact jobs search. View the Jobs Board to use your career for good.