Center for Social Entrepreneurship

at Middlebury

Acumen Fellows Visit Midd

September 7th was a standout Friday afternoon.  Why?!  This year’s class of Acumen Fund Global Fellows, along with John McKinley ’04 (Innovation and Global Fellows Manager) and Ramil Ibrahim (Fellows Associate), came to the MCSE for a lunchtime discussion about the role of social entrepreneurship in the liberal arts.  The nine Fellows have just returned to the states after ten months of work in the field. During their visit, they reflected upon their experiences and they shared various lessons learned with our team.  Despite working for different organizations in different countries, all of the Fellows seemed to value and agree upon a few key takeaways: patience is essential; attentively listening to customers and co-workers is crucial; flexibility and open-mindedness are exceptionally important qualities; and, empathy is almost always the answer.

As I sit here, an MCSE student intern writing this blog post, I am filled with gratitude—gratitude for inspirational people, transformative ideas, and unbelievable passion.  Fernando Sandoval Jimenez ’15, one of the center’s 2012 Grant Challenge winners, also attended this gathering with the Acumen Fellows.  While conversing afterwards, he shared that this experience “was an empowering reminder that one does not have to wait for an extended period of time post-college to begin doing meaningful work in the field.”

It was a joy to host this group of humble, amazing individuals.  To learn more about each Fellow, click here.


Come check out our office (118 South Main Street) to read messages that the Fellows left behind on our whiteboard walls!!

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