Skip to content
Home Search

Farber Series

Inspiring Work – Adriana Rueda, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

My passion is to serve other people through my work. As an MBA student at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, I have been purposeful with my career choices, including where I focus my time and energy during my summer fellowship. When I accepted REDF’s offer to be a Farber Summer Fellow, I was certain that I would learn from inspiring people and deepen my understanding of workforce development by directly working with an Employment Social Enterprise (ESE).

For 10 weeks, I worked with Homeward Bound of Marin (HBoM), a results-driven nonprofit in Marin County, California, which is part of REDF’s Growth Portfolio. I was inspired to learn about the consistency of their work, their incredible impact on people experiencing homelessness, and their hard-working team that made everything come together. During my internship, I focused on building a growth strategy for Wagster Treats, an ESE within HBoM, which employs people who have been part of previous training programs in the organization and have developed specific culinary and food-production skills.

I never had a boring day. I interviewed a myriad of people, observed daily tasks, reviewed literature, learned new recipes (not the ones you would think!), spoke with commercial brokers, planned engaging working sessions, and of course, built a financial model and a few PowerPoint presentations (you can never have enough of these, right?). My favorite part of my fellowship, though, was learning from the team, inspiring can-doers that are genuinely motivated by what they do and understand the responsibility their work entails.

This experience drastically challenged my comfort zone, forcing me to listen, redefine success and adopt a sense of flexibility towards my own pre-conceived ideas around social innovation. I wish I could have been involved with the project for longer and witnessed firsthand the results of HBoM’s exciting growth – but I look forward to seeing what they achieve in the future. This experience taught me that only through honest and direct involvement can I inspire others’ personal transformations and ultimately achieve organizational change.

During my second year at Haas, I will pursue work opportunities that value my implementation experience and strategy building in the impact investing space. What fuels my curiosity is identifying and developing strategies that I know will have a verifiable and lasting impact. This summer’s experience was just that. As well as an inspiration that will last for years to come.

Share this post with your network!