Success story: Jordan Catalana gets internship at Kenneth Cole Foundation

On January 28, Jordan Catalana (GSB ’15) starts her dream internship.

Jordan will be assisting with marketing, communications and outreach in the public affairs department of the Kenneth Cole Foundation. For someone interested in marketing, management and socially conscious business, this experience is way up there.

If you ask Jordan to name the top three companies she admires for their commitment to motives deeper than profit, Kenneth Cole will be one of them.

“Kenneth Cole is undoubtedly a fashion powerhouse,” she said, “but Mr. Cole himself has involved himself in huge philanthropic efforts, including his brand ‘Awearness,’ which donates all of its profits to the causes he is vocal about: LGBT rights, civil liberties, freedom of speech and HIV and AIDS awareness.”

That is where the socially conscious element of business enters the scene. Social companies are designed to make more than just money: They are designed to bring about benefit to populations beyond those who buy their products. It is a value that lines up with Fordham’s Jesuit philosophy of business enterprises serving a higher purpose.

Jordan has a connection to the Kenneth Cole Foundation already. The foundation is the sponsor of the Compass Fellowship, the selective program for freshman entrepreneurs that she and 14 other members of the Class of 2015 participated in last year. Through the Compass Fellowship, students receive guidance to develop a business plan for a social-entrepreneurship venture that they can launch if they choose — or they can simply learn from the experience.

For Jordan, it was the latter. She created a business model for an e-commerce site for college campuses, and while she has not put it into action, she came away with a great deal of insight.

“It’s becoming more and more necessary for customers and investors to recognize that brands and companies are ‘good’ brands and companies,” she said. “Either way, the world is benefiting. It’s just a matter of motive, reputation or compassion.”

Landing the internship at the Kenneth Cole Foundation required no fewer than three interviews, and now that she has it, she’ll need to put in at least 20 hours of work each week. But Jordan is thrilled about what it might do for her knowledge of marketing and corporate social responsibility, especially in a large organization.

Naturally, we’re thrilled for her. Best of luck in the new internship!

 

 

 

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