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Success Story: Kyle Walsh ’18 in Rare impact investing internship

Success Stories | Sep 19, 2017 |

Of all the ways MBA students can pass the time between their first and second years of the program, Kyle Walsh, MBA ’18, chose one that was so far off the beaten path it’s in the ocean.

Walsh spent his summer as an impact investing senior intern at Rare. Among other responsibilities at the fund, he worked on sustainability reporting for the company’s potential investment in an Indonesian aquaculture operationfarming Asian sea bass.

For this venture in its initial stages, Walsh’s main focus was looking at potential challenges and next steps, a process that relied heavily on coming up with metrics.

These issues were addressed in the impact-investing course he’d taken at Fordham, so he was prepared to tackle them. But because the field is still relatively new, there were plenty of unknowns.

“Once we figure out what we want to report, how do we get accurate reporting on that?” he asked. This question comes up often in the sustainability arena.

For Walsh, that’s part of what made the experience so exciting, “being able to become involved in a sub-industry that’s just being created.”

We’re in a unique situation where we’re able to shape what it looks like,” he said.

Walsh’s involvement in impact investing came as a surprise to himself, as he started at the Gabelli School with the intention of pursuing marketing. During orientation, however, he learned about Net Impact, a student organization for people who want to use their careers to help solve sustainability challenges.

He was intrigued.

From there, he made it a point to seek out news on impact investing and to network with people in the industry, which led to finding the Rare internship posting on the Global Impact Investing Network job board.

While Walsh had finance experience before starting at Fordham, having worked at companies including Morgan Stanley and S&P, he cautions anyone interested in impact investing not to be intimidated by venture capital.

“If this is what you want to do, I think the passion is important,” he said.

Walsh’s passion is fueling his next step: to obtain his SASB certification so he can continue helping the environment, and, more than that, get others interested in sustainability.

“It is up to my generation to really change the mindset about how people live their lives,” he said.

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