You have no idea how honored I was to speak and what a true pleasure it gave me. To see all their bright, eager faces gives me such hope for our industry and everything they will bring to it. I can’t tell you enough how important I believe the MBArk program is and how fortunate the students are to have you shepherding them.
The opportunities that you offer through MBArk are second to none. If it wasn't for you and the program I wouldn't have half of the career opportunities that are now open to me. Thank you so much for welcoming all of us into the natural products family!
I can't emphasize enough how deeply grateful I am for the MBArk program and your efforts to connect and inspire us with the Natural Food movement. These past few days have been a game changer for me and regardless whether I will find a job from Expo West (you will be among the first to know if I do) this was an incredible opportunity that truly fell from the sky for me.
I really appreciated the opportunity to meet fellow MBAs interested in this space as well as your contacts in the industry who were generous enough to share their advice with us. Attending Expo was also amazingly helpful in continuing my job search because it allowed me to connect in person with companies I’m interested in – thank you.
I just want to thank you again for a great weekend. Walking the floor was fun, but the people that you brought to us (and just bringing us all together to meet) were really amazing. More than anything else it just felt great to be surrounded by people who have such a similar passion and drive to food industry growth and change
I can’t imagine a better way to learn about the natural foods industry – we were able to meet so many CEOs and founders, speak with different players across product categories, and even engage with fellow like-minded students across the states. You have created a really special program and I look forward to sharing this experience with my fellow students back here
I just wanted to email to say thank you for the opportunity to attend Expo East this past weekend and for the incredible line up of speakers that you had come speak with us. I especially found their entrepreneurial stories (and in general the collective group’s entrepreneurial spirit as pioneers of the natural foods industry) incredibly encouraging and inspiring. Your commitment to this industry and to bringing more MBA’s into this industry is so appreciated.
The show was impressive in its very nature, but the MBArk experience was inspirational and unique — from meeting so many extraordinary values-driven CEOs at the breakfast to seeping in wisdom from Darcy and other alums over the course of the day. I really feel that your efforts and energy will help shape many of our mission-driven career dreams (I know that to be true for me), and I can’t thank you enough for that.
It was extremely motivating and encouraging for me to see so many people who are passionate about their career or business. As you know, many MBA students seem to only consider $$$ but this leads many to empty and unfulfilling paths. The whole weekend served to confirm my desire to make a positive impact for a cause I believe in.
MBArk BY THE NUMBERS
schools have participated, and 370 people
natural foods companies under one roof
WHAT MBArk IS ALL ABOUT
Connecting Business Education and the Food Business
The natural and organic foods business is the most purpose-centric industry in the world. It has long attracted mission-driven and idealistic business leaders whose passion, innovation, and dedication have begun to restore our agricultural systems, democratize healthful foods, and generate annual sales surpassing $200 billion – attracting the considerable attention of investors and Big Food companies alike.
Yet this remarkable and highly appealing industry has largely remained disconnected from the world of business education. Academic institutions are only now beginning to provide instruction in relevant disciplines such as authentic leadership and sustainability. Meanwhile, natural foods companies have seldom recruited MBA students, so many of the best management practices, analytical tools, growth strategies, and latest research on organizational development are simply not present in the ranks of their leadership.
MBArk was created to bridge that gap, bringing the “hearts” of natural foods together with the “smarts” of business education.
The Core Program: Networking Help for MBAs Who Want to Save the World
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, the journey of the MBA student was straightforward. You chose a b-school, did some case studies, found an internship, earned your degree, and then went on to a career in investment banking or consulting.
Today things are different. Many students are now motivated not just by money but by mission, and business school skills are increasingly being put to work for social causes. The plain old bottom line has evolved into the triple-bottom-line. There are more career choices than ever for MBAs, but the entrepreneurial, non-profit and save-the-world companies don’t usually know they need MBA students… and their salaries hardly even chip away at those massive student loans.
Today’s MBA students embark on the perilous journey from career to school and back to career, searching for fulfillment in that elusive job that generates value without sacrificing values. And MBArk is here to help.
Through various programming, we connect forward-thinking, triple-bottom-line-focused MBA students with similarly progressive companies and industries, and to help them succeed in their new careers by equipping them with real-world knowledge. Apply now for our next program at Expo West.
FIELD: Executive Education for the New Generation of Food Leaders
Anyone who has worked in the natural products industry for a while knows that a lot of business growth has been the result of inspired leaders, mission-driven cultures, and lots of “gut” and “hunch” decisions. Technology, market research, accurate product and customer data, sophisticated financing instruments, robust training and benefits policies? They haven’t often been part of the mix.
MBArk’s FIELD program – Food Industry Executive Leadership Development – seeks to remedy that. It is the first executive education program developed by and for the natural products industry. It brings up-and-coming leaders in the industry together for an immersion into some traditional MBA disciplines (personal leadership development, team building and people management, business economics, 21st century marketing, negotiations, etc.) using a unique team-teaching approach that combines instruction from world-class faculty members of the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business with inspiration from many of the legendary leaders of the natural products industry. It is like a compressed MBA program, natural foods boot camp and networking event rolled into one. The next FIELD program will take place June, 2020 in Boulder. Learn more.