The Longhorn Impact Fellowship at Texas McCombs (LIFT) is now accepting applications from across UT!
Are you interested in gaining real world experience while you’re in college? Do you want to make a positive impact on society and the environment? LIFT—The Longhorn Impact Fellowship at Texas McCombs—is an excellent opportunity to do both.
LIFT is a program of the Social Innovation Initiative (SII), UT-Austin’s hub on campus for innovation in social and environmental impact. The center is housed in The McCombs School of Business, but serves students from across campus. It focuses on corporate sustainability, impact entrepreneurship, impact investing and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing.
SII’s mission is “to prepare future leaders to address societal and environmental challenges through any career path, and to promote the regenerative possibilities of purposeful and responsible business.” Their LIFT program does this by pairing student consultants with sustainable corporations, social enterprises and nonprofits to solve an impact focused problem. Projects are completed in 10-12 weeks. Past consultants majored in Business Honors, Plan II Honors, Public Affairs, Biology, and more!
Sarang Dev Murthy, a graduate student in Economics and a veteran of the program, says, “I began with LIFT in the Fall of 2019, right as I was starting my graduate program in Economics at UT. It was really important to me to learn outside the classroom, especially at the graduate level… I was instantly hooked to the idea of creating economic and social value, and had seen that it was not only possible but also crucial.”
Sarang’s first LIFT project was consulting for a micro-finance lender starting operations in West Africa. They were able to scale up the operation during Sarang’s consultancy. Now this lender has a relationship with a local bank that has started to accept non-traditional collateral for education loans.
This semester, Sarang is working on a corporate project here in the US with other UT students. Among them is Social Work student Ashlee Silver. Ashlee says, “When I first saw the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary team focused on social impact, I was really excited to learn some new skills and work with local nonprofits. I have worked in a few nonprofits now and am familiar with the sorts of challenges that can affect service delivery.”
“LIFT provided me with a tangible, real-world opportunity to start solving some of those challenges with gifted people from diverse disciplines… I was just so impressed by the work that all of the LIFT teams are able to accomplish in the timeframes we are given. This program is truly unlike anything else I’ve encountered. I have grown immensely in so many different ways.”
Sarang agrees. He says, “I have seen how LIFT has evolved, and have been very fortunate to have been part of the program since day one. I whole-heartedly think that LIFT will fast become a power-house of experiential learning in the impact consulting space at UT. It will truly shape tomorrow's best consultants.”
As the world becomes more competitive, it is crucial for students to seek experiential learning opportunities before entering the workforce—skills that allow them to explore areas of interest and build out their professional skills. LIFT does just this, and allows consultants to gain ubiquitous skills that can be transferred to any job. LIFT graduates are agile leaders that address problems from a system perspective.
Apply to be a Spring 2021 LIFT Consultant by December 18, 2020 and create the impact you want to see in the world! Juniors, seniors, and graduate students may apply. You can also register for an information session that will be held on November 17, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. Learn more on the LIFT website.