This summer, I got that one internship offer many of us are working towards. After the initial euphoria ceased, I felt empty. I finally had the headspace to reflect on the envisaged direction of my life. Will I look back on my life and think: “Wow. A management consultant. I made such a difference”? Certainly not.

At that time, I remembered a conversation I had with Cian, founder of “Effective Altruism Ireland”, in New York this past spring. He explained that Effective Altruism (EA) is a practical community that aims to find the most effective ways to help others, and put them into practice. The Effective Altruism community encourages us to work on unprecedented existential issues like climate change, preventing global pandemics, and ensuring a benevolent development of Artificial Intelligence. It aims to save lives.

I conducted more research on Effective Altruism and found that the Bay Area is one of the strongest hubs for EA. I became excited and got in touch with our Club here in Berkeley. President Sofya Lebedeva and Advisor Aris Richardson provided a wide range of opportunities for Business students to engage with EA. As the title of this article suggests, I will showcase some actionable steps to make your career count.

Firstly, I would like to present something for everyone with an entrepreneurial drive, like me. In this case, Charitable Entrepreneurship is for you! They have an incubation program that trains people interested in starting a high-impact charity and gives access to a broad network and funding, thus providing the perfect environment to thrive in. The applications are now open and I encourage you to talk to Sofya or Aris, as they pass on referrals. You can certainly also start a For Profit that is EA-aligned like Alvea – they just closed $19M in seed funding.

Secondly, I would like to point out that there is not necessarily an obligation to diverge from your current career path. The EA community is fairly pragmatic: The concept of Earning-to-give enables Business students in well-paid jobs to save lives and positively impact the world without having to change their careers. It is simple: Give 1-10% of your income to a highly effective charity – which are listed on Giving What We Can and GiveWell.

Thirdly, I have some advice on what you can do right now to get started: Use the resources from EA Berkeley. Join the EA UC Berkeley Slack to hear about impactful job opportunities. Schedule a meeting with Aris or Sofya to learn more about Charitable Entrepreneurship, workflows, and how to start your project within EA.There is a multi-thousand-dollar project pool available to incubate new projects! Or meet us in person during our weekly meetings Monday 5-7 pm in Wheeler 108.

I also recommend checking out 80000hours.org. The organization is closely affiliated with EA and has actionable career advice. Order the free book (it changed my life) and speak with an 80,000hours advisor – both are free.

You don’t need to be a doctor or climate tech engineer to create impact and safe lives. As a Business Student, you can leverage the transferable skills you acquired through excellent education at Haas to make a change. I am the only Business Student at EA Berkeley so far. I would love to see you engaged in solving the world’s most pressing issues as well!

This post was written by Julius Ritter. 

The Haas Undergrad Blog warmly welcomes and appreciates the contribution of guest writers. Email haasundergradblog@gmail.com if you are interested in featuring as a guest writer, like Julius. 

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