When Education Pioneers set up its first Los Angeles-based branch in 2007, Brandon Malmberg (‘07) had recently completed a fellowship with a UCLA Anderson Johnson & Johnson program and was a recently-minted Anderson MBA with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Non-Profit Management. Education Pioneers (EP) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving public schools by creating a stronger network of resources both in and outside of the classroom.
With his background in non-profit entrepreneurship, Malmberg was immediately drawn to the new start-up organization after he heard about it. Today he holds the office of managing director for Education Pioneers Los Angeles.
"I met EP's CEO and founder Scott Morgan at an Anderson career night and I learned about the program as it was getting ready to launch. As I wrapped up my Johnson & Johnson internship, I learned more about the open position with EP and it turned out to be a fantastic fit," said Malmberg. "Our mission is to get passionate people who are capable of creating a huge impact and positioning them in roles where they're able to thrive and really create social change. We intentionally put together a really varied set of high impact projects to mach our diverse participants. For MBA students especially, there are a lots operations and strategy projects as well as projects developing systems for rapidly growing organizations. ED Fellows design new budgeting systems and develop marketing for after-school outreach programs, among many other things, so many core MBA skills can be leveraged through EP."
Their summer Graduate School Fellowship, selects top graduates specializing in everything from business and law to policy and education. The 10 week program is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of just over 10%, and a large contingent of past participants from UCLA Anderson as well as other distinguished higher education institutions including Harvard and Stanford.
During their Fellowship, participants are partnered with schools, non-profits and non-governmental organizations to develop strategies to improve public education in high-need areas. Additionally, Education Pioneers equips Fellows for permanent careers in education leadership by organizing professional development sessions where they learn directly from industry professionals. A final piece that distinguishes EP from other education reform non-profits is their emphasis on the importance of building a strong network of resources.
"There are seven full days over the course of the 10 week program during which Fellows attend workshops that focus on building connections and helping our fellows understand, in practice, what it means to build a real professional network. We do a lot of connecting," said Malmberg. "The entrepreneurial spirit and the approach to solving problems and embracing change as an opportunity were fundamental to my success at Anderson. I developed my ability to use a professional network for shared benefits. Sometimes I take for granted what I got from the Anderson MBA, every day I use core business skills from marketing and finance and strategy that I developed at Anderson and those skills weren't all intuitive to me before business school."
Anderson also played a pivotal role in Malmberg's EP career because of his involvement in the Net Impact Club; a broad-based student organization dedicated to socially responsible business. It was through Net Impact that he was first introduced to Education Pioneers by his friend and fellow Net Impact co-president Ellen Lin. Lin currently serves as Cluster Business Senior Manager for Green Dot Public Schools. Like Lin, a number of Anderson grads have completed the Education Pioneers Fellowship and moved on to careers in education reform for such notable establishments as Los Angeles Unified School District, KIPP LA and The Broad Residency.
Education Pioneer's high rate of success is further visible through their former Fellows; the organization boats a staggering proportion of participants who immediately work in public education after the Fellowship. More than two-thirds find their first job in education after graduating, helping to rejuvenate and bring new talent to the public sector.