MBA Connection

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An internship Mark Chhabria began as an MBA student in the Barowsky School of Business evolved into a new career focused on developing sustainability programs throughout Marin County.

Mark decided to pursue his MBA at Dominican after 20 years working in real estate finance, the restaurant industry, and the arts. He quickly found a supportive community when he kicked off his studies in the MBA Boot Camp and immediately became immersed in hands-on projects with local clients. The three-day student orientation featured exercises in live business cases, sessions for preparation on business presentations and consulting practices, and a mini-consulting project for a local business.

“It was a really accurate glimpse of what was to come. Connecting with the people who would become my classmates and working on projects that drew upon everyone’s diverse backgrounds and experience really started my MBA journey off with a bang,” says Mark, who now works on the Sustainability Team of the County of Marin Community Development Agency.

The County’s Sustainability Team develops programs to promote renewable energy, address climate change, encourage green building, recognize green businesses, and implement energy efficiency projects in County schools, special districts, cities, and towns.

Mark interned with the Sustainability Team while working on his MBA. He never envisioned working for local government, but, he says, “These days, government is run much more like a business than it used to be, so I apply my education to my work with the County on a daily basis.”

Today Mark coordinates the Marin Green Business Program, which recognizes and promotes environmental leaders within the local business community; and Electrify Marin, a program for residents that encourages the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Working on several consulting projects while in the MBA helped Mark sharpen his leadership skills. One highlight was the Global Business Practicum in Prague with fellow Dominican MBA students. Mark and his cohort worked on a project focused on business development and strategic planning for a social enterprise serving disadvantaged communities in Prague.

“The opportunity to draw on all the coursework of the program and put it into practical application was exhilarating,” Mark says. “The cohort of students I was working with were all passionate about sustainability and social impact, and we were fortunate to find a consulting project that fed those passions.”

Mark was named at Outstanding Graduate Student in the Barowsky School of Business at Commencement ceremonies in May of 2018.

“The MBA program definitely re-ignited my passion for academics and I’ll probably start looking into PhD programs at some point,” Mark says. “Social and environmental impact continues to be my biggest motivator, so I’ll continue to seek out the opportunities that offer the most potential for impact.”


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