Chin Chin Teoh and her husband, Garrison Qian, hold a firm belief that a business school education is highly essential, even in the nonprofit world. Whether in an arts and cultural organization, NGO, nonprofit, or other, more “nontraditional” MBA career path, high-level management training is still required to produce leaders who can optimize the operational efficiencies, growth, and survival of any organization.
This belief, born of their mutual experiences in the world of finance and nonprofits, led them to establish the Chin Chin and Garrison Qian Fund at MIT Sloan. The fund will provide fellowship support to MBA students who have demonstrated work experience in nonprofit organizations with a charitable or social mission, especially in the educational, cultural, and creative arts fields.
The seeds of the fund took root when Chin Chin left her private equity career to pursue a master’s degree in art history. She landed a position as the co-director of the MILL6 Foundation, a nonprofit arts and cultural organization in Hong Kong. “Many people in nonprofits and NGOs do not have the opportunity to pursue a well-rounded education managing sustainable businesses,” explains Chin Chin. “Garrison and I started to consider how we could help people get the training they need, to help them learn the tools from the business world that are necessary to manage a nonprofit organization efficiently and advance its social and charitable mission more effectively.”
“This fellowship is an amazing opportunity to give back in a most MIT way,” says Garrison. “We both have very fond memories of MIT, for providing knowledge and an incredible skill set, but also for influencing how we face the world’s evolving problems.” Adds Chin Chin, “Entrepreneurs, young people, and students should not miss out on the benefits of a business school education because they chose to start work in the nonprofit world. We hope the fellowship will help these individuals pursue a post graduate business education and inspire more donors to support similar initiatives.”
Chin Chin hopes her journey from finance to the arts will encourage others to take a similar path. She admits making the leap was not easy, but feels that ultimately, it’s one of the best decisions she’s ever made. “It didn’t seem to make sense on the spread sheet, but the heart speaks to you to go in a certain direction, and you have to start figuring all the intangible value created beyond the P&L statement. Profits and financial returns can’t be the only measure for success—for me or for any society.”