US Strategy Challenge: Ready for the Challenge

Apr 16, 2014 12:00 PM ET

US Strategy Challenge: Ready for the Challenge

Posted by Anita, Debbie, Michael and Rovic, Morgan Stanley, New York

We're thrilled and energized to be a part of the Strategy Challenge team partnering with Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC). Recently, we had a two-day training session so we could learn more about the Strategy Challenge process, understand how to think like a nonprofit consultant, and really get to know each other. We also started to delve into our strategic question – should CPNYC open a second program site in Harlem?

One of our first steps as a team was meeting with Sharon Content, the president and founder of Children of Promise, NYC, and Rebecca Zook, director of government contracts, who supports existing CPNYC programs and launches new ones. It was eye opening to speak face-to-face with such passionate advocates for children of incarcerated parents. Talking with Sharon and Rebecca left us feeling energized and inspired us to help this incredible organization further its mission. Our conversation gave us an even better understanding of where we can help CPNYC, especially as the organization considers expanding.

The four of us come from different areas within Morgan Stanley – Finance, Operational Risk, Fixed Income and Private Wealth Management – so we are bringing diverse skills to the project and learning how to leverage each person's strengths. All of us have volunteered before, but this time is very different. The Strategy Challenge is a unique opportunity to give back to the community by leveraging our core skills in a new way. During the next eight weeks, we'll be using our professional skills and adding real value to an organization. This is our chance to have a tangible impact in our community.

Now, the real work begins. We're starting to do market research, learn more about the competitive landscape for CPNYC in Central Harlem, and interview staff to understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as conduct additional financial analysis.

We'll keep you posted on our project right here, alternating each week with our partners from CPNYC. We look forward to updating you on how we are learning and growing from this experience, and most importantly helping this compelling organization.

For more information on the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge, please visit:

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