Impact Measurement and Management Fellow - Alaa Ghoneim
Alaa is a rising senior at Princeton University, where she is pursuing a degree in Near Eastern Studies and Diplomacy.
Having spent my undergraduate career studying political economy theory and delving into the scholarly conversation on development, I wanted an experience that could meaningfully apply this knowledge into the real world. I came to 17 Asset Management seeking these experiences. What attracted me to 17AM is the unique model with which the company operates. And despite coming from a development background, 17AM gave me an unparalleled opportunity to be exposed to and learn about the intersection between development and business, and become well-versed on topics of finance and business.
I joined 17AM’s applied research team for five and half weeks. During my internship, I worked on a project to develop methodology to measure the impact and the SDG-alignment of a client’s portfolio. The project involved building a scorecard of indicators to translate country-level targets to a business context, and then scoring companies on a scale of -1 to 1 to determine alignment. Since we were developing a novel methodology, my work involved a lot of research of the impact investment space. This opportunity gave me a lot of exposure to the UN sustainable development goals and other impact investment strategies such as ESG.
The chance to develop something never done before was both challenging and exciting. I was pushed to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions, and I felt that my ideas, no matter how experimental, were welcomed and encouraged. The entire project was akin to a design thinking exercise: we were coming up with solutions, testing them and then adapting our methods based on our findings.
Alongside this project, I conducted a holistic mapping of impact commitments and progress of the top 20 competitors in asset management and investment industries. It was rewarding to to know that my work is important in the building of firm strategy going forward.
My experience at 17AM not only exposed me to impact investment space, but also honed my research and analytical skills. The problem-solving skills I gained were invaluable and will be a great asset in all my future endeavors. Additionally, I was able to refine other soft skills such as teamwork and communication. I’m very grateful for my time and 17 Asset Management.