The Benetech Intern Experience: Lale Tekisalp

By Laura Deck, posted on

Spending my summer at Benetech, at the intersection of technology and social impact, has been very rewarding. Here’s why…

My name is Lale Tekisalp, and I’m currently an MBA student at UC Berkeley, focusing on social impact and responsible business. Before business school, I was at Microsoft, working on their cloud computing business across the Middle East and Africa. During my time there, I was inspired by how digital technologies can transform businesses. I wanted to see how this power can be harnessed to create stronger positive social impact across the globe. Benetech was the perfect place to experience the world of software-for-good since it has been a leader in this space for more than fifteen years. I was encouraged by the deep commitment that Benetech has to empowering communities with technology.

Lale Tekisalp is wearing a blue blazer and smiling

Evaluating the Changing CSR Landscape

This summer, I worked with the business development and marketing teams at Benetech. My task was to assess the changing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) landscape and scope partnership opportunities for the organization. I started by conducting a landscape analysis where I interviewed thirty organizations including CSR representatives from companies, as well as other organizations that work in the CSR ecosystem, such as community foundations and law firms. I consolidated my findings into thirteen trends that are currently changing the CSR landscape and thought about the opportunities that these changes might hold for Benetech. I ended my project with a presentation to the Benetech leadership team where I made recommendations on the organization’s engagement strategy and messaging for corporations.

The Corporate Social Responsibility landscape is evolving, although there is clearly a long way to go in terms of maturation and standardization. However, I was inspired by how strategically companies have started to think about their social impact efforts. The CSR representatives I met are doing thoughtful work to grow this field. Moreover, there is increasing interest from many industries in tech-for-good. This is clearly an exciting time to be at the intersection of technology and social impact.

Spending my summer at Benetech has been very rewarding. I learned a lot and met amazing people. I feel lucky to have had the chance to spend time with the Benetech team in Palo Alto – a team that is fully committed to realizing the potential that technology holds for accelerating social change. I’m looking forward to continue working in the exciting tech-for-good space and keeping in touch with the Benetech team.

Learn more about Benetech’s focus on software for social good.

Lale Tekisalp is a second-year MBA student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is focusing on social impact and responsible business and plans to pursue a career in the tech-for-good space, focusing on partnerships to accelerate the positive social impact of digital technologies.