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Creating Social Impact

Krista Young

Krista Young, 2017

Business and Finance
Shanghai

A Childhood Dream

As a girl growing up in Short Hills, New Jersey, Krista Young had an unusual childhood dream: to someday start a tortilla-making business. Krista says, “My family is from Mexico, and I always joked about the tortilla idea until I realized that it could potentially turn into an impactful venture that helps women in Mexico succeed.”

Though Krista’s business plan is still in its formative stage, the spirit behind the dream of starting her own enterprise has influenced her life since then. She recently graduated from NYU Shanghai with a degree in finance and is already setting out to apply her entrepreneurial expertise to a noble cause: creating opportunities to increase the wellbeing of others through business.

Though she primarily became a Business and Finance major to ensure independence in adulthood—“I wanted to be able to finance my own future,” she says—an early internship at the American Chamber of Commerce’s Department of Corporate Social Responsibility in Shanghai helped put her on a path of social responsibility. “It was the first time I was exposed to corporate social responsibility, and I loved the idea that businesses have departments that focus on serving their community and creating positive impact.”

Working to Better the World

Since then, Krista’s spent much of her time working to better the world around her. And thanks to NYU Shanghai’s structure—each student spends at least one semester abroad—she’s been able to practice what she preaches around the globe. At NYU Florence, she volunteered with local senior citizens to clean up parks in her spare time.

And during a semester at NYU’s flagship campus in New York City, she traveled with her International Volunteers class to Ghana to help local women create a boutique business—which is still in operation today. “We taught the women how to do basic accounting and were able to gain their trust,” she says. “After we returned to New York City, a group of us continued working with the women in our own time. Now they’re selling bags and scarves, and it’s getting really close to it being a concrete, village-owned business,” she says.  

Krista carrying supplies in Accra

Krista standing in front of mural

“I loved the idea that businesses have departments that focus on serving their community and creating positive impact.”

Enriching the Lives of Locals

With that experience under her belt, Krista was able to land a dream position post graduation: as a Princeton in Asia Fellow in Yangon, Myanmar, where she works on the investor relations team of an organization that creates profit-generating products for rural communities, serving as a liaison between donors and customers throughout Myanmar. “One of my favorite things about the job is being able to visit our offices throughout the country and interact with our farming customers,” she says.

Krista standing with Buddhist nuns in Myanmar

And though she’s in a position designed to enrich the lives of locals, she’s finding the job gives back in ways she never expected. “Being in Yangon, I’ve noticed myself become more open-minded and present,” she says. “There is no other place I need to be right now, and realizing that has helped make this experience extremely enriching.” 

The Benefits of Global Citizenship

While she’s committed to living and working in Asia in the short term, she hasn’t forgotten her childhood dream: “NYU has provided me with the resources to go so many places; it helps being a global citizen today, and I definitely want to take the experiences I’m gaining in Asia and eventually launch a sustainable business in Mexico or Latin America one day.”