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Tomorrow's Leaders Today
One Man's Trajectory to Making a Real Impact
Ryan Legg, MBA '10
Ryan Legg, MBA '10

While Ryan Legg, MBA '10, was in the thick of his MBA program, he took on another huge project: he served as student chair of the 2009 Net Impact conference. Net Impact is a nonprofit organization focused on students, sustainability, and business.

Legg and his team broke records, running the largest conference ever for Net Impact or Cornell University. They attracted 2,600 attendees—including many more corporate participants—with top-tier speakers. They achieved campus-wide involvement and doubled their conference-related fundraising goals. "Ryan is very thorough, very quick, very tenacious," says Mark Milstein, director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise (CSGE). "He was pivotal in making it all happen."

Legg was no stranger to CSGE. He had served as the center's program manager for two years before undertaking his MBA. As an engineer, he had experience in design and project management. "As I grew into jobs, I got interested in the bigger picture. How do you harness the drive to create? How do you get people working together? How does technology get traction in the marketplace and create rapid growth opportunities?"

In addition to other MBA courses, Legg enrolled in the SGE immersion, which provided him with applied experience in entrepreneurship, innovation, and organizational change. He also credits our tight-knit community and wholehearted support for students as being critical to his growth. "If you want to pursue a good idea, you have advocates among other students, faculty, and Cornell as a whole."

Legg and his wife, Meredith, pursued their graduate education at Cornell together. On May 30, they both walked across Cornell's stage—he to receive his MBA and she, her PhD in civil engineering.

Now Legg is with GE's Renewable Energy Leadership Program in a two-year experience that puts high-potential individuals through several business rotations. "I love the renewable energy business, and I love the idea that we're change agents for the future."