Start Center - Strategic Analysis, Research & Training Center
START Center



This spring, two Global Innovation Fellows are graduating from the Strategic Analysis, Research & Training (START) Center’s training program, both having also completed their MBA from the Foster School of Business this June.


Below, learn more about our impressive graduates and the work they completed while engaged with START.




Before joining START, Morgan received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Texas. While there, she interned for Deutsche Börse – MNI where she helped prepare economic indicator reports on the BRIC countries. After graduating, she worked in client service, enterprise strategy, and new product development for a start-up professional services company. Morgan joined START in her second year of her MBA program.


Morgan worked on four projects during her one-year engagement at START, acting as the Project Manager for three of them. Morgan provided her respective teams with strategic support through a business lens. Below are highlights from two of the projects Morgan worked on:


  • Where are the Poor: Morgan served as Project Manager for this project, where the team researched the levels of poverty, the lifestyles of those living in poverty, and the current state of financial inclusion in Bangladesh and Ethiopia at a national and subnational level.
  • Family Planning Market Research Review: The team conducted a review of market research and user insight studies on contraceptive technologies, and evaluated the market size and demand for a longer-acting injectable product in sub-Saharan Africa.


Reflecting on her time as a Global Innovation Fellow with START Morgan said, “My time at START has significantly contributed to my professional development. As an MBA student, I was looking for opportunities to apply the skills I was learning in the classroom and get outside my comfort zone – this experience certainly fulfilled those goals. START is an excellent opportunity for graduate students looking to expand their client and project management skills, learn about global health and development, and make a meaningful impact.”

Morgan graduated with her MBA in June, and will be joining PwC in September. She will be working in their Management Consulting practice, and her clients will primarily be in the tech industry.



Mike received his bachelor’s degree in History from Texas A&M University. Before joining the Foster School, Mike served for seven years as a chemistry teacher and high school principal at YES Prep North Central, a public charter school providing free college-preparatory education to underserved communities in the Houston area. Before joining the START Center, Mike served as a program management intern with Expedia Group.


Mike worked on three projects during his six-month engagement at START, acting as the Project Manager for one of them. Below are highlights from two of projects Mike worked on:


  • Charitable Giving Evidence Heatmap: The START team identified and evaluated research on charitable giving and donor behavior for the Philanthropic Partnerships Team within the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
  • Cybersecurity: Mike served as Project Manager for this project, which worked with the Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) team within BMGF to understand the current status and value of cybersecurity frameworks within certain countries in Africa and Asia.


While working with START, Mike learned about various topics in global health while flexing his strong team building skills. Reflecting on his time as a Global Innovation Fellow with START Mike said, “START has been a tremendous learning opportunity. It’s rare to get the opportunity in graduate school to deliver real projects for a prestigious client like BMGF. As a Global Innovation Fellow, I led challenging in-depth projects on topics ranging from cybersecurity to global health product design. All of my business skills were challenged as I collaborated on cross-functional teams with truly wonderful human beings. The expectations at START are high, bur rising to meet those expectations made me a better professional and leader.”

In June, Mike graduated with his MBA. He is joining Expedia Group as a Program Manager.


These two graduates will continue to engage with START’s extensive alumni network, established in 2011. START often invites alumni to share their experiences after graduating from the training program at all-team meetings and, additionally, taps into the alumni network for content expertise on projects. The alumni network is comprised of highly skilled START graduate professionals employed in global health, business, and consulting across disciplines.