MBArk on a Journey in the Natural Products Industry

Interested in natural products and sustainability?  MBArk is an organization that develops programs to promote and accelerate synergy between triple-bottom-line businesses within the natural foods industry and the new generation of progressive MBA students and business schools. The organization sponsors educational programs and events to help MBA students enter this business space.

Once just a hippie offshoot of Big Food, the natural products industry has grown into a $200 billion colossus, and one of the bellwethers of the recent shift toward more enlightened business attitudes.  It is today a bubbling cauldron of entrepreneurship, sustainability, and triple-bottom-line orientation.  Twice each year, industry leaders gather for trade shows with more than 3,500 exhibiting natural products companies.  Now MBA students have a chance to experience this firsthand.

The MBArk Core Program gives a select group of MBA students from around the country the opportunity to attend these trade shows at minimal cost; to meet with CEOs, industry leaders, and MBA alumni already blazing trails in the industry; and to network with dozens of the top natural foods companies in an effort to explore prospective career opportunities.  It is a truly unique opportunity for MBA students seeking summer internships or permanent positions to delve inside one of the fastest growing, most successful and most progressive industries on the planet — all during one week, and under one roof. 

Students have the opportunity to apply for the MBArk Core Program at Expo East which takes place September 12-14, 2019 in Baltimore, MD

The Core Program includes: 

  • Walk the Floor with the CEOs
  • MBA Alumni Dinner
  • MBArk CEO Breakfast and CEO Speed Dating
  • Numerous booth meetings with top natural food executives
  • Focus sessions on topics like marketing, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and impact investing
  • Access to the show floor and Expo East events  

Participating companies, executives and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. 

There will be 40 spots available for current MBAs and other graduate students, but it is a competitive process, with an expected three applicants for each spot.  There are two deadlines to apply for the MBArk program at Expo East.  The priority deadline is Tuesday, August 20th at midnight PDT.  Applications submitted by then have a greater chance of acceptance because the organization takes about 75% of the pool from that group.  Additionally, only people who apply by then have a chance to reserve hard-to-get discounted hotel reservations through MBArk.  The secondary deadline is Tuesday, September 3 at midnight PDT.  About 25% of candidates will be selected from this pool of applicants which will also include those not selected in the first round. 

Accepted applicants will pay a small fee ($149) to reserve their place and cover program expenses including two dinners and two breakfasts as well as access to all events. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Baltimore as well as housing and incidental expenses.  The cost of the Expo East trade show pass is waived for MBArk participants. Learn more about MBArk here


Apply for the MBArk Core Program at Expo East here.




By Kim Austin
Kim Austin Director