I'm a software engineer at a Boston startup. We connect U.S. college students with mentors that support them and help keep them in school (universities are our customers). I took this job two years ago for learning, career capital, and the promise of positive impact on the world.
If asked, I could say with confidence that it has delivered on the first two, but on the last point I feel epistemically clueless. Many universities pay for our services, we collect data on what students and mentors say have happened in their relationships, and we have a studies assessing impacts on retention rates. But in the for-profit world there is not much incentive (even from paying customers) to put our resources behind studying counterfactuals.
I don't know how to approach such an analysis, or to what extent I should expect such an analysis to be possible. I don't expect full enlightenment -- any progress would be helpful to me and help me decide what to do with my career in the future.
I would love to work with someone who has done this kind of thing before to attack this question. I would pay you for your time, at a rate you feel is reasonable.
My email is email@example.com.