Meet Camille Fordy ’18, (LinkedIn) who came to The Sustainable Innovation MBA from the Washington, D.C. law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck where she worked in their government relations division. Prior to working at Brownstein, Camille worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staff assistant to Sen. Patrick Leahy and the Senate Judiciary Committee. This interview was conducted by Peyton White (LinkedIn), an undergraduate Business Administration major in UVM’s Grossman School of Business.
Why did you choose The Sustainable Innovation MBA?
I was MBA-bound for a while. I took the GMAT once and was exploring future options for MBA programs. I did lots of research on two-year programs, which I liked. I was going to push the application process out a year to continue studying for the GMAT, but instead I applied to The Sustainable Innovation MBA. I liked that the opportunity cost of attending The Sustainable Innovation MBA program was only one year and offered me a great change of network, too, away from my primary one in D.C.
“I liked that the opportunity cost of attending The Sustainable Innovation MBA program was only one year.”
What do you like about The Sustainable Innovation MBA?
I know a few individuals who were in previous cohorts. Their growth and experience in The Sustainable Innovation MBA program is inspiring and I really like the uniqueness of the program. I have heard before that “if you don’t go to a Top 10 school, an MBA isn’t worth it.” But after one month, I can say I disagree for many reasons. The program offers many interesting perspectives, classes are intellectually challenging, and we are provided with many opportunities to work in teams. I have found that the teamwork projects have been a great tool to self-assess how I work with others and improve upon my communication, project management, and problem solving skills for use in my future workplace. I have had the opportunity to develop relationships with new people and new personality types that I may never have met in my former workplace. Working in these diverse teams in a low-stakes atmosphere has given me the space to take risks and grow.
What would you tell people who are considering The Sustainable Innovation MBA?
The application process was surprisingly “customer-friendly”! There was a lot of networking involved. For some reason, I thought that it would be an extremely automated, distant type of process, but I was surprised to learn you can call or email The Sustainable Innovation MBA office and ask questions. They were so helpful in connecting me with alumni and were easy to communicate with.
What other benefits of the program have you seen or felt?
I attended UVM as an undergrad. I love Burlington. I have lived in many different cities, but here I have found a great pace. There is a high quality lifestyle that presents better and different problems. It’s the perfect environment to find the right people and the right job. It’s close to nature, which contributes to less stressful living. The program reflects this lifestyle. I really enjoy the change of pace from my job on Capitol Hill and government relations consulting. It’s a great break from the work environment. I have been super busy but I am learning to balance all the pieces. It is easier thanks to my teammates and the faculty. I find The Sustainable Innovation MBA very realistic and focused on success. It’s very clear everyone wants everyone to succeed.
“I love Burlington. I have lived in many different cities, but here I have found…a high quality lifestyle. It’s the perfect environment to find the right people and the right job. It’s close to nature, which contributes to less stressful living. The program reflects this lifestyle.”
What are your thoughts on your post-MBA life and career?
The biggest thing has been aligning the class lessons with my work experience and where I want to go after the Sustainable Innovation MBA. A sustainable curriculum really aligns with my personal views, and is teaching me how to fill the gaps that are missing in corporate and political perceptions of sustainability. The program is very relevant to my interests, both politically and academically, and differentiates the Sustainable Innovation MBA from all other MBA programs. I was first drawn to public service and government work because I saw progress being made in many spheres of American life but I feel now that our national political conversations are no longer on a trajectory that will lead to growth and sustainable futures in America or globally. Washington has lost touch with how to foster economic and innovative advancements in social justice, the environment and our communities. I am very excited to be part of a program that places these issues at the forefront of business development and at the core of future business strategy.