What have you been up to since graduation?
I work in NYC as an Associate Director at Global Evolution, an emerging and frontier markets investment manager. The company is headquartered in Denmark, but I’m out of the NYC office. I like being at a small company because day to day, my job varies significantly. I meet with potential investors, handle client requests, attend conferences, and get to work on a number of exciting side projects as well. For example, in November I planned an impact investing symposium that included speakers from the World Bank, the UN-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment, and the International Monetary Fund.
Why did you choose to attend this MBA program?
I’d worked at non- and for-profit organizations in the past, and I found the program while searching for an opportunity that combined the mission focus of a non-profit with the resources and structure of a for-profit. I had considered business school for a while, but wanted to find a program that was a good fit for my values. I loved the combination of the innovative curriculum, the small class size, and the opportunity to live in Vermont.
What was your favorite part about the experience?
It’s hard to pull out one favorite piece. The class discussions were consistently engaging and thought-provoking and the small class size provided opportunities to build close relationships with classmates, professors, and guest lecturers. The practicum allowed us to take everything we learned throughout the year and put it into practice in a real world business challenge. As I’m now almost two years out of the program, I’d say my favorite part is the network I built during and since the program that includes a group of people across a broad range of industries that are dedicated to using business as a force for positive change.
How are you applying the tools/skills you learned in the program, post-MBA?
The tools/skills from the program come in handy on a daily basis. One big example is the emphasis on both systems thinking and long-term thinking, as opposed to a focus on short-term shareholder returns. A more specific example is in the fall, I attended the UN Principles for Responsible Investment Conference in Berlin, which focused heavily on the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). I attended sessions such as “Social cohesion and inclusive growth: the investment risks and opportunities.” It was energizing to see a large network of leaders so passionate about incorporating sustainability into everyday business, and my experience in The Sustainable Innovation MBA gave me a good knowledge base to jump in to those conversations without feeling like a newcomer to the field.
What would you tell someone who is considering The Sustainable Innovation MBA?
This MBA program emphasizes a global, long-term approach to business strategy, with a core emphasis on the fact that we are all connected and living in a world of finite resources. It will force you to look at business beyond short term success metrics. A manufacturing plant providing jobs in one community may be poisoning the water in another community. A farm that’s feeding thousands could be depleting the soil of nutrients for the next generation. What externalities are we not taking into account when we make business decisions? How will this project look five, ten, or twenty years down the road? What happens to this product at the end of its useful life? How will this organizational change impact employee turnover? We need businesses to start asking the right questions today so that we can create sustainable, regenerative organizations that will positively influence the world for generations to come.