Alan Burchell is the founder and principal of Urbanstrong, which he started shortly after graduating from Columbia’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program in 2014. When choosing courses, Alan encourages MSSM students to fill up their tool belts. In his experience, “Knowledge is great, but tools get you hired.” Alan recommends to take classes that will teach you a transferable skill.
MSSM alum Diana McCarthy-Bercury (’16) commuted from New Haven, Conn., to attend the MSSM program from 2012 to 2015. Diana is currently an energy efficiency program manager at Eversource, an electric and natural gas utility in New England, which specializes in energy services. She is determined to leave a mark by not leaving a mark.
Sustainability Management alum Krista Eichenbaum (’16) moved from Toronto to attend the MSSM program to better address resiliency challenges in cities. She is currently Project Analyst and Manager at a women-owned engineering consulting firm, specializing in civil engineering, urban planning, and sustainability.
Energy efficiency, corporate sustainability reporting, and investor relations piqued Charlotte Peyraud’s interest and became her focus, and ultimately, her career.
“In the mainstream market, sustainability is seldom a selling feature. … This makes it challenging for sustainable manufacturers to thrive and provides little incentive for traditional manufactures to green their materials and processes. The market will change when mainstream consumers demand sustainable goods.”
Sustainability Management alum James Ossman (’15) is the Global Operations Manager at Etsy. He believes the MSSM program has been the difference between being interested in and passionate about sustainability, and being able to lead sustainability initiatives with authority.
For Justin Mankin, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program helped expose his passion for environmental science. Mankin is currently serving as an Earth Institute postdoctoral fellow and research scientist, where he is focusing on climate variability.
Ashley Toombs, a 2015 graduate of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, recently joined BRAC USA, a poverty alleviation and international development organization founded in the 1970s in Bangladesh and now operating in 12 countries in Asia and Africa.
“Ever since I started studying sustainable development, the big question has always been how to define and speak about it. I have come to notice more and more how important this question is as I spend my days conversing with different people on the topic.”
Flip through any fashionable design annual, and you’ll read of something called “Human Centered Design.” The practice of HCD places emphasis on user testing, interviews, field research and high-touch iterations to solve problems. As contemporary design, and especially sustainable design, increasingly comes to rely on HCD-inspired techniques, greater attention is being paid to social features.