Prior to joining the M.S. in Sustainability Management program, current student Carolyn was working as a consultant for Perkins+Will, an architecture and planning firm, where she focused on green building and sustainability planning work. Carolyn chose the MSSM program because she wanted to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to transition into a career in sustainable investing – a goal that she has already accomplished during her time as a student. Carolyn credits the MSSM program with shaping the way she understands economics and sustainability’s crucial role in investment management.
Prior to joining the M.S. in Sustainability Management program, current student Mikael Amar was working for the corporate culture reform and strategic business development efforts for the Abdul Latif Jameel Group, the largest independent distributor of Toyota in the world. While working for ALJ, Mikael witnessed how the economic climate can negatively affect people’s willingness to focus resources on sustainability. Mikael chose the MSSM program because he believed that its focus on quantitative, scientific, and managerial skills would allow him to achieve his ultimate goal which is to increase the awareness and endorsement of sustainability and long-term planning in organizations.
The word resiliency has emerged as the new gold standard for designing the built environment. Its meaning may be interpreted as design that not only maintains self-sufficiency throughout extreme environmental scenarios, (e.g. heat waves, power outages, extreme storm events, etc.) but also allows communities to quickly recover in the aftermath of such an event. It is within this context that a group of Columbia Alumni, including two graduates of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program – Steven Burke (’12) and Erin McNally (’12) – banded together to collaborate on a resilient and sustainable design aimed at rebuilding a single-family home that was destroyed in the devastation that Hurricane Sandy wrought.
Master of Science in Sustainability Management alumnus Stephen Marlin (’12) has always been a “car guy.” Now, as the Senior Business Development Manager in the East Region for BYD Motors, he works to bring electric vehicles into New York City livery services. He credits the MSSM program’s integrated approach to sustainability with allowing him to better understand his partners and turn obstacles into solutions.
Working on real-world sustainability projects for actual clients is integral to the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program. Students made presentations earlier this week about projects that they are conducting on renewable energy, climate resilience, sustainable investment, urban agriculture, and environmental management systems. The clients range from the Federal Transit Administration to the Newark Water Group, a grassroots organization.
On Feb. 28, the All-Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair marked its 11th year. The eight Ivy League schools – Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale – teamed up once again to host the fair at Columbia University in New York City. This year’s event attracted 69 recruiting organizations, and more than 900 students and alumni. For students in Columbia University’s M.S. in Sustainability Management program, the fair was an opportunity to meet with both sustainability-focused employers and more than a few familiar faces from the program.
As head of sustainability for JetBlue Airways, current Master of Science in Sustainability Management student Sophia Mendelsohn is responsible for reducing the environmental impact of one of the largest airlines in North America. While this can be a challenge, the financial and scientific skills she has gained through the program provide her with a solid foundation upon which to base the company’s sustainability initiatives.
When four Master of Science in Sustainability Management students landed in Podgorica, Montenegro in January, they were carrying an energy efficiency plan that promised to save the country money and energy, and to create jobs. These benefits would come from the energy retrofitting of some 100,000 buildings that have sprouted without permits in the last twenty years. In this building frenzy, people have overlooked building codes, including energy efficiency measures.
Prior to joining the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program in the fall of 2011, Katrina Prutzman (’14) worked as a manufacturing process engineer for 3M Purification, Inc. where she implemented manufacturing improvements and developed new production processes in the making of a variety of filtration products. While a student in the program, Katrina spent the summer of 2013 as an EDF Climate Corps Fellow, using the technical skills that she had gained through her experience with manufacturing and engineering to identify energy saving initiatives for Union Pacific Railroad. Currently, Katrina works for Urban Green Energy, a distributed renewable energy provider, where she is responsible for ensuring the consistent product quality at the company’s vertical axis wind turbine manufacturing facility in East Asia.
Megatrends, such as population growth and resource depletion, are creating business opportunities that could yield profit and environmental and social benefits, according to Jonathan Rose, the real estate developer and pioneer in green building and sustainable community development. Rose recently spoke to a packed room of students and guests, as part of the Practicum in Innovative Sustainability Management, a new course. He pointed to recycling and the mining of trash for metals, as examples of enterprises that would gain value in a world where both consumption and the cost of raw materials are increasing.