Current Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MSSM) student Divya Bendre had just completed postgraduate work in Policy Studies and was working in management consulting in Singapore when she stumbled upon an article by Steve Cohen entitled “Educating Sustainability Professionals” that changed the trajectory of her career path. Divya joined the program because she felt the flexible curriculum would help her to combine her interest in sustainability with her academic and professional experiences. After the program, Divya hopes to continue her work in ESG measurement, disclosure, and investment space.
For Sherif Kamal, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program offered a unique blend of science and policy to help further his career international policy design. Through leadership roles in both classes and social groups, Sherif is gaining invaluable management experience while learning about current environmental challenges.
For Jessica Cunningham, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program offers the ideal tools for a successful career in environmental policy. By combining an innovative science curriculum with professional experience in project management, Jessica is preparing to launch a career in urban planning policy following graduation.
Current M.S. in Sustainability Management student Prerna Chatterjee first became interested in sustainability when she worked as a Carbon Footprint Analyst in Germany after earning her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. Recently, Prerna was elected to be the President of the Sustainability Management Student Association where she and her fellow board members work to keep MSSM students connected to the field outside of the classroom through organizing a variety of professional and networking events throughout the academic year. Prerna believes that sustainability should be considered a way of life and hopes that the program will prepare her to bring this philosophy to the work she does after graduation.
Current Master of Science in Sustainability Management student Lillian Cheng has long been interested in energy efficiency and climate change, but it is her time at Columbia that has instilled in her the necessary quantitative, financial, and project management skills necessary to succeed in the sustainability industry.
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.
Current Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) student Maureen Loman is no newcomer to the science world. Her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland included research into subjects such as plant genetics, forest fragmentation, and bat acoustics, and for the past three years she has worked at the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University studying whale and fish acoustics. This interest in oceans and ocean management led her to apply to Columbia, where she hopes to acquire a deeper knowledge of policy in the environmental world to complement her hard science background.
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.
After three years working with the Peace Corps in Madagascar, Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy student Jonathan Mason came to Columbia with a strong background in research and writing, but limited experience in quantitative analysis. As he begins his final semester, he reflects that the quantitative and project management skills he has acquired through the program have prepared him to become a more incisive contributor to policy planning.
Having worked at the Assistant Editor of Sanctuary Asia, an Indian wildlife magazine, co-founded the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme, and volunteered with the Indian Youth Climate Network, current MPA in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) student Swati Hingorani (’14) has always had a passion for environmental issues. As she looks forward to her graduation from the program, Swati anticipates that her experiences as an ESP student will help her return to these positions with a new perspective.