Current student Chris Meissner started the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program to make a career change from strategy and corporate development into water related issues. However, upon beginning the program, Chris realized that the complex nature of sustainability demands a multi-disciplinary practitioner.
“I’ve worked my entire career within the private sector, and have a good understanding of how the company is driven by the shareholders. I hope to understand how sustainability decisions are compromised by business decisions, and to truly recognize where that happy medium currently is, and how far it can be pushed while still making business profitable.”
Current Master of Science in Sustainability Management student Jeremy Simpson joined the program because it allowed him to examine his interests in economics, business, and operations research through the lens of sustainability. Jeremy was inspired to work in sustainability because he believes that it is the best way to make a positive impact globally. Now he is doing just that as an analyst at Recyclebank, a startup company that helps communities across the United States to improve their residential recycling programs by providing economic incentives to residents.
Recent M.S. in Sustainability Management graduate Luke Apicella works as an impact investor in the Office of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential. In this role, he provides investment recommendations based on social, environmental and financial merits. Luke credits the program with giving him skills to analyze actual deals, furthering his passion for finding ways to profit within “nature’s ability to regenerate ecosystems and resources.”
Inspired by his childhood fascination with the outdoors, current Sustainability Management student Zach Bogoshian joined the program to implement lessons from nature to our current environmental challenges. In the program, this hopeful notion has manifested itself as a passion for creating innovative networks to connect people with sustainable solutions that don’t discount financial return. As Zach says, “If sustainability doesn’t make economic sense, the intrinsic motivation generated by pursuing sound environmental outcomes simply is not enough to effect change on the scale we need.”
After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua, current Sustainability Management student Michele Aquino was drawn to the program because he saw the need for sustainable programming in development interventions. Since starting the program, Michele has gotten involved with various projects on campus, including working with his fellow MS students to submit a prospectus for the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge that would propose a land restoration and sustainable palm oil production program for smallholder farmers. Upon graduating in May, Michele hopes to pursue a career in the food processing and consumer packaged goods space or exploring the field of clean energy.
For Adrian Ang, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program presents a unique blend of skills that he hopes to apply to a future career in environmental policy and leadership.
“I was a little nervous coming into the MSSM program, as my educational and professional background seemed atypical,” says student Laura Tajima. “However, I found that there is no ‘typical’ background. I’ve collaborated with people from finance and architecture; those who have worked in the oil industry and fashion industry; people from all over the world and those who grew up in the city.”
For Carolina Rosero, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program will provide the tools she needs to bridge the gap between scientists and decision-makers. She hopes to combine the skills she gained through her job in Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment with her coursework at Columbia to make an impact in developing nations.
With several years of journalism experience in her native India, MPA ESP candidate Shravya Jain, came to Columbia to learn more about energy and sustainability policies in order to become a policy leader specializing in design, advocacy and negotiation. During her time in the program, Shravya has gained invaluable management experience working with her fellow classmates from diverse backgrounds.