First-year MBA students are arriving on campus, settling into their new apartments, attending orientation programs, buying their textbooks and meeting tons of people. But getting their new life in order isn't the only thing on their minds. Fall recruiting is just around the corner--less than a month away in some cases--so students should be starting to think about what they want to do next summer. For students interested in consulting and sustainability, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has openings.
On Monday, BusinessWeek published an article about MBA internships at the EDF and the impact the student consultants had on companies in 2009. The internship program, called Climate Corps and offered in partnership with Net Impact, trains interns in sustainability and then assigns them to companies across the country. This summer, 24 companies, including Sodexho and TXU Energy, enlisted the Climate Corps' services; and in some instances, gained proposals for sustainable practices and changes that could save the company as much as $20 million in the next five years.
I think we can all agree that the next step in creating environmentally friendly businesses is making sustainability affordable. By employing MBAs, rather than environmental education majors or engineers, the Climate Corps offers companies suggestions to benefit the environment and the bottom line. Already, it's made some "true believers" out of its participants--companies and students. Says BusinessWeek, "Most of the participating students plan to pursue careers in sustainability, where they can marry their values and business skills."
Interested students should talk to their professors about any environmental management and sustainability classes or programs on campus (e.g., the Wharton MBA in Environmental and Risk Management and the Darden Sustainability Program), check out their Net Impact student chapter, and visit the Climate Corps website.
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