Last summer, Vault's CSR blog followed four MBA candidates as they went through their internships as Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corp fellows.
NYU Stern School of Business' Jay Stone identified savings of 942 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year at News Corp, and Booth School's Peter Petropoulos identified opportunities that could save PepsiCo $195,000 in operating costs. Haas School candidate Megan Rast identified 1.5 million in cost savings for eBay, while Fuqua's Jim Wilson helped Yahoo! identify projects that could save the company as much as $400,000 in electric bills alone.
In total, 51 Fellows identified $350 million in net operating savings over the projects' lifetimes in 2010.
This year, we are partnering with the Climate Corps once again to bring you not only a close look at how sustainability internalizes at companies, but also to help you figure out whether this is the right career path for you. Their accounts will teach us the challenges, the opportunities, and the nuts and bolts of how to present the business case for sustainability.
Here's a brief introduction to the four 2011 Climate Corps Fellows who will blog for this space and make us a part of their journey this summer.
John-Paul Fontelo, 2012 MBA Candidate: University of Notre Dame
Undergrad: Tufts University
Leaving a career in financial services, John-Paul decided to pursue an MBA after witnessing the missteps made in the name of short-term profit during the recent financial crisis. Today, he is committed to principled business leadership founded on the concept that companies can do well by doing good.
Future goals: To complement a robust quantitative skill set, John-Paul is pursuing a marketing concentration. In the long term, he hopes to engage in strategic planning and business development.
Pia Jean Kristiansen, 2012 MBA Candidate, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Undergrad: Duke University
Prior to business school, Pia was working as an investor relations consultant to publicly traded technology companies in Silicon Valley. She was drawn to Ross for its strong commitment to sustainability. The opportunity with Climate Corps matched perfectly with her interest in driving the adoption of corporate sustainability initiatives.
Future goals: Pia plans to gain experience across many levels of the sustainability value chain. After spending time on understanding the mechanics of sustainability programs and energy efficiency decisions, she plans to leverage this experience to better drive product sales and adoption in a strategy role for a clean technology company.
With a specific interest in social impact, Pia aspires to work with enterprises in emerging markets.
Booz Allen Hamilton
Aaron Landgraf, 2012 MBA Candidate, Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School
Undergrad: Johns Hopkins University
In Aaron's previous roles as project manager for a small software development firm and environmental planner for North America’s largest wind farm, he realized the vital need for innovative leaders to build environmentally sustainable businesses.
Future goals: The nearly ubiquitous availability of technology presents tremendous opportunities for individuals and corporations to optimize energy efficiency and simplify energy management.
At this rapidly growing nexus between information and communication technology (ICT) and energy, Aaron plans to become a global leader in developing and implementing environmentally sustainable strategies.
Gabrielle Maguire, 2012 MBA Candidate, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Undergrad: Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
Gabrielle's background is in political consulting and microfinance. She has worked on several environmental and social issues within those sectors, most recently in Geneva, Switzerland in hedge fund management.
Her investment experience demonstrated that there is great opportunity in sustainability, particularly energy efficiency, and she is now pursuing an international business degree that focuses on finance and energy policy.
Future goals: Gabrielle wants to make businesses more sustainable and use that competitive advantage as a driver to improve profitability. That involves employing a combination of energy efficiency, reducing use of natural resources, and investing in renewables. In the next 5 to 10 years, she hopes to identify potential profitable areas for sustainability and implement cost savings projects.
Coming up: Aaron leads the way by identifying potential barriers ahead -- and how he might solve them -- as he begins his summer at Booz Allen.
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