Sustainability in Careers & Majors

One of the Week of Sustaniability events we had hoped to conduct in person was a Student Panel discussing how they connect sustainability into their majors, and furthermore into their future career paths. We are very grateuful to have received a written response from each of the participants which you will see below. 

"Coming into college, I really didn’t have any concept of what sustainable business was. I had a basic understanding of accounting, economics, and finance but there was little said about sustainable strategic decision making within my High school business classes. Once I came to CSB/SJU and I started learning more about business and the world, I came to realize the importance on business leaders to make better decisions that don’t only take positive cash flows into account. From supply chains to marketing, every business will have to figure out how they fit into the future that wants and needs sustainable products and services. Companies will need to learn how to be economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable in order to survive in todays global business economy, and some businesses and industries will be left behind. Just like nature, the companies that aren’t able to adapt to their environment will not endure.

As for my career goals, I hope to do a job that makes a difference for the better and is able to succeed by being ethical and responsible. I will be volunteering for a year after graduation, but afterwards I hope to pursue a masters in Sustainable Business Management. I would love to be part of an organization that helps with developing a sustainable future. I have a lot of interest in renewable energy because I can clearly see how that is the future of how we will power our world, but I would also enjoy working as a Chief Sustainability Officer or as a sustainability consultant for other companies. Regardless of my future career, I think its important for everyone to take personal responsibility in trying to make their work environment more sustainable" - Noah Becker 

"I think for me and for a lot of people practicing sustainability has always been an important facet of my life. And while this is true, at CSB/SJU, being involved in sustainability I was way more than just a person that liked to conserve our planet, but I was a part of a community of people who shared in the passion of protecting our common home. This community have brought me in the sphere of thoughtful conversations on environmental justice, intentional advocacy in marching for science and promoting key policies, and most critically it provided me a network of peers and friends who are on the journey of stewardship together.

 As a graduating senior, these lessons and experiences have definitely played a key role in my decisions regarding my career path. While I don’t have a job yet, my aim is to become a policy analyst to promote sustainable policymaking for our future, a path I wouldn’t have found were it not for the interdisciplinary nature of the world of sustainability here at CSB/SJU combining my love for the hard sciences with my knowledge of the policy world". - Abby Rader

 "I care about sustainability because it defines my feeling of trust that our future will be viable. Sustainability holds three tiers, environmental, economic, and social. When we think of the climate crisis, solutions that present themselves are often scientific or security-focused. Climate Science is imperative to create long term results for our ecosystems but falls short with black and white thinking. Solutions for the climate crisis are not a one switch flip where stopping the burn of fossil fuels suddenly places us back in pre-industrial times. Security-based options explain the climate crisis as a national security problem and an economic drain, but we need to think about who this makes us dependent on (western military and those with current money). My duo majors of Peace Studies and Environmental Studies has allowed me to see the entire picture of sustainability, with science, security, economics, and social. In order to progress into a future that is “sustainable,” we need to have everyone’s perspective to have the most inclusive decisions. There are social implications of environmental harm as minority populations are the most vulnerable, getting hit first and worst. Through my time at CSBSJU, my studies have been shaped around the people behind the physical environment and the economic deficit of climate harm. It is people’s stories that outline true sustainability, and that I will bring into my future careers in Climate Justice. Sustainability for me means to stand for the resilience of all communities to resist climate change". - Melissa Burrell