State of the Planet

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Learning to Address Sustainability in Corporate Decision-Making

Pol Lezcano
MS in Sustainability Management Student Pol Lezcano

By Danni Zhou

Born and raised in Barcelona, Pol Lezcano (’19 SPS, Sustainability Management) moved to Austria to earn a degree in economics from the Vienna University of Economics. He began his career in management consulting before moving back to Spain and worked as a corporate governance and sustainability consultant at KPMG. In his new role, Pol identified how increasingly critical sustainability was becoming in corporate decision-making. He decided to attend the M.S. in Sustainability Management program at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) to learn how to tackle this issue.

What initially attracted you to the Sustainability Management program at Columbia University?

I was especially attracted by the program’s uniqueness in providing students with an excellent education on all of the fundamental disciplines comprising sustainability, which include organizational management, sustainability and ecology sciences, policy and regulation, financial markets and economic growth. We are constantly being exposed to leading managers, investors, urban planners, policy specialists, and entrepreneurs while also learning about the science behind every aspect from distinguished biologists and earth scientists.

What type of skills have you been able to build and improve on through the program?

I’ve learned a lot about financial modeling for renewable energy projects and using data analytics tools to measure climate change impacts. Both the program and SPS have given me countless opportunities to build on my resume and connect with leaders from many different industries through different panel speaking series and networking events. This is in part due to all of the unique connections that the faculty team brings to the table and the unique advantage of being located in NYC.

How have these skills helped you succeed at your job?

Already on my second semester, I was able to take on a role as an independent financial analyst for a company that designs a rigid sail system for the maritime transportation industry.

Is the format of the program (e.g. full-time, part-time, mostly or fully online, etc.) helpful?

Joining as a full-time student allowed me to participate in many extracurricular activities, which has helped me connect with many industry professionals and network with many potential employers.

What are your post-graduate plans?

I plan to focus on the clean tech industry and enter the U.S. solar industry by either joining a project developer, financier, or technology startup.

Danni Zhou is a content specialist at the School of Professional Studies and M.S. Graduate Student, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The M.S. in Sustainability Management, co-sponsored by the Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, trains students to tackle complex and pressing environmental and managerial challenges. Visit our website to learn more.

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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