State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

2019 All Ivy Career Fair Prepares Students and Alumni for Summer and Beyond

Image: Michael Brochstein

On March 1st, the All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair demonstrated the growing interest in the field of sustainability and the vast number of opportunities that the industry has to offer. Now in its 16th installment, the event is held annually at Columbia, co-hosted by the Earth Institute, and the other 7 Ivy League schools – Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and Yale. This year, over 800 students and alumni from the 8 schools met with recruiters from 79 organizations spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors to discuss internship and job opportunities, network, and learn how to apply their skill-sets in a variety of career paths.

The fair has attracted recruiters such as ICF International, Cadmus, Impact, New York Power Authority, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Ramboll to return year after year, as well as new attendees, including JetBlue, Navigant, Gotham Greens, Safari Energy and EnterSolar.

According to Hendrik Isom, a representative from the returning organization Industrial Economics Incorporated, “We find that the quality of candidate that we get from the fair is really high so that’s why we keep coming back.” Hilary Osborn from the energy consulting firm Willdan echoed his thoughts, saying, “This was a great opportunity to meet bright people that are excited about progress and innovation in the workplace.”

Students were similarly excited to learn about the attending organizations. Miljan Todorovic, a student in the M.S. in Sustainability Management program at Columbia, said, “It’s very interesting to see how certain companies can be interested in the multi-disciplinary approach that students in our program have.”

Image: Michael Brochstein

In terms of sectors represented, a significant proportion of employers attended from the energy and sustainability/environmental consulting spaces, as well as waste management, and food and beverage. This year also saw an uptick in the number of advocacy organizations looking to recruit Ivy League talent. A number of alumni from the attending schools returned to recruit at the fair as staff of various employers, and provided valuable insights to students about their journey to a successful sustainability career.

In addition to general networking, the fair held two well-attended career panels, one on environmental and energy consulting, and a new panel titled “Sustainable Development Around the Globe.” The panels included alumni from programs at the attending Ivy League schools and representatives from organizations such as Ernst & Young and CDP. Both events provided students with insights on how to break into the field, what sort of skills and experience are relevant, as well as perspectives on where the future is trending.

Image: Michael Brochstein

Year after year, students have found the All Ivy Career Fair to not just be an incredible learning opportunity, but also an opportunity for solid job leads. Agritecture’s representative Yara Nagi’s current position was the result of a conversation she had with her manager at a prior All Ivy Career Fair. Students this year hope for similar results. Carlos Ibarra, a first-year environmental management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies came to the All Ivy Career Fair searching for summer internship opportunities and made the most of his visit. “I’ve talked to probably over 15 companies already,” he said. “There have actually been a lot that I’m interested in, so it’s been a very productive experience.”

Stay tuned for next year’s All Ivy Career Fair, which is set to take place on February 28, 2020!

Written by Caroline Louise Berman, Cari Shimkus and Avantika Goswami

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