State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Columbia Climate School Hosts 7th Annual Sustainability Careers Reception

compilation of headshots
Practitioners who attended the 2022 Sustainability Careers Reception. (*See below for names and affiliations)

On November 4, the Columbia Climate School’s Earth Institute hosted its Seventh Annual Sustainability Careers Reception. There were 35 sustainability professionals and 120 Columbia students of varying backgrounds and degree pursuits who met to discuss the ever-pressing challenges and real-world applications of sustainability and climate. After the past two years of receptions being held over Zoom, we were glad to move the event back to its standard venue: the Columbia Club in Midtown Manhattan.

The reception exclusively caters to students pursuing one of the five educational programs partnered with the Climate School: the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development, the M.P.A. in Environmental Science and Policy, the M.A. in Climate and Society, the M.S. in Sustainability Management, and the M.S. in Sustainability Science.

The first hour of the event focused on round table discussions on topics including  career advice, stories about entering the sustainability and climate fields, and strategies for integrating sustainability concerns within organizations. This gave students the opportunity to interact with a few practitioners in a smaller group setting. The evening ended with a reception where conversations continued over food and drinks. 

For students who pursue sustainability and climate careers, these interactions with practitioners are invaluable. “Events like this are a great platform for engaging with like-minded individuals. I enjoyed my discussions with the professionals and got great insight into how to effectively align people, profit and environment targets in an organization,” shared Arushi Singh, a student in the M.S. Sustainability Management program.

The practitioners in attendance came from backgrounds in finance, consulting, consumer goods, energy, resiliency, and conservation. Their areas of employment ranged from private companies such as Google, PepsiCo, and ConEdison to non-profit organizations and start-ups such as NJ Electric Vehicle Association, Evergreen Action, and Green Jobs Board.

“I found it rejuvenating to speak with brilliant young minds at the reception,” said Briana Carbajal from WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “I appreciated that many shared an urgency to apply an environmental and social justice framework to the adaptation and mitigation of the climate crisis. I look forward to continuing to see the leadership role young people play in our nation’s just transition to a clean energy future for disadvantaged communities.”

This year’s program was a resounding success and we look forward to hosting it again next year. Thank you to this year’s attendees!

Kayley Jewel Beard, Annie Delgadillo, and Arushi Singh are outreach interns at the Columbia Climate School.

The Climate School’s Professional Development Program offers students and alumni resources and programs that supplement the career services in their respective schools. The program includes skill-building seminars, networking opportunities, and tools that, together, better prepare students to pursue job opportunities in sustainability. Coming up next on February 10, 2023: the 20th All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair (Virtual).

* Practitioners, from left to right and top to bottom: Sue Allchurch (United Nations Global Compact), Sarabeth Brockley (Nasdaq), Uchenna Bright (E2), Briana Carbajal (WE ACT for Environmental Justice), Catarina Carvalho (Arup), Mathew Chamish (CBRE Investment Management), Jessica Cheng (Citi), Jeffrey Crawford (Sustana), Patricia D’Costa (ICF), Kristy Drutman (Brown Girl Green & Green Jobs Board), Diana Farmer (CDP), Adam Fisher (JLL), Shaun Hoyte (ConEdison), Stanislav Jaracz (NJ Electric Vehicle Association), Ishita Kapur (Natural Resources Defense Council), Paramjot Kaur (Sustainalytics), Nora Kyrkjebo (Ecovadis), Sydney Mainster (Durst Organization), Richard Oliveras (CDP), Rachel Patterson (Evergreen Action), Emir Pekdemir (WSP), Carrie Ellen Phillips (BPCM), Kibui Pyron (Moody’s Corporation), Eric Roston (Bloomberg), Beth Sasfai (Verizon), Marina Severionvsky (Schroders), Gregory Stevens (Voltus), Jonathan Sullivan (PepsiCo), Christopher Vangerven (Nasdaq), Emily Viola (This Virtuous Circle), Sophie Waskow Rifkin (Banza), Jessie Wasser (Tapestry), Samantha Skonieczny (TRC), Charlotte Matthews (Google/Sidewalk Labs), Claudia Villar-Leeman (NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice)

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

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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