On November 10, 2020 we hosted a Networking from Home event focusing on careers that promote sustainability.


We hosted 6 panelists, including several alumni, from diverse industries who are making an impact across diverse industries, including consulting, energy consultancy, food sustainability, international sustainability, and environmental advocacy. 


1. Stay Open to Ways to Develop an Interest in Sustainability

There are lots of ways to develop your interest in this space. You may learn about sustainability unexpectedly through a project. Or you may have a side interest in it that becomes more central. You may have an early interest and choose a related major or pursue interdisciplinary work. Another possibility is that you may get to use a relevant technical or non-technical strength in a sustainability-related industry.

2. Navigate Your Career Through Experience and Reflection 

A combination of real-world experiences and reflection during and after college will help you navigate your career. Use your internships, research positions, and work experiences to clarify your area of interest within the evolving sustainability sector. 

This way, if you invest in grad school at some point, you do it with a solid understanding of why it will help you to achieve your career goals.

3. Consider Career Path Crossovers 

Over time it’s possible to move between sectors and between roles within organizations. 

  • Examples of sector crossovers include government to consulting and nonprofit to corporate. 
  • Sample role changes are technical to managerial and financial to philanthropic.  

These changes can allow you to develop your career in exciting ways. 

4. Learn About Systems Thinking 

There are many skills that will help you be successful in a career in the sustainability space, including data analysis,  interdisciplinary approaches,  collaboration,  leadership, and technical skills. 

One of the most important skills, however, is systems thinking. Check out Thinking In Systems by Donella H. Meadows to learn more.

5. Expand Your Network Genuinely

When you connect with people to grow your network, focus on building genuine, rather than transactional,  professional relationships. 

The goal of networking is to create opportunities to graciously learn from others about their career paths and insights. It’s important to think about networking as building relationships over time.


Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to continue the conversation about exploring careers in sustainability!