We highly recommend enabling JavaScript for the best experience. You can find detailed instructions for your browser at enable-javascript.com.

The search for an impact career

December 10, 2014

katiekross2013This November the MA in Sustainability program brought Katie Kross to campus to provide an insider’s guide to the sustainability job search. Kross, who is the managing director of the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Economy at Duke University, provided a two-day impact career series. The series included a campus-wide seminar, individualized career coaching for MA students, and a roundtable discussion between staff and faculty in the MA in Sustainability program, the School of Law, and Office of Career and Professional Development.

The message rang clear: from resource conservation to CSR, the impact career job search exists primarily off campus, making relationships and networking absolutely critical. As educators and on-site career coaches, our mandate to provide and support opportunities for students to grow in terms of vision, knowledge, leadership, networking and interpersonal abilities was affirmed. The MA in Sustainability program enhances each student’s experience and enables them as effective agents of their own career through internships, mentor programs, authorship opportunities, and experiential learning.

Members of the MA cohort gained a variety of insights germane to their positions on the career search continuum:

Staci Kyle MA’15

I gleaned valuable networking strategies, tips for conducting effective informational interviews and insights for polishing my resume. I’m in the process of choosing companies to pursue and individuals with whom to conduct informational interviews. I think our conversation around networking and how to go about it was my most important take away.

Claire Nagy-Kato MA’15

[Kross] encouraged backcasting our way into our next potential career, which I found to be extremely useful and logical. If you know your long-term goal, and work backwards, you can get a much clearer glimpse of the possible paths you can take to reach your desired goal.

Scott McCullough MA’15

[Kross] was extremely helpful in clarifying what types of skills and strategies are needed to better position yourself in the field of sustainability, in addition to revealing some of the resources available for job hunting and networking. The demand for sustainability professionals is growing at an incredible pace; it’s just a matter of being able to navigate a relatively new career field.

John Williams MA’15

I learned that individuals can produce change within the sphere of sustainability in an organization through traditional job titles. Sustainability within the United States is still being defined in the private and public sectors; being able to create value in the concept of sustainability from a traditional accounting, marketing or managerial position, represents current market conditions.