MBA Interest in Sustainability Careers is on the Rise at MIT Sloan

MIT Sloan Career Development Director Jackie Wilbur

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, especially on business school campuses. At MIT Sloan, we’re seeing a strong and increasing interest among our MBA students in this area.

A recent survey of our incoming first-year MBA students showed that 15% of the class is interested in the social enterprise sector, including sustainable business, nonprofits and education. That is even higher than the year before.

To support these students – whose numbers are growing — we have many initiatives and programs in place such as the Sloan Sustainability Initiative, which offers courses like the MIT Sloan Sustainable Business Lab (S-Lab) where student teams work with organizations on specific sustainability projects. Through the Sustainability initiative, MBA students also can earn the MIT Sloan Sustainability Certificate. Building on the Institute’s tradition of interdisciplinary studies, the certificate combines core and elective courses in areas such as process improvement, organizational learning and adaptation, entrepreneurship and commercialization, and the dynamics of organizational and social change.

This past summer, the Sustainability Initiative provided funding for up to five MBA students to accept sustainability-related internships at a wide range of organizations. For example, students interned at the National Hockey League in New York, a startup founded by MIT alumni called XL Hybrids in nearby Somerville, Mass., and a heavy metals mining company called OCP Group in Casablanca, Morocco.

Internship opportunities at Stoneyfield Farm, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Kimberly-Clark Latin America, Lapiluz Advisory, and Adobe also were made available for students to pursue through this internship initiative.

Adding to the breadth of opportunities for internships within this sector, our Career Development Office has been developing a diverse roster of recruiting relationships. This summer, we helped MBA students find sustainability-related summer internships at companies such as Nike, Education Pioneers, Carbon Recycling International, and Union Pacific Railroad.

Sustainability is a key strategic initiative at MIT Sloan and the Career Development Office will continue to encourage and support our students as increasing numbers of them choose to explore and pursue careers in this area.

Jackie Wilbur is Senior Director of Career Development at MIT Sloan.

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