Exactly one week before a devastating earthquake in Japan called into question the viability of nuclear energy, students from all across the Ivy League gathered in New York City to explore careers options in sustainable development and environmental protection. Rapid technological and human development bring new risks and vulnerabilities to our planet, and these students wish to direct their careers toward promoting and protecting a shared, sustainable future.
The eighth annual All-Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair, hosted by the Earth Institute, Columbia University, was cosponsored by the environmental and sustainable development departments and career services offices at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania and Yale. Over 830 students from each of the sponsoring schools arrived in Morningside Heights to spend the day networking with 76 attending organizations from the nonprofit, private, government and education sectors.
“With the growth of environmental and sustainable development professional and education opportunities, this is a wonderful event where our students connect with each other and learn about how their multidisciplinary skills are in demand,” says Louise Rosen, director of the Office of Academic and Research Programs at the Earth Institute.
Throughout the day, students navigated Low Library Rotunda where they met recruiters, shared resumes and learned about organizations at the vanguard of the environmental and sustainable development sectors. As in previous years, students impressed employers with their professionalism and experience. Michel Di Capua of Bloomberg New Energy Finance was impressed by students’ advanced understanding of the environmental and sustainable development issues. "Graduating students who are looking for professional opportunities in this field are arriving with an increasing level of knowledge and specialization,” Di Capua explains, “Whereas a few years ago, students interested in the industry may have been superficially interested in 'cleantech,' many of the candidates at the career fair had special backgrounds or interests in areas such as CDM project development, carbon capture technologies, green buildings or clean energy venture capital."
Diana Kobus of the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice was equally impressed. After the fair ended she claimed, “It was great to have the time to talk one on one with such remarkably experienced and skilled job candidates.”
Among the 76 participating recruiters were the Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Defense Fund, Karbone and Columbia’s new Master of Science in Sustainability Management. The career fair provided an opportunity for students to meet representatives from some of the most sought-after companies and to gain exposure to other excellent organizations with which they might not have otherwise connected.
"I'm glad that I made the trip into NYC to attend," says Danielle S. Miley, a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, “The career fair was an excellent opportunity to learn about and meet a variety of firms in the environmental field to which I might not otherwise have been exposed.” For students like Miley, connections made at the career fair will help accommodate a smoother transition into a job after graduation.
The All-Ivy Career Fair is one of the many ways that the Earth Institute provides career services to its students. Rosen explains, “The students graduating from programs supported by the Earth Institute possess impressive knowledge of environmental and sustainable development issues, as do all of the Ivy League students who attend the Career Fair. Our job is to bring the best recruiters to these students, and the All-Ivy Career Fair is one of the many ways that we do so.” The Earth Institute’s student services also include travel and internship programs and an annual open house. To find out more about career resources at the Earth Institute, click here.
After this year’s success, Earth Institute staff members are looking forward to next year’s All-Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair. To find out more about attending the fair in 2012, please contact Annemarie Eimicke.