Professional Development

The Earth Institute Professional Development Program helps students and alumni achieve their career goals. The program offers skill-building seminars, networking opportunities, and tools that, together, better prepare students to pursue job opportunities in sustainability and related fields.

The Earth Institute's Professional Development Program helps students prepare for sustainability-related careers. The program complements existing services such as resume and cover letter review that are provided by Columbia University's career service offices.

Earth Institute Internship Program


The Earth Institute Internship Program links Earth Institute, Columbia University students with internships in sustainability and related management, policy, engineering, and science fields. The participating organizations are committed to offering paid internships each year to students in the Earth Institute's education programs. The Earth Institute too, provides paid internships at Earth Institute research centers. While all positions are paid, the duration, requirements and pay rate of each internship varies by employer.

How Does it Work?

Employers join the program by committing to offer at least one paid internship opportunity each year to a Columbia University student in any of the Earth Institute’s education programs. The internships are advertised to students as they become available throughout the year. To learn how to be come a partner, or to find out about current openings, please email us

Partners

       
   
  
     

Sustainability Skill-Building

The Sustainability Skills Seminars offer students and alumni practical skills that are specific to sustainability and environmental careers. The half-day, non-credit seminars are free. Past seminar topics have included Life Cycle Analysis, Geographic Information Systems, and Green Building Design.

Upcoming Earth institute Sustainability Skills Seminars (open to current students and alumni)

LEED TRAINING
JANUARY 31, 2015, 9AM-5:00PM
INSTRUCTOR: LAUREN YARMUTH, YR&G SUSTAINABILITY CONSULTING
LOCATION: 501 SCHERMERHORN

This workshop will provide an introduction to the LEED GA Exam to help students prepare for the exam.

THE PURSUIT OF A SUSTAINABILITY CAREER
FEBRUARY 7, 2015, 10:00AM-1:00PM
INSTRUCTOR: CATHY GIBBONS, OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES, THE NEW SCHOOL
LOCATION: 702 HAMILTON HALL

This workshop is dedicated to helping you to research the sustainability industry, find employers, and develop your strategy for approaching, interviewing and negotiating with employers. We will look at strategies and sites that will help you to optimize your job search and begin your networking process. Your resume and other marketing materials got you in the door; now let’s look at how you create a professional image through the interview and negotiating stage so that you will land the jobs that you want. Resources to help you to continue to build your career planning skills and search jobs will be also be discussed.

IMPLEMENTING CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY
FEBRUARY 21, 2015, 10AM-3PM
INSTRUCTOR: CHRISTINE BADER, VISITING SCHOLAR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY; AUTHOR “THE EVOLUTION OF A CORPORATE IDEALIST, WHEN GIRL MEETS OIL”; GABRIEL GRANT, FOUNDER OF AUTHENTIC SUSTAINABILITY, PHD CANDIDATE, YALE UNIVERSITY
LOCATION: 702 HAMILTON HALL

From the outside, it seems obvious what companies must do to be more sustainable: establish policies and procedures, align incentive structures, innovate and partner. But what is it like to be the person inside the company who actually has to do it? This session will walk through the key corporate functions and processes that the corporate sustainability professional needs to navigate -- as well as common roadblocks and effective solutions.

SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
MARCH 7, 2015, 10AM-3PM
INSTRUCTOR: RALPH SCHMIDT, FORMER DIRECTOR OF FOREST PROGRAMS, UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
LOCATION: 404 IAB, SIPA

How do forests, their management and conservation, interact with sustainable development for society overall?  The seminar will explore the different benefits forests provide to humanity, the issues that arise, and how forest managers and ecologists analyze these and develop options for management.  Issues include: biodiversity and wildlife conservation, the global carbon cycle and climate change, water management, timber production, pulp and paper, fuelwood and energy, and natural beauty and spiritual values.  It will examine differences in boreal, temperate and tropical forests, and forest related issues in high and low income countries.  Finally it will review the institutions and politics that affect forests.

TRASH TRACKING – COLUMBIA CAMPUS CASE STUDY
APRIL 17, 2015, 5:00-7:00PM AND APRIL 18, 2015 10:00AM-6:00PM
INSTRUCTORS: PROFESSOR LYNNETTE WIDDER (COLUMBIA SUMA); PROFESSOR JESSIE BRADEN, COLUMBIA GSAPP AND PRATT INSTITUTE DIRECTOR OF SPATIAL ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION INITIATIVE; PROFESSOR JOY KO, RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE AND GRADUATE STUDIES AND BROWN UNIVERSITY MATHEMATICS
LOCATION: 602 HAMILTON HALL (4/17); 303 HAMILTON HALL (4/18)

Urban resource flows are well documented at a large scale but largely ignored at the scale of neighborhood, household or individual behaviors. Without understanding these location-specific tendencies, it is impossible to move behind a “one size fits all” approach to improved urban resource efficiency.  This workshop will explore a new approach to urban food systems by focusing on the transition from food product to waste in Manhattan, using Lerner Hall on Columbia University campus as a test bed. Participants will be introduced to a number of tools ranging from traditional observation and interview to digital tracking and mapping tools. Together with data gathered from city and campus resources, this hybridized workflow will enable the simultaneous overlay of macro and micro flows as a way to analyze for spatial context impacts the food-to-waste transition.

For more information on how to register, please email us.

Past Earth Institute Sustainability Skill Building Seminars:

  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Product Lifecycle Assessment and Carbon Footprinting
  • Green Building Design and LEED training
  • Consulting 101: How Consultants Win Work
  • Networking and Interviewing Skills Seminar
  • Sustainable Smart Technology and Controls Seminar
  • Climate Adaptation Planning Seminar
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Seminar
  • Sustainability Metrics
  • Greenhouse Gas Protocol's Corporate GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard
  • Public Speaking — Communication Strategy and Delivery

For more information, please email us.

Access to Sustainability Practitioners

The Sustainability Speaker Series features talks by leading practitioners, who discuss their work and their organizations, and who offer career advice. Networking events among students and alumni also provide a setting for learning about the job market from colleagues in the field.

Past Earth Institute Sustainability Speaker Series:

  • Lori Ardito, First Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation
  • Howard Buffett, Executive Director, Howard G. Buffett Foundation
  • Cynthia Cummis, Deputy Director, GHG Protocol, World Resources Institute
  • Katherine Gejewski, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
  • James Gowen, Chief Sustainability Officer, Verizon
  • Alana Libow, Environmental Sustainability Manager, Dannon
  • Paul Polizzotto, President and Founder, CBS EcoMedia Inc.
  • Will Sarni, Director and Practice Leader, Enterprise Water Strategy, Deloitte Consulting
  • Beth Strommen, Director, Baltimore Office of Sustainability
  • David Walker, Senior Director, Beverage Productivity at PepsiCo

Networking events among students and alumni also provide a setting for learning about the job market from colleagues in the field.

For more information, please email us.

All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair

The annual All Ivy Environmental and Sustainable Development Career Fair attracts top organizations from the private, non-profit, and public sectors to the Columbia campus. The Fair is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all Ivy League schools, as well as Earth Institute alumni.

For more information, please email us.

Job Search Tools

Sustainability Job List

The Earth Institute Job List contains employment opportunities in the field of sustainability. Students and alumni may upload resumes and cover letters, which the Earth Institute makes available to potential employers; they may store job application documents and job searches, as well as receive notifications for jobs that match their employment profiles. The Earth Institute Job List provides some 400 current opportunities at any one time, including a diverse mix of full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities. Access to this online resource is password protected. For more information, please email us.

Free Access to Glassdoor

We are pleased to offer students and alumni free access to Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor provides access to millions of company reviews and ratings, salary reports, job listings, interview reviews and questions, and more. By using these tools in conjunction with the Earth Institute Job List and other campus career resources, students and graduates are able to make more informed career decisions.

Research Assistantships

The Earth Institute's research centers and programs offer paid research assistantships. Research Assistantships gives Columbia University and Barnard undergraduate students a valuable opportunity to collaborate on substantive matters of inquiry and a chance to gain meaningful insight into various fields of study and the research process as a whole. Examples of past projects include researching the impact of temperature and precipitation on malaria transmission; identifying natural hazards and risk management strategies for the Dominican Republic; and researching the impacts of infrastructure improvements in rural Africa.

For more information, please email us.

Earth Institute Alumni Network

The Earth Institute also has an extensive alumni network consisting of graduates from all of its education programs. Throughout the year, the Earth Institute organizes alumni activities, including talks, networking events, and social gatherings. To learn more, please visit the alumni website email us at ei-alumni@ei-columbia.edu.