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 Center for Career Education.

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)

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG) –TRAINING ON BLOOMBERG’S DATA TOOL
FEBRUARY 14, 2014, 2PM – 6PM
INSTRUCTORS: HIDEKI SUZUKI (ESG DATA ANALYST); MADISON BROWN (ESG DATA ANALYST); BARBARA POMFRET (BLOOMBERG INDUSTRIES ESG ANALYST); LENORA SUKI (SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIST)

Non-financial sustainability issues have become integral drivers in corporate strategy and the investment decision-making process. Broadly referred to as environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, these are challenges organizations face, which are related to natural resource constraints, and human capital and supply chain sourcing. Companies exposed to these ESG risks are expected to analyze, manage and report on them. Bloomberg has created a tool that allows companies to do this and the training will teach you how to gather data, benchmark, and conduct research for business. Space is limited to current students.

ADVANCED WORKSHOP FOR CAREER TRANSITIONERS
MARCH 1, 2014, 10AM – 1PM
INSTRUCTOR: CATHY GIBBONS, DIRECTOR OF EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, THE NEW SCHOOL; FORMERLY DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI & EXECUTIVE MPA CAREER SERVICES AT SIPA, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Pursue your career transition with confidence by learning to identify the type of career that suits you best, and the strategies and tools to land it. The seminar will cover self-assessments; salary and benefits negotiations; writing cover letters specific to sustainability jobs; researching opportunities in sustainability, networking, and interviewing skills.

HOW CONSULTING FIRMS WORK
MARCH 29, 2014, 10AM-3PM
INSTRUCTOR: MARC TIPERMAS, PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL PROGRAMS OF WILLDAN GROUP, INC.
 
Gain a practical, hands-on understanding of why business development is important, how it relates to other key activities of consulting firms, and how firms and individuals must conduct business development in order to be successful.

SUSTAINABLE URBAN AGRICULTURE
APRIL 26, 2014, 10AM – 1:15PM
INSTRUCTOR: LAUREN YARMUTH, SUSTAINABILITY CONSULTING, EDUCATION, AND ANALYSIS,
YR & G

This seminar will cover the different models and methods for urban agriculture (including rooftop, hydroponics, vertical integrated, and more); the economic considerations of each; and the barriers they face to widespread implementation. Through case studies you will also learn about key urban issues including food access, economic development, environmental restoration, community engagement, and food justice.

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

Past Earth Institute Sustainability Skill Building Seminars:

  • 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
  • Advanced and Financial Excel Skills Training
  • 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
  • Corporate Sustainability Consulting
  • IRRI Mexico: Projects for Local Sustainable Solutions

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:

  • David Walker, Senior Director, Beverage Productivity at PepsiCo
  • James Gowen, Chief Sustainability Officer, Verizon
  • Paul Polizzotto, President and Founder, CBS EcoMedia Inc.
  • Judy Sandford, Brand and Sustainability/CSR Strategist , Addison
  • Alana Libow, Environmental Sustainability Manager, Dannon
  • Will Sarni, Director and Practice Leader, Enterprise Water Strategy, Deloitte Consulting

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

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 150 current opportunities at any one time, including a diverse mix of full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities. In 2013, jobs posted to the Earth Institute Experience site included the following.

  • Regional Director, GRID Alternatives (Solar Nonprofit)
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Systems Program Manager, Google
  • Director of Sustainability, City of Newton, Massachusetts
  • Associate Director of Sustainability, University of Virginia
  • Executive Director, Seattle Audubon Society
  • Executive Director, Sustainable Food Trade Association
  • Sustainability Business Partner ? North America, Kimberly-Clark
  • Sustainability Policy Director, Crop Life International
  • Sustainability Intern, Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Stewardship Intern, Land Conservancy of New Jersey

Access to this online resource is password protected. For more information, please email us.

Internships & Research Assistantships

The Earth Institute's research centers and programs offer paid internships and research assistantships. Internships provide Columbia and Barnard students with an exciting opportunity to work at Earth Institute centers in a variety of positions, including administration and communications. In the past, interns have worked on projects related to urban food systems, access to water in India and the reduction of community vulnerability to natural disasters. Research Assistantships gives Columbia University 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 email us at ei-alumni@ei-columbia.edu.