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)

SEPTEMBER 27, 2014, 9AM-4:30PM

This intensive 1-day workshop is designed to improve the participant’s ability to efficiently use Excel to interpret data and to apply that learning to a “case” client. The course will start with a review of Excel best practices and continue throughout the day to layer in more advanced Excel functionality focused on data manipulation and management.

OCTOBER 25, 2014, 10AM-3PM

Much of the value in sustainability and corporate responsibility lies in building credibility.  Whether it is reputation management, the ability to build partnerships or even share price impacts, credibility is a lynchpin to successful sustainability programs for both companies and their stakeholders.  This seminar explores the various mechanisms available to companies engaged in sustainability programs to build credibility with employees and external stakeholders.  The seminar is aimed at current or soon-to-be practitioners in corporate environmental and social responsibility.  It will cover the advantages and shortfalls of various mechanisms including audits, report assurance and engaging second-party voices.

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:

  • 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