Green MBA Success Series: Meet Green MBA Grads Who Made It – Find Out How

green mba sustainabilityby Tracey de Morsella, Green Economy Post Follow her on Twitter @greeneconpost

I meet a great number of people who want to work in the green arena, but have been unsuccessful in their efforts to make a green career change.  Many consider getting a green MBA as a way of greening their credentials, but worry that they will get their MBA, and still be unable to make that transition successfully.  I have also met some graduates of green MBA programs, who have faced difficulties with jump starting their careers.Despite that, the number of people I have met that see their green MBA as a stepping stone is very high.  It made me want to explore the possible causes for this disconnect.  So, I decided to interview some of the people who have been successful in their efforts to use their green MBA as a green career stepping stone.

Over the next two months, we will be interviewing them to uncover what steps they took to achieve this success.   One theme that is popping up, in interview after interview, is that while the green MBA is an extremely important key to their’ success, simply having the degree was not enough to make each of these professionals succeed in their professions.   It is my hope that through this series, you will gain insight into how professionals are successfully transitioning to careers working in sustainability and other green sectors during these times of economic hardship. We will explore how they used their green MBA to transition successfully.  I also hope to help you better understand the work that is being done in these green sectors.  Ultimately, I want you to be able to apply the information you obtain from this interview series to your own life, and use it to map out you own green career success story.

Join us each week as we introduce to green professionals who used a green MBA to make a green career transition.  If you have a green MBA, have successfully transitioned into a career in sustainability, and would like us to spotlight you in the Green MBA Success Series, drop me a line. Don’t forget to check out our Green MBA Directory.

Note: The Green MBA Success Series was inspired by Interview Series: Transition to a Clean / Green Career by Jennifer Massie of the Massie Group.  Thanks Jen!

First up is Adam, D Granz. Before getting into energy efficiency, Adam D. Ganz worked in real estate. He is a former real estate broker, property manager and escrow officer. In this capacity, he represented clients in the buying, selling, and leasing of commercial and residential property, managed over 2 million square feet of commercial and residential property and conducted residential sales transactions and refinances totaling over $55 Million for 80 clients. Since getting his MBA, Adam has taken on the role of Energy Efficiency Program Manager at Willdan Energy Solutions. Read about how he changed his career path to a green one with an MBA in sustainability.

Meet Nancy Shaw, Social Responsibility Manager for Blue Shield of California. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of Business Council on Climate Change and was recently a speaker at the Women in Green Forum.  She also recently served on the Executive Committee of 2009 Hazon Sustainable Food Conference.   Prior to transitioning to a career in corporate social responsibility, Nancy had a successful career in the non-profit sector and marketing.  In the roll of Grants & Program Manager for the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, she analyzed grant proposals that led to nearly $9 million in funding. As Nonprofit Director for Craigslist, Namcy managed strategic planning, board development and fund raising, as well as produced venture events connecting nonprofits with potential funders.  Before going into the non-profit sector, she was a marketing strategy analyst for both HBO and RR Donnelley.  She also directed Fortune 500 companies market research studies for Wetfeet. Read about how Nancy changed her career path to a green one with an MBA in sustainability.

Next, Meet Emily Reyna, Project Manager, Corporate Partnerships at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).  Emily also recently co-authored, Hybrid Organizations: New Business Models for Environmental Leadership, a book that uncovers best-in-class case studies of organizations that show how their organizational models can achieve both market-and mission-driven goals.  Prior to transitioning to a career in sustainability, Emily worked for Ford Motor Company in the field of Human Computer Interaction Design as an analyst in its emerging technologies group.  She got a taste for sustainability there when she started a green IT initiative for the automaker.   Emily has shared her story of how she transitioned from a career in IT to becoming a sustainability specialist. Read about how Emily transitioned from a career in IT to one in sustainability.

Meet Conor Carlin, Manager, Enterprise Energy Intelligence EnerNOC, Inc.   Conor is also the managing editor of  Thermoforming Quarterly, a newsletter of the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineering.  Prior to transitioning to a career in energy management, Conor worked for 9 years in business development, sales and marketing in the plastics and packaging industries. Read our interview with Conor, in which he shares his story of how he transitioned from a career in packaging and plastics sales management to one in energy management.

Next, get to know Janet Smartt, Program Manager, StopWaste.Org, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board. Read our interview with Janet, in which she shares her story of how she used her green MBA to evolve her career from a career in corporate marketing and public outreach to one in sustainability program management.

Meet Robin Connell, Manager of Sustainability Programs at Del Monte Foods. Prior to transitioning to a career in sustainability, Robin worked seven years in media publishing in a consumer marketing role, after having spent having spent three years in that industry in a human resources capacity Read our interview with Robin, in which she shares her story of how she transitioned from a career in media marketing to one in sustainability.

Get to know Nils Moe, Sustainability Advisor for the Mayor’s Office in the City of Berkeley. Prior to transitioning to a career in climate change from a career in the non-profit sector promoting social change and managing consulting specializing in industrial psychology. Read our interview with Nils, in which he shares his story of how he transitioned from a career in management consulting and non-profit social change to one in sustainability.

Join us each month as we introduce to sustainability professionals who used a green MBA to make a green career transition.  If you have a green MBA, have successfully transitioned into a career in sustainability, and would like us to spotlight you in the Green MBA Success Series, or if you know someone you think we should spotlight, drop me a line. Don’t forget to check out our entire Green MBA Success Series and our Green MBA Directory.

Note: The Green MBA Success Series was inspired by Interview Series: Transition to a Clean / Green Career by Jennifer Massie of the Massie Group.  Thanks Jen!

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.