Featured Alum: Margo Mosher and SustainAbility

Featured Alum: Margo Mosher and SustainAbility

Greetings and salutations ones again, blog world! I’m back with, you guessed it, another recent FES alum doing something totally awesome. This time, I’ve got Margo Mosher, who works for a neat little sustainability think tank in NYC. During her time at FES, she spent a lot of time developing her vision for a perfect job and now she’s got it. Dreams do come true! So, without further ado…Margo!

Emily: Thanks for chatting with me today, Margo!

Margo: Thanks for having me on the blog!

Emily: Okay, let’s start where I have everyone start—at the beginning. What was before FES?

Margo: I grew up with a love of the outdoors and the environment and so I decided to pursue a degree in Environmental Conservation at the University of New Hampshire. There I explored all aspects of conservation and hiked around New Hampshire bogs and forests learning tree and plant species and I also studied forest ecology, environmental policy, water resource management, and soil science.

Emily: Where did you go after school?

Margo: Well, I was eager to share knowledge about the environment and the urgency of sustainability issues with others. I was passionate about communicating messages about conservation to young people, so I decided to explore the field of environmental education. I did a year of service through the AmeriCorps VISTA program at the Urban Ecology Institute where I helped Boston area high school teachers conduct urban environmental field studies with students.

Emily: What brought you to FES?

Margo: After a few more years working, I decided to return to school to learn about how I could help influence people’s behavior to positively impact the environment.

Emily: What was your focus at FES?

Margo: At FES, I wanted to further explore how I could help communicate the importance of environmental management to wider audiences. Dan Esty’s Corporate Environmental Management class introduced me to the idea of corporate sustainability.

Emily: So you took that concept and ran with it?

Margo: I was really excited about the idea of helping companies to improve their practices and progress their sustainability strategies. I started to see that companies play a huge role in both the health of our environment and societies. Making even a small change at a global company like Starbucks could bring about huge positive effects just due to the size of the company and the reach of its supply chain. After taking Dan Esty’s class, I focused my projects on corporate sustainability and took classes such as Life Cycle Assessment, Industrial Ecology, and Maureen Burke’s Business Consulting Clinic. In Maureen’s class I worked on a project for Diageo helping to define their next generation of sustainability targets. As a research assistant at the Yale Office of Sustainability I helped university Sustainability Leaders implement sustainability practices at offices and departments across the school. In my second year, I worked at CBEY and conducted research on corporate sustainability rating systems.

Emily: Wow! Can you tell me a bit about what you did for your summer internship?

Margo: I spent my summer internship at the EPA Office of Policy helping with corporate sustainability initiatives. I came out of FES with some great experience in the field of corporate sustainability and had the opportunity to network with folks in the field, which proved to be really helpful when I began the job search in my second year.

Emily: And what job did that search lead you to?

Margo: Through my work at the EPA I learned about SustainAbility, a think tank and strategic advisory firm based in London. I now work in their Brooklyn, New York office as an Analyst. I support our consulting work with our global clients on projects related to sustainability reporting, materiality and issue prioritization, stakeholder engagement, and corporate sustainability ratings and rankings. I also help manage our Engaging Stakeholders network, a group of about 30 multinational companies, and deliver projects and curriculum that help companies build trust through transparency and accountability efforts. And I get to do research, too!

Emily: I’ve been nervous to ask this of folks, but how is it so far?

Margo: I really love the work that I’m doing. I think it’s helping companies implement leading sustainability strategies and practices, which is really neat. Being a hybrid company that does both research and consulting presents the opportunity to do both pondering and innovative thinking work as well as consulting and direct work with companies—it’s a neat combination. I feel very lucky to be working with such a great group of people, similar to the folks you find at FES, who are passionate about sustainability and who inspire me.

Emily: That’s great! Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Margo: I’d say that’s it’s really okay to come into FES not knowing exactly what you want to do.

Emily: Don’t tell my boss you said that!

Margo: Haha! But really, take the first semester to explore classes and really think about what you want to get out of your short two years at FES. One of the best things I did at FES was get involved with research that related to what I ultimately wanted to be doing. This helped me get out into the field while still in school and start to meet some influential folks. Also, remember that your two years at FES are likely to be two of the most wonderful years yet, and it will fly by. So enjoy your time there and live up every moment!

Margo Mosher, ladies and gentlemen. I hope her insight has been helpful to hear (read?). Like always, any questions can be sent my way— emily.schosid@yale.edu. Until next time, friends!