Daniela Arroyo-Olson, MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance

Programme: MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance 2019

Nationality: Mexican

Education: BSc Management with Sustainability, Royal Holloway

Job after studying at Imperial College Business School: Co-Founder, Ecofye

MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance 2019

Your time at Imperial College Business School

Why did you choose to study MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance at Imperial College Business School?  

During my previous work, I realised that trying to persuade companies to adopt better practices without showing them the financial benefits is a huge challenge. If the numbers don’t change, companies won’t change either. This learning brought disappointment because I noticed the false environmental impressions that companies and organisations give, with the aim to mislead customers and drive sales.

The MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance programme appealed to me as it focused on exactly what I was aiming to achieve during and after my studies. For example, the programme's partnership with the Grantham Institute; whose projects focus on climate change and human development, was a real pull factor. The wealth of research of the faculty members along with opportunities for networking, the chance to collaborate with fellow students and the professional and academic support further cemented reasons to choose Imperial and the programme. Likewise, the support provided to entrepreneurs through organisations such as the Imperial Enterprise Lab were big drivers for my decision to choose Imperial.

What was the most important thing/learning point you took with you from the Business School?

I can’t pinpoint the single most important learning point, but I see this as a credit to the Business School. I would mention the varied nature of all the programme modules, the networking opportunities and the resources made available to me that really made my year unforgettable.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?

This programme provided me with the tools I needed to strive for a change. If sustainability is your interest, make sure to take all the possible advantages that not only the Business School and the programme has to offer, but also other departments, competitions, and the Enterprise Lab. 

What was the most surprising thing about the programme?

The programme is well-rounded and prepared me for any subject related to sustainability. It addresses all of the issues currently being discussed in the world of climate change, from climate finance to climate science, and gave me the skills to address any challenge I might face in the industry. For example, every Thursday we had guest speakers come in to give a talk. These speakers gave me a really clear picture of the type of roles I can get in the industry and what the everyday responsibilities of someone working in sustainability typically are. Additionally, during my Master's I met people as passionate as I am about the topic. I made really good friends with people from all over the world.

Career and professional development

How has your programme contributed to your career success?

After the programme I realised I wanted to create an impact and accelerate climate action. I therefore decided to start my entrepreneurial journey and launched Ecofye where we blend all of the team’s different skills to achieve visible and tangible changes. With the knowledge I gained from the programme and the experience I previously had, I am now helping companies to strengthen and improve their sustainability practices.

How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?

The programme provided me with many skills that I use day-to-day whilst working at Ecofye. In the Sustainable Management module, for example, I gained essential knowledge on how businesses can become more sustainable without impacting the bottom line. Our innovation classes gave me the ideation skills that I used when forming Ecofye as I had to aggregate ideas and concepts to come up with a valuable service, and pitching skills that I use frequently to present Ecofye to prospective clients. I will also be using the accounting and finance skills I gained during the programme to support me with bookkeeping, creating cash flows and forecasting revenue figures.

What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?

I enjoy seeing the momentum shift towards positive impact and people’s willingness to change. This energy is my major driver to push for change. One of the main reasons why we launched Ecofye is because we saw the willingness for companies to become sustainable but the lack of knowledge around where to begin. I enjoy sharing what I know and helping people calm their climate-anxiety through clear and meaningful actions.

What is your proudest achievement in the job so far?

My growing team (we are now five!) is what I am most proud of. I couldn’t be prouder of who we are, the support we give each other every day and the goals we are achieving together. I believe that in every company, the team is the most important aspect. Ecofye’s team is supportive, challenging and disruptive. This is what will bring success. Likewise, I’m proud of the work we deliver to our clients; the companies we have worked with are very happy with our work. Finally, seeing our knowledge and expertise transform into ideas and concrete visible business actions is really rewarding.

Alumni community

In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?

Everybody has a story and I believe many of us will go on to achieve incredible things. For me, it is particularly important to stay in contact with the people who work in the same industry as I will be able to learn from them and their story. I like knowing that the my peers in the alumni network are just an email or phone call away.

Programme: MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance 2019

Nationality: Mexican

Education: BSc Management with Sustainability, Royal Holloway

Job after studying at Imperial College Business School: Co-Founder, Ecofye