Helena Walsh (CCMF 2019)
Programme:
MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance 2019
Nationality:
Australian
Undergraduate education:

Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Information Technology, The Australian National University

Job prior to studying at the Business School:

Sustainability Engineer, AECOM

Job after studying at the Business School:

Contract Consultant, CO2logic

Helena Walsh (Climate Change, Management & Finance 2019)

Helena has always had a passion for sustainability and the environment. Her previous experience was focused on sustainable building design and operation. After an extended career break to be at home with her children, she made the decision to study again and to transition her career more broadly towards climate change issues with the aim of increasing the impact she could achieve. 

Your time at Imperial College Business School

Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?   

After making the decision to return to studying, Imperial College Business School was an obvious choice for me as its unique programme combined the scientific background behind climate change and its solutions, as well as providing business orientated modules necessary for crucial strategy decisions.

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

The most important tool I took from the programme was the ability to think and problem solve across disciplines. I can now confidently assess challenges and solutions to climate change, whilst at the same time comprehensively understanding the financial implications. 

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

My advice is to not hesitate - whilst only a year long, the Masters programme was a life-changing experience and I have come away with new lifelong friends. Being taught by some of the leading researchers on climate change also gave a sense of being part of the climate solution.  

What was the most surprising thing about the programme?

I loved the diverse backgrounds of the cohort and the experience of coming together with people from all over the world, each with our own experience and investigative lens.  

Tell us about your current job

How was your career transformed following your programme?

Since graduating, I have set up my own contract consultancy company working largely with a US based consultancy and some UK clients. I have advised large organisations and several fortune 500 companies, including top financial institutions, to implement advanced emissions strategies and increase disclosure on climate-related financial risk.

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

I use the skills and knowledge gained during the programme throughout all aspects of my day-to-day job. Coming from an engineering and computer science background, the addition of finance and management skills has certainly rounded off my career and unlocked opportunities.

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

consultancy role is perfect for me as I love the variety of projects and the challenge of implementing innovative climate action in organisations. Contracting also allows me to keep flexible hours and still spend time with my children; although at times, it can be challenging to fit it all in.

What is your proudest achievement in the job so far?

I feel a sense of achievement every time an organisation I have assisted makes a press release on their climate change commitments or progress. My career highlight since graduating would be my short speech at the CO2logic New York climate week event on carbon pricing, which included panellists from the World Bank and Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer. 

Alumni community

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

On top of making some brilliant friends during the course, we also regularly catch up to share knowledge, events and interesting climate advancements. It’s fantastic to be connected to so many like-minded individuals passionate about climate action and together sharing the impact we achieve. 

Programme:
MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance 2019
Nationality:
Australian
Undergraduate education:

Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Information Technology, The Australian National University

Job prior to studying at the Business School:

Sustainability Engineer, AECOM

Job after studying at the Business School:

Contract Consultant, CO2logic