BA Sustainable Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley
Internship, Iclima Earth Limited
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Before starting my journey at Imperial, I was fortunate to gain a multidimensional perspective on the topic of sustainability. I have worked as a sustainability practices and international policy researcher at Harvard Graduate School of Design and engaged with sustainability communications through my role as a collaborator at the MIT Climate CoLab. Complimenting my research experience, I have had the opportunity to engage with the fields of consulting, impact investing and policy formulation through my roles at Deloitte, AECOM, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, IICSR and the Indian Green Building Council.
Why did you decide to study MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance at Imperial College Business School?
The focused interaction of climate change and its applications in the business world made Imperial’s Master’s stand out. While I was looking forward to expanding my contribution with a business toolkit, the content of MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance also covered all aspects of investing, accounting, and business that I was wanting to learn in order accelerate my career.
The resources of the Grantham Institute also presented great opportunities for my future projects on campus sustainability and agroecology. In addition, groups such as the Imperial Enterprise Lab highlight networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs that will help my concepts in the next stages of innovation. In the past, it has been a great experience to represent my belief systems at conferences such as Forbes, GLO, Smart Cities India and US India conferences. The tie-ups and collaborations of Imperial’s programme through the Climate Investment Challenge and cross-university events are great representation and project showcasing opportunities that were contributing factors in my decision.
What were the benefits of receiving a scholarship?
I am really grateful to have received the Imperial College Business School MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance Scholarship award.
Working towards different ventures in the fields of campus sustainability, EDI and cybersecurity, I aspire to create beneficial tools and services that have a positive impact on society. The financial benefit received will give me better accessibility to improve these ideas and accelerate them to the next level.
As the programme application asks for scholarship consideration, my advice to future students would be to analyse their situation and express the best ways in which they could utilise the scholarship.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
The ability of the programme to integrate scientific concepts and highlight the importance of climate change in business and the overall economy is really unique. Understanding and connecting the science of climate change and applying this to accounting, economics and data analytics principles helps me understand how this integration plays a crucial role in the coming future.
Client projects with companies such as P&G and ARUP have been a great source of collaboration and learning. They have helped me in the development of ESG monitoring tools, 3D TIN visualisations and understanding reporting structures. The corporate nature of the programme and interactions with companies also create great opportunities for projects on subjects such as carbon accounting, and promote application and familiarity with the work environment.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
My favourite module so far has been Business Economics, Climate Change and the Environment with Dr Ajay Gambhir. From day one, the module has had an excellent structure to explain climate change as an externality in the capitalistic economy. It provides a great framework for understanding the role of various actors such as firms, policy makers and international governments in addressing climate change as a market failure. Important concepts such as social cost of carbon, integrated assessment models and the functioning EU ETS Cap & Trade system helped me understand the current efforts towards addressing the issue. I believe the class has helped me equip the skills and the lens to apply practical economics concepts in the context of climate change.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Networking with the esteemed faculty and alumni is an unmatched advantage of being at Imperial. Adding to the academics, the lecture series and networking with alumni are the two levers through which I always try to transfer these skills into application and further accelerate my career in the field as well. Covering a vast range of speakers and educators also helps in understanding the industry outlook and new developments in the field.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
With the COVID-19 pandemic, student life has been impacted severely. The limited personal interaction has been a stumbling block in exploiting the marvellous potential and opportunity the programme has to offer. However, I have always found my productivity and innovation to thrive in adversity where there is diversity of thought, as there is at Imperial. Interacting with professors regarding research, meeting to discuss projects and informal interactions have been a great way to elevate and achieve goals outside class.
How have you found the multi-mode teaching delivery?
The multi-mode teaching delivery has been a great way to adjust to the circumstances and accommodate people from across the world. The programme structure fits well with the multi-mode delivery format by making it possible for students around the world to participate and collaborate on projects on different timelines. The professors also coped well with the transition and made suitable changes for student participation convenience.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
My cohort at Imperial is a fantastic support system. I have never seen such a diverse and motivated group of individuals. People from all ages and backgrounds find a way to uniquely contribute, help each other and also support/guide them in their endeavours. It’s also amazing to have close friendships outside the classroom. Their different viewpoints and engagements with sustainable business thinking always drives me to take another step forward towards my goals.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
I really cannot choose one! All the lecturers were so unique in their teaching methods, really receptive to questions and extremely kind. In a no COVID scenario, I wish I could have increased interaction with them outside class and gain further knowledge about their interests and ongoing research projects.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity at Imperial lies within the diverse experiences of the cohort. The drive coupled with the knowledge creates valuable collaborations. Through student run platforms such as IB Green Minds and the Climate Entrepreneurs Club, opportunities intertwine with learning and social impact ideologies. Imperial helped me to take chances and work on opportunities that I took initiative on. My recent feature in the Economic Times before joining the School focused on a COVID-19 corporate equitable recovery framework. Imperial contributes further in monetising the solution and building business plans for the right stakeholders.
Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
There have been many workshops that have helped in the holistic development of skills, job strategies and industry knowledge. The guest speaker series gives me an opportunity to interact with leading experts regarding upcoming technologies, investment methods and inclusion of sustainability in large organisations. Skill workshops on packages such as ‘R’ improve data analysis and visualisation skills as well.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial? Do you hold a student leadership position?
I really try to expand my horizons through the various clubs and societies at Imperial which further help my professional goals as well. With the Consulting and Finance Club, the regular cases and networking opportunities allow me to improve my problem-solving skills and highlight my engagements. The sustainability-oriented clubs such as the Climate Entrepreneurs Club and the Social Impact Club also help me in learning about the latest industry developments.
How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community and Grantham Institute?
The collaboration with the Grantham Institute really contributes towards the science-related modules in the programme. The content and the faculty make it easier to connect scientific concepts to business modules experienced throughout the year. I look forward to engaging further with the Grantham Institute faculty on future projects.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I strongly believe in the fact that sustainability and innovation expand exponentially with diverse thoughts and interactions of different disciplines. Imperial, as a platform provider, has allowed me to understand the wide array of interventions and the broad market demand for skills I’ve learned on programme. With regard to job searching, my learnings at Imperial contributed towards the right utilisation of resources, understanding the power of networking and the importance of displaying interest and contribution towards different aspects of my chosen field.
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
I am currently engaged with the recruiting process and have also been attempting to find the right platforms such as the Enterprise Lab to engage with my ventures. There has been great reception by some of the marquee consulting firms and sustainable fashion brands for future synergies. This year, I also began to engage with a company called Iclima Earth Limited which redefines climate investments through carbon avoidance methodologies.
Along with that I am working on various research projects such as Sustainable Communications Strategy for Hyde Park, City 2050 Centre for London and an agroecology framework.
How did the services from Careers help you in your professional development?
The Careers service provided many different routes that contribute towards employment. The MSc bulletin helps in keeping yourself updated regarding opportunities in different sectors that may not be advertised on other platforms. The CV and cover letter review also helps in understanding aspects that need to be improved upon.
Based on past feedback, I’ve learned that having a diverse skillset in a specific field requires a different level of engagement above generalist roles, and I wish to engage with the Careers service in finding the correct pathways through networking to leverage appropriate opportunities.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?
Being one of the most famous global hubs, the central location of London allows you to diversify your job search and explore different private sector and international government roles. In a city like London, the potential for networking opportunities is exponential and can happen through both social and informal interactions as well. Due to the scale and global nature of London, I have been able to connect with alumni from my undergraduate university and also interact with them through different meetings.
Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in Knightsbridge and I chose the location because it is extremely close to campus. Being in the heart of London also allows me to interact with nature through Hyde Park and lively restaurants with some fantastic food. The coffee houses also serve as great professional meeting locations with business leaders and for multipurpose team building activities.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
When I am not studying or working (which does not happen much!) I exercise at Hyde Park or Ethos, play a sport on weekends, explore new spots in the city and engage with my social circle. Golf and tennis have been great to revitalise and further build my networks. I also like to explore new playlists and learn new methods to develop projects. For me even fun has to be productive for the mind and body and if it can have a purpose, even better.
What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?
London is one of my favourite cities. I have always been fascinated by the heritage and the distribution of space through different lenses of Burgess and Hoyt City models. Globalisation through the traditional city design has given an extremely unique character to London which is emitted through the development of the global community. The city has fantastic character and is full of opportunities.
Having studied and worked in different locations throughout the world, London differentiates itself through its authentic culture, a range of entertainment, and a welcoming environment. For challenges, just beware of the rain!
For someone in a similar position, I would advise them to make opportunities through interactions, meet people of different interests to balance the various parts of your social, academic, and professional life and most importantly find the best ways in which you can engage with all three aspects of life in the city.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?
During the application process, my main focus was to understand the programme offerings and collaboration with the Grantham Institute. The online information sessions were coupled with reaching out to alumni. This procedure helped me to position my place in the programme and decide how I could best take advantage of the resources available. Speaking to alumni on LinkedIn was a great experience as well. It helped me to share my aspirations and get personalised advice as to how I can achieve them at Imperial. For any prospective students, it is really important to be thorough with the research and attend MSc virtual drop-in sessions for any questions you may have.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
It is really important for students to understand the different components that go into the application. From the future careers to academic interests, people coming from different backgrounds should highlight the ways in which the programme can act as a catalyst and be lever of change for them going forward in their lives and careers.