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Recap: Green Philly Careers in Sustainability Panel
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Recap: Green Philly Careers in Sustainability Panel

If you’ve ever thought about a career in sustainability, my advice is: go for it. If I didn’t believe that before, I definitely believe it now after getting the lowdown from a few of the best in the biz.

Green Philly recently held a career panel which featured four, amazingly talented professionals who all graciously shared little bits of their lives with the attendees. The panelists came from different backgrounds – a nonprofit, entrepreneur, city government and Fortune 500 company – and all seemed to have found their current careers in sustainability by a mix of happenstance and intention. Our Editor-In-Chief, Julie Hancher, moderated the panel.

The Panelists

Nonprofit Leader

Jamie Gauthier from the Fairmount Park Conservancy started her career as an accountant with DuPont. She soon realized that her true calling was not with a big firm, but instead in a place where she could improve the state of sustainability in Philadelphia. Her career took full force when she became the Executive Director of Philadelphia’s Sustainable Business Network (SBN), the job which ultimately led her to the Fairmount Park Conservancy.  At SBN, Jamie discovered she could utilize her passions for social justice, communities, and economic development while helping the environment.

Changing the Corporate World

Once an aspiring environmental lawyer, Megan Maltenfort chose instead to transform companies’ efficiency levels from within. Although it can be challenging, Megan explained that when trying to persuade management she would simply show them the numbers. Turns out, making a company more sustainable isn’t just good for the planet, but it’s good for business. She clearly made the right decision choosing a sustainable path, as she is now Campbell Soup Company’s Senior Manager of Corporate Responsibility.

sustainable Entrepreneur

Melissa Lee also had a different plan for her life, she was going to be a doctor. She was sure of this until she stepped into a surgical room, saw all of that, walked out, and never looked back. Good thing that happened because otherwise, she wouldn’t have started the GREEN program.

The GREEN Program is a short-term program where the students get hands-on experience with sustainable issues around the world. What better way to get motivated about something than to experience its effects first-hand?

From IT to Office of Sustainability

Forever known around the office as ‘the sustainable guy,Dominic McGraw shed light on how to get from where you are to where you want to be. He started out in IT, always incorporating sustainability into his work.

He would try to make anything that he could a little more efficient. Dominic shared some advice that he once got from a mentor, which was to always incorporate your passions into whatever job you have. “Be known as the person who specializes in that one thing.” That advice helped Dominic go from working in IT to working in the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability as an Energy Project Coordinator. 

beyond the blog career panel 2

Many thanks to the wonderful participants who allowed us audience members to peer into their lives and learn more about what it takes to take on the environment.

Have any tips for starting a career in sustainability? Let us know in the comments below!

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Bianca is a recent Temple University graduate who finds happiness in the greener things. Her experience at a cancer research association has led her to become passionate about keeping the world a little cleaner and less toxic. In her free time, you can find her drinking La Colombe coffee while taking in the city views. View all posts by Bianca Scherrei

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