This master’s in sustainability landed a student three job offers

This is how a master’s in sustainability helped Valerie Sydry land three prestigious job offers straight after graduation. Not only that, but it also allowed her to carry out her university’s mission of being a force for positive change in the world.

In short

The one passion that united this master’s cohort

Master’s cohorts are made up of people from different countries, cultures, and continents. They speak different languages, eat different food, and watch different movies. But, what’s the one thing that unites them?

In the case of Valerie Sydry, it was a shared passion for the subject matter. She studied the MSc in Global Business and Sustainability at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), one of the most international business schools in Europe. She explains how this exposure to people from so many different backgrounds left a huge impression on her.

“The program influenced me in many ways,” she says. “First and foremost, my personality was shaped by the people that were studying with me because they all came from different professional and academic backgrounds. But we all shared one passion: sustainability.” (00:55)

Why sustainability is embedded within every business

The master’s in sustainability at RSM teaches students how to embed sustainable practices within businesses of all shapes and sizes. In a wider sense, it’s about using business as a force for positive change in the world – which is also a key tenet of RSM’s values. Valerie says the program showed her that you can make the world more sustainable in so many different ways.

“The master’s gives you a multidisciplinary view on sustainability. It shows you the different kinds of sustainability such as environmental and social. It then helps you apply that knowledge in real-life examples and case studies,” she explains. (01:22)

It was this exposure to real-world, practical scenarios that opened Valerie’s eyes to the possibility of a career in sustainability. She learned that sustainability affects every industry, and every industry affects sustainability.

“We had a lot of practical classes where we really tried to tackle sustainability challenges in different areas – NGOs, corporations, startups, and so on,” she shares. “That showed me you can work in a lot of different fields and still try to contribute and make the world more sustainable.” (01:42)

How a master’s in sustainability launched Valerie’s career in the industry

Sure enough, the program’s laser focus on the connection between business and sustainability makes its graduates hot property for recruiters. Ninety-two percent of students find a job within three months of graduation – and Valerie was part of that 92%.

“By the time I had completed the program, I had secured three job offers: one in the energy sector, a second one at EY, and a third one at a small consultancy firm,” she says. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but in the end I went for EY because it allows me to apply my interest in sustainability at different organizations and in different sectors.” (00:05)

EY is a global professional services company that is considered one of the “Big Four” accounting firms along with PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG. It’s perhaps the perfect example of Valerie landing in this crossroads between sustainability and business. The company may not be considered part of the sustainability industry, but that doesn’t mean they’re not affected by it.

“At EY, we provide assurance and advice for integrated reporting, which is having your financial and sustainability reports in one document. It’s not just about pasting the two documents together, but showing the relationship between financial and non-financial data,” Valerie explains. (00:35)

The knowledge Valerie gained from her master’s in sustainability is now allowing her to improve the environmental practices of businesses all over the world. She is a living embodiment of RSM’s mission statement: be a force for positive change.

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