Eban Goodstein, PhD, recently wrote an article for Sustainability: The Journal of Record that focused on four steps that graduating students can take to secure a career in the growing field of sustainability. We found that many of these steps correlated to services that AASHE offers and wanted to share ways we support an easier transition into the career field.
Step One: Your Career Bucket
Dr. Goodstein identified three career buckets that a student could focus on when determining what they want their career to look like. These three buckets (education; policy change and green business) are all needed to advance sustainability.
If you feel unsure about what career bucket you want to pursue, consider finding a mentor. A mentor can help talk through your thoughts and help guide you to a decision of what bucket you want to pursue. A trusted professor or someone working in sustainability at your institution may be a great resource! You can also meet and connect with sustainability professionals at the Networking Sessions offered at the Annual AASHE Conference & Expo.
Step Two: The Graduate School Choice
Many undergrads find themselves deciding between pursuing a graduate school degree now, later or at all. “Students who attend graduate school right out of college can tool up faster and step into leadership roles more quickly, making a difference soon,” Dr. Goodstein said.
You can find academic programs listing as part of the Campus Sustainability Hub. This list is among the largest and most comprehensive public databases of academic programs in sustainability and related fields. It includes everything from professional certificates to doctoral degrees and is a great place to start if you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree.
Step Three: Location, Location
You’ve heard the saying, “location, location, location,” right? Well, Dr. Goodstein believes the same is true when branching out on your own. You need to live somewhere not only where you could be happy, but also where there are job opportunities and you can build a network.
Explore job openings to see if there are any in a location that interests you in the job section of our Bulletin website. You can also subscribe to the weekly Bulletin newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest campus sustainability news and opportunities.
Step Four: The Power Network
“Networking means collecting a group of supporters who are genuinely interested in you and the contributions that you can make to local and global sustainability challenges. A power network is one in which your network members are powerful people; power is simply the ability to make change,” Dr. Goodstein shared. The people with whom you surround yourself can stimulate new ideas, encourage you to expand your thinking and support you when trying something new.
The annual AASHE Conference & Expo provides a unique opportunity to build an international power network. This conference kicks off with an all day Student Summit. This summit is a platform for student sustainability leaders to network with hundreds of other like-minded students from around the globe.This year’s conference will take place in San Antonio, Texas from Oct. 15 – 18. Online registration closes Sept. 15. Register today!
In addition to the above, we offer a wealth of resources to students. We hope you find them useful!