Student Spotlight: Laura Jernegan

Tell us about yourself.

I’m originally from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. I earned a B.A. in Law and Society from American University in 2013. While at American, I became involved in a range of environmental, community building, and international development initiatives which drove my passion for finding ways to inspire more meaningful and sustainable connections between humans and the environment.

I applied for the MBA-SBP program after spending close to four years working in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu. I found my way to Vanuatu after having been assigned to serve there as an Education Volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps. After completing my primary assignment, I extended my contract to teach at a peri-urban youth center and was later hired by the same organization as a literacy consultant. My work focused on curriculum development and programmatic sustainability. I was drawn to the MBA-SBP program because of its interdisciplinary application, as well as the combination of academic study and hands-on consulting experience. In pursuing an MBA, I aim to combine my professional experience in collaborative problem solving and my personal commitments to ethical consumption, sustainable waste management, and environmental stewardship, with the core themes of the MBA in order to become a leader in sustainable management. After graduation, my aim is to assist organizations in setting and realizing their sustainability goals.

What is one of your favorite things to do in Pittsburgh?

Wander around with or without a plan and discover interesting people and places along the way.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?

Listening to (and then ranting about) podcasts, mainly from the true crime genre and specifically My Favorite Murder.

What could you give a 30-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation

Taco preparation – from making tortillas from scratch to unique filling combinations and essential sauce recipes.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?

Sustainable alternatives becoming more integrated into society and more accessible for everyone.

What is the best way to start the day?

Waking with the sun, making and enjoying coffee, and relaxing in the quiet of the morning reading or listening to the news.